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Peinrikudo's avatar

What is the most depressing novel you've ever read?

Asked by Peinrikudo (235points) July 9th, 2009

I love reading depressing novels (Of Mice and Men, Battle Royale, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now) and am always looking for more depressing novels that might pique my interest. Got any recommendations?

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23 Answers

casheroo's avatar

The Russian Concubine is pretty darn depressing. I see the other books the author has written, and I’m almost afraid to read them…I don’t usually go for depressing novels and had no clue it would be that way.

seekingwolf's avatar

“Jude the Obscure” by Tom Hardy

(this one’s a play sorry but I read it) Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill

“Candide” by Voltaire (partly because it was a pain in the ass to read and I was expecting a satisfied ending but boy was I WRONG)

And then there’s the novel I wrote when I was 12 (mini novel)...100 pages, size 10 font. The 2 main characters die after a spiritual transformation.

applesaucemanny's avatar

I haven’t read it but I hear A child called it is pretty depressing

peedub's avatar

Probably Johnny Got His Gun.

Norwegian Wood was really sad but I would necessarily call it depressing. Perhaps this because I enjoyed it so much; depressing’ seems to have a negative connotation.

lilgiraffe's avatar

Definitely “We have to talk about Kevin” – Lionel Shriver.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Tideland. I know it’s sort of a Southern Gothic/fantastic novel, but still. Oh, Bob, it was depressing.

Bluefreedom's avatar

1984 – George Orwell

MrsNash's avatar

“The Cancer Ward” by Solzhenitsyn

Aethelwine's avatar

The Grapes of Wrath and The Virgin Suicides.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Independent People by Halldor Laxness made me cry. I’ve never cried at a book before or since. It wasn’t exactly depressing, it was just beautiful and sad. Easily the saddest book i’ve ever read.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

The Invention of MorelCasares

Morel is a name, I didn’t spell moral wrong.

dannyc's avatar

Jane Eyre.

arnbev959's avatar

Tess of the D’Ubervilles was pretty depressing.

Likeradar's avatar

@lilgiraffe Yes! I was gonna say We Need to Talk About Kevin. I could talk for hours about the many ways that book depressed and angered me.

justus2's avatar

I would say ’“a child called it:”, very sad.

DominicX's avatar

“Of Mice and Men” was pretty depressing. That’s the one that comes to mind with me.

skfinkel's avatar

The Fixer by Bernard Malamud.

jfos's avatar

1984, Of Mice and Men

@seekingwolf Why was Candide a pain in the ass to read? and I thought the ending was good…

MacBean's avatar

Johnny Got His Gun is one of my favorite books of all time. It is pretty depressing, though. And A Child Called ‘It’ is downright soul-crushing.

aprilsimnel's avatar

There’s a movie adaptation coming out of it this autumn, but Push, oh, no, ACK! Just so depressing.

MacBean's avatar

“The Girl Next Door” was more disturbing than depressing, but still fits the bill for me.

mattbrowne's avatar

The Stand by Stephen King. I quit after a few hundred pages.

Fred931's avatar

Pretty much all of them. I don’t read via impulse.

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