The Most Depressing Book You've Ever Read

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House of the dead by Fyodor Dostoevski. Seriously, life in a gulag is fucking bleak...

The most depressing THING i ever read was a copy of the sun I found on the bus today and realised how many british citizens are total fucking celebrity obsessed trivial morons... I think perhaps a good plague is needed to cure this national gulag of cultural mediocrity I find myself trapped in.

1984... The only happy parts of the book are proven to be completely artificial. And then, just endless despair.

Ah, easy. That Was Then, This is Now by S. E. Hinton. It didn't exactly make me burst into tears, but the ending just pissed me off. I grew a fond liking of all the characters in the book and then BAM! Crap ending that just made me angry, which in my case is synonymous with sad.

EDIT: Oh, and Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. I know that's not exactly a book, but the ending mad me cry a little, just really sad. You can read it for yourself if you have the time. I really like Vonnegut.
http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

Grapes of Wrath. By far. What an awful ending.

52

it's an amazing f***ing book

I just got depressed as I watched one of my favorite superheroes die of lung cancer

Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men (just the hopelessness of knowing their dream would not come true, and the ending), and Tears of a Tiger.

Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy.
It made my sides hurt from laughter, but the ending made me sad. :(

I second the opinion that All Quiet on the Western Front is the most depressing.

The Book Theif. I was so shocked at the ending.
If I recall correctly (I read the book a few years ago, so the details are foggy) the book itself was a little bit boring, but, good God, that ending. I ended up sobbing.

*sniff* 1 fish 2 fish red fish blue fish *sniff*

Private Peaceful by Michael Murporgo. God-damn thats a sad book, when I finished it I just sat in silence for about 10 minutes crying.

Also, The Boy in The Striped Pajamas. Thats a baw-worthy book.

I'd say Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. It just really sucks to be the main character. You're not appreciated by your family so when you wake up as a giant bug it's pretty much over for you. Now if he was turned into something cute as a kitten this might have been a different story...

Probably The Road. That book wasn't all that cheerful.

Rasputin1:

Ekit:
A child called "It".

I've read that. Was a long time ago so I don't remember exactly what happened. I remember the jist of it though.

I read some of it. Messed up stuff in there.

However, The Green Mile takes the cake for me. It's even worse than the movie, since

The Demonata books have pretty depressing endings for their characters. Basically, at least 3 or four close friends will die in every single book.

Personaly I thought The last book of the dark tower series was pretty depersing but it's still probally one of the best books In the serise becuase of it.
(Not to metion one of the best books I have ever read ever)

The Road.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

That shit is bleak...was a "really" fun 6 months of English lessons...

A lot of Short story books do, mostly because a lot of them seem to enjoy downer endings ( I find about an 80-20 ratio), and ambiguously sad endings. It pisses me off after a while though
Parts of Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman depressed me (I don't read depressing books if I can avoid them >.<) Errrrmm I can't think of much else apart from maybe Metro 2033.

either "of mice and men" or "the grapes of wrath". Steinbeck just has a way with making bad stuff happen to good people. image

"The Road" and "First They Killed My Father" I have done both for school book reports and just finished the "First They Killed My Father" today, its at true story about the Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia and it almost made me cry.

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Farenheit 451. When I finished it I realized we're a good two paces away from the society he envisioned, that entirely ruined my month.

Wombaat:
My mother is adamant that the most depressing book in existence is 'The Giving Tree'. I'm inclined to agree.

My elementary teacher's favorite book. The man flew helicopters in Vietnam...but when they made him quit, he killed himself. Saddest book on multiple levels.

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke.

Porno, by Irvine Welsh.

Funny, but SO coal-black cynical and ruthless.

1984 depressed me so much I got sick to my stomach. So yeah.

Scobie:
I'd have to agree with 1984:

JayDub147:
Brave New World

It's kind of similar to 1984, but focuses more on a breakdown of morality and a reliance on artificial "happiness."

