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2011 Books > Depressing books!

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message 1: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Bradway (jbradway) Anyone depressed by the list of books in the TOB 2011?

Just abandoned So Much for That and was close to doing the same for Room but I soldiered on.

Any that have challenged you?


message 2: by Gayla (new)

Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) | 156 comments I read both of those a few months ago and didn't like either (not so much because they were depressing as for other reasons).

I found Nox challenging because Anne Carson and I just don't seem to be on the same wavelength. I abandoned The Finkler Question because it was profoundly irritating. I haven't started Lord of Misrule yet, but for some reason I am dreading it.

On the other hand, I just finished Kapitoil and loved it.


message 3: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Bradway (jbradway) I loved the Finkler Question and don't know if I can explain why. I initially 4-starred it but went back and 5-starred it when I couldn't get Treslove out of my head.

Actually, the depressing bits are not why I abandoned So Much for That. More to do with the horrible characters and speechifying.

Also loved Skippy Dies, though there was a lot of sadness in it.

I'm just looking forward to something a bit more uplifting.


message 4: by Gayla (new)

Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) | 156 comments I really really liked Skippy Dies. I want to read it again sometime--although that is a daunting prospect since it is so long.


message 5: by Patty (new)

Patty | 46 comments I also liked Kapitoil and liked very much. I was not expecting to find the main character so enjoyable.

You might want to try A Visit From the Goon Squad - I did not find that depressing. I would like to hear what others thought of that book.

I tried So Much for That once before and will try one more time, but it sounds like many folks are struggling with that one. Shriver does not seem to be an easy read.

Has anyone read Next? Is it depressing?


message 6: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (cabs) | 7 comments Next is a bit depressing, too, but I liked it more than I expected. I really struggled with the Shriver book, and I've loved a couple of her other ones. This one just seemed like a big rant to me.


message 7: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments Well, I certainly love a depressing book, so maybe my opinion is suspect!

I loved Bad Marie, Goon Squad, Bloodroot, Skippy Dies, Room and Lemon Cake. They all were slightly-to-quite depressing, but were also completely worthwhile.

I liked Next, but the payoff doesn't come until the very end and it's sort of a slog to get there. If you buy into the ending, I think it changes the way you feel about the entire book.

In the just-ok category are Finkler, So Much for That, and Super Sad.

I'm currently reading Model Home and really liking it; and yes, it's depressing.

I still have yet to read Freedom and Lords of Misrule. I've decided not to read Nox, and I'm wavering on Savages and Kapitoil (though it's good to hear that people liked it).

What I'm finding interesting is that it seems like most of the books have unpleasant characters. While I disliked the character in Bad Marie, I loved the book. So Much for That has a completely unpleasant character (the wife), and it was just ok. I think this must come down to the writer. A great writer can make you care about an awful character even though you don't like them (i.e. McEwan's Solar, Dreiser's Sister Carrie, Boyle's The Women).

Thoughts, comments, opinions?


message 8: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Bradway (jbradway) I think I can get into a good depressing book occasionally. Same with books with unsavory characters. My problems came this time from challenging myself to read at least 8 of these TOB books before March 8; need to season a collection of writings with some bitter readings but you can't survive on that alone.

I think I'll pick up So Much for that in a month or two and see if a few palate cleansers make it better.


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan | 69 comments Love the "palate cleanser" comment.

At this point, I have read all books but 3 (will read the remaining 3 by the time they appear in the brackets). Books that have challenged me are Finkler, So Much, Nox, Misrule, & Super Sad. I didn't really enjoy these books.

I enjoyed Good Squad, Kapitoil, Savages, Room, Skippy, & Bad Marie for similar reasons that others have listed. Freedom and Model Home were so-so.

Anybody willing to take a guess at the winner of the 1st bracket - Freedom vs. Kapitoil? I think Kapitoil will win.


message 10: by Gayla (new)

Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) | 156 comments I would pick Kapitoil over Freedom, I think, although I really liked both books.


message 11: by Jamie (last edited Mar 07, 2011 08:57AM) (new)

Jamie Bradway (jbradway) Just about finished with my ninth, Super Sad True Love Story.

Favