Inverarity (inverarity) wrote in bookish,

Saturday Book Discussion: Talk about your tearjerkers, your chillers, your mindf***ers

Thank you all for your suggestions for new SBD topics. This being a day when I don't have much time to write a new one, I am going to combine several suggestions into a single topic: instead of just talking about best and worst books we've read, how about the strangest, the saddest, the scariest?

Strangest book

House of Leaves

I am not generally a fan of experimental fiction, so I haven't read many really weird books, but I'd have to say House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski was the strangest book I have ever read. Honorable mention goes to Strange Evil by Jane Gaskell.

Saddest book

I don't read a lot of tragedies, and the tearjerker thing just ain't happening, though I can be saddened when a beloved character dies, even when it's manipulative and unsubtle (like in pretty much every YA novel).

Although I did not particularly like Wuthering Heights, it was definitely a powerful novel, and the unrelenting (mostly self-inflicted) tragedy of all Brontë's characters is what makes it timeless. (I still mostly hated it.)

More recently, The Girl Who Played Go was a sad if sadly predictable war story, and Stephen King's Blaze proves that King can make a dimwitted thug more sympathetic and tragic than all the Wuthering Heights/Romeo & Juliet-ripoffs on the YA shelves.

Scariest book

No book has really scared me since I was a child, but Stephen King is still the most reliable creepifier for me. His classic horror novels — Cujo, Christine, Pet Semetary, 'Salem's Lot, It — will definitely deliver for those who are prone to text-induced nightmares, though I think his Richard Bachman novels — Apt Pupil, The Running Man, The Long Walk, Rage — while mostly lacking in supernatural horrors, are actually a lot scarier.

But if I'm going to be honest, the scary book that has had the longest-lasting and most profound effect on me is one I read when I was probably too young to read it. Proof that books can damage impressionable young minds!


I still don't like swimming in the ocean. Just saying.

Poll #1836929 Mad, Sad, and Scary

What is the strangest book you've ever read?

What is the saddest book you've ever read?

What is the scariest book you've ever read?

Previous Saturday Book Discussions.
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