Debatable. Apart from the fact that it's supposed to be dystopic fiction, I don't think they have much in common. In fact, I'd say that they're at opposite ends of the dystopia scale. 1984 is about a regime that is soul-crushingly evil to the point that suspension of disbelief is strained, and maintains its grip on the populace through the traditional methods of deprivation and fear. Brave New World is about a much nicer place where the population is pacified by means of trivial amusements and bred to be vapid and docile, but content. To illustrate: in Oceania, if you disobey the rules the best you can hope for is torture, brainwashing and death. In the World State, the worst our heroes are threatened with is being sent to Iceland. I know where I'd rather live. The fact that Brave New World's dystopia is less obviously evil makes it much more interesting. That said, I felt Huxley missed the mark a bit when he was building his dystopia - I don't consider it that bad. It's certainly better than the world we have now. John the Savage was certainly intended to be the hero, but to me he just came across as a close-minded idiot.

I'd agree that Brave New World is on the other end of the dystopia spectrum, but I wouldn't say that Huxley missed the mark. Although it's true, I wouldn't mind vacationing there.

the house on mango street so depressing that i wasted so much time on this piece of shit book

uvr5672:
Animal Farm. I liked Boxers spirit, then Napoleon sent him off to the glue factory.
1984 was depressive too. Actually... anything Ive read by George Orwell is sad and I love all of it.

I thought you were me for a second.

Animal Farm for me.

So many!
The Will as Idea and Representation by Arthur Schopenhauer;
A Tragic Sense of Life by Miguel de Unamuno;
The Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament;
The Book of Lamentations in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament;
Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre;
Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo;
almost anything by John Steinbeck, Sylvia Plath, and Virginia Woolf.

If I had to single out one book it would be Elie Wiesel's Night.

damn near all of the short stories in Burning Chrome, by Willam Gibson. All deal with betrayal, abandonment, or the inability to handle life.

Little Angels. Its true stories of some of Thai novice monks. According to the blurb at the beginning he didn't even cherry pick them. They were picked at random (barring those who did not want to tell their story) and yet every one of them is terrible, the running theme being joining to escape extreme poverty.

2nd would probably be Hiroshima. I had to read it at school. Like the first book its just accounts of stuff that happened. It isn't really played up, they don't go on about the emotion it just states what happened but that is enough.
I swear the schooling system here (NZ) has an obsession with depressing real life account books. I read Anne Frank 3 times, Schindler's List/Arc, The Endless Steepe and another I can't remember the name of that was about a Jewish family attempted to reach Poland during WW2 I think. No, wait one wasn't real it was...To Kill a Mocking Bird *sigh*.

"Let's Go Play at the Adams".

Read this, and if you don't walk away not only hating humanity, but children in general, you have a soul made of iron and I commend you.

In the same vien, "The Girl Next Door", though your hatred will be differently targeted.

I'm a bit of an oddity when it comes to "crapsack worlds" and being depressed by books.

I read Game of Thrones before I started 1984, so you could say I was already "hardened" to books with a lot of bleakness (though I don't really consider Game of Thrones absolutely cynical and bleak as some people say). My problem with 1984 is, in all truth, I was pretty sure the regime was destined to collapse in on itself. I suppose I made the mistake of reading it more like some sort of "alternate history" novel then anything else. I was absolutely positive that the collapse of Oceania was pretty much guaranteed, it just felt like the government was set up in such a way that if just one thing went against status quo, the whole state would fall.

So, out of all the books I've read, what is the most depressing to me? Frankenstein.

Honestly, many people pity the monster, but out of all the characters in Frankenstein, I feel the saddest for the good doctor. Most of the time Frankenstein is made out to be some cackling madman, but the original book gives him quite a different portrayal. Frankenstein isn't some madman, he's a brilliant and idealistic young mind. It isn't power that motivates Frankenstein, just a thirst for knowledge, a desire to change the world and do good... And then when he finally completes his project, he makes one mistake, one perfectly normal mistake: He is absolutely terrified of what he created. This leaves a monster out wandering the world that may very well be doing anything and he had no power to stop it.

I don't know why people were so effected by 1984's ending. The story of 1984 itself was actually pretty bad - Orwell wanted you to understand his ideas much more than he wanted you to be entertained by a story(and it's a fucking good bundle of ideas that Orwell makes). Really, the book was Orwell's way of making everybody understand and read his ideas, and ending a pretty pittance story that way with only two main characters is not that depressing. Animal Farm was pretty much the same.

I can't take Orwell's stories seriously as works of fiction, I treat them instead like a giant parable.

For me, Of Mice and Men and any other of Steinbeck's books like The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat. I'm not crazy for the era that Steinbeck writes about, but his books are devastatingly unforgiving.

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