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Old 02-18-2014, 02:33 AM   #16
kacir
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Originally Posted by FlyingFoxx View Post
I'm really interested in The Road. Can anyone tell me more about those without spoilers?
This is THE ugliest and most depressing book I have ever read.
There are two protagonists - the man and the boy. No names. They travel through completely destroyed country. Everything is gray and black after some un-specified catastrophe that destroyed everything organic. Everything is covered in ash. They are meeting various groups of people. Usually *very* uncivilized and hostile.
They are tired, cold, wet, hungry, thirsty, miserable, scared, and hopeless.
Their dialogs are very repetitive, terse and short, usually dealing with the fact that they are tired, cold, wet, hungry, thirsty, miserable, scared, and hopeless.

There is no punctuation in the text, no quote marks for dialogs. I am very surprised the writer did use capital letters for the beginning of the sentences - he discarded everything else, so why stop at capital letters.

I think that if he wasn't already very famous before submitting the manuscript, his book would have ended up in the garbage bin before the publisher finished reading the first page.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:55 AM   #17
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The Trial. Kafka.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:25 AM   #18
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I really liked The Road. It's a great suggestion for someone asking for depressing.

A couple of standout books that have real depth and fit the "depressing" bill are A Perfect Night to go to China by David Gilmour (Governor General's award winner) and The Time in Between by David Bergen. The Gilmour book has about the most depressing and yet satisfying ending of any book I've ever read.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:45 AM   #19
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The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. It's a thoroughly bleak little novel.

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The House on the Borderland (1908) employs the device of the found manuscript, a diary kept by an old recluse who lives in a lonely house in Ireland besieged by hideous forces from other worlds and swine-like monstrosities emerging from an abyss beneath the house. One evening in his study, the narrator has a visionary experience in which he streaks through space, time quickens, and in a series of dream-like narrative sequences he witnesses the future of the earth and the final destruction of the solar system.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:51 AM   #20
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Orwell's 1984. A depressing story set in a drepressing world.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:12 PM   #21
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I'll second The Road as tremendously depressing. Some of Cormac's other books also made me frown.

And another big shout out for Peter Watts. His Rifters trilogy was brilliant and depressing.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:19 PM   #22
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try reading twitter or 4chan posts

the very best from our current illiterate caveman culture
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Namekuseijin View Post
try reading twitter or 4chan posts

the very best from our current illiterate caveman culture
Youtube comments are also good for that.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
This is THE ugliest and most depressing book I have ever read.
There are two protagonists - the man and the boy. No names. They travel through completely destroyed country. Everything is gray and black after some un-specified catastrophe that destroyed everything organic. Everything is covered in ash. They are meeting various groups of people. Usually *very* uncivilized and hostile.
They are tired, cold, wet, hungry, thirsty, miserable, scared, and hopeless.
Their dialogs are very repetitive, terse and short, usually dealing with the fact that they are tired, cold, wet, hungry, thirsty, miserable, scared, and hopeless.

There is no punctuation in the text, no quote marks for dialogs. I am very surprised the writer did use capital letters for the beginning of the sentences - he discarded everything else, so why stop at capital letters.

I think that if he wasn't already very famous before submitting the manuscript, his book would have ended up in the garbage bin before the publisher finished reading the first page.
this man was a prophet no doubt
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:50 PM   #25
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I was sure I had commented already but apparently not... Anyway, I agree with The Roadand, also, On The Beach. You might also consider Never Let Me Go or Atonement. Children of Men, for more dystopia.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:54 PM   #26
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Leaving Las Vegas by John O'Brien, which I believe was his last novel before he committed suicide. If you have a heart, the ending will break it ... snap it like a twig, in fact.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:10 AM   #27
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It's been a long time since I read it, perhaps I should reread it before recommending it, but I remember Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea being depressing but very good too.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:59 PM   #28
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Harlan Ellison

Nobody mentioned Harlan Ellison yet - pretty much most of his short stories qualify. A good example is "I have no mouth and I must scream". Doesn't that paint a cheerful picture?

IIRC, one of his collections, Deathbird Stories, even has a disclaimer not to read it if you're depressed, although I could be confusing it with some other Ellison book. Ellison also penned the famous Star Trek (original series) episode called City on the Edge of Forever.

The Road is still pretty much #1 on my bleak and depressing list though.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:04 PM   #29
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Another vote for both "The Stand" and "The Road".
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:48 AM   #30
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Orwell's 1984. A depressing story set in a depressing world.
I second that, talk about getting your hopes crushed.
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