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Old 03-05-2014, 09:19 PM   #46
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Scandanavian crime fiction is generally pretty depressing. And the last page of The Troubled Man, the final book of Henning Mankell's Detective Wallander series, was the without a doubt most depressing thing I have ever read.
Thanks for the warning! I've read the first couple of books in that series and doubt I will finish the rest.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:46 PM   #47
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Re: One Second After by William R. Forstchen

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Did you make it to the end? Anything uplifting at all there, if so?
I got through the whole book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Without spoiling it for anyone, there are ups and there are downs (unlike The Road).

I'm a huge fan of zombie-free post-apocalyptic fiction, and this is one of the better ones. It's the only one I've read that actually deals with one of the harsh realities that most other books in this genre avoid; lack of routine daily meds that we take for granted, but that keep us alive.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:30 PM   #48
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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley for me, though The Road did give me nightmares...
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:23 AM   #49
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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:15 PM   #50
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In another thread someone has asked for some good St Patrick's Day reading. A couple have recommended Angela's Ashes, which would heartily add my support to. It qualifies as a great and depressing St Patrick's day read.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:43 PM   #51
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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Such an amazing, depressing book and the movie did a pretty good job of representing the book, I thought.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:49 PM   #52
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Silmarillion by JRRT is fairly sad... I don't know about depressing...
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:34 AM   #53
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I win hands-down. The most depressing book ever: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. And the icing on the cake is it was one of Oprah's book choices. (Read it if you want to commit suicide.)
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:35 AM   #54
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I win hands-down. The most depressing book ever: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. And the icing on the cake is it was one of Oprah's book choices. (Read it if you want to commit suicide.)
Can't agree. Difficult at times to read, but A Fine Balance was just that: a fine balance of how harsh and difficult the state of emergency was in 1975 India and the beauty of friendship and love that can emerge under any circumstances.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:24 AM   #55
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I win hands-down. The most depressing book ever: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. And the icing on the cake is it was one of Oprah's book choices. (Read it if you want to commit suicide.)
Anyway you don't win because I suggested that one in this thread already.

eP
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:26 AM   #56
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Such an amazing, depressing book and the movie did a pretty good job of representing the book, I thought.
I LOVED this book so much, and then I disliked the movie so much that I actually liked the book a tiny bit less. So I definitely recommend reading the book first, at least!

eP
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:35 PM   #57
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Can't agree. Difficult at times to read, but A Fine Balance was just that: a fine balance of how harsh and difficult the state of emergency was in 1975 India and the beauty of friendship and love that can emerge under any circumstances.
ccowie, I can agree with your take on the book up to about the three-quarter mark in the novel, when it went into overkill, free-falling, endless suffering, misery and abject gloom. In that last quarter of the book there is no balance. It is utter, unabahsed, unending negativity. And anything without balance ultimately becomes bad. As they say, if you have characters endlessly in firefights after a while it just doesn't work.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:36 PM   #58
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Anyway you don't win because I suggested that one in this thread already.

eP
Ahhhhhhh. I can't win no matter what I do!!
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:35 PM   #59
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lol
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:09 AM   #60
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I recently read Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr. I was both pleased and saddened to see that the movie was very faithful to the book...devastating.

I really enjoyed 1984 by Orwell and The Outsider by Camus. They were both pretty grim. And it's hard to go past Lord of the Flies for a very bleak view of humankind.

I only just finished Blindsight by Peter Watts and was so-so on that. I guess it was pretty brutal and being narrated by a character who was only somewhat human gave it a very flat tone which added shade more than light. But it was also a bit of a challenge. I guess if all the characters are brilliant it shouldn't be a surprise that I struggled to follow their thoughts and conversations and the jumping around from past to present to hypothetical and back again didn't exactly help.

One author who paints a pretty damn bleak picture of life is Australia's Christos Tsiolkas. I've read Loaded, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe and all three make you wonder why you'd want to bother living at points.

I'll also give a shout out to an indie novella which I loved for its bleakness: The Speed of Winter by B Morris. A very dark look at the hazards of colonising a distant planet.

What else...

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is not only dark, but beautifully written.
The Survival of Thomas Ford by John Logan is another dark favourite.
Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist has that bleak feel that Scandinavian authors excel at.
Elizabeth Hand gives good bleak. Generation Loss was a great example and there's a sequel called Available Dark that I'll be reading shortly.
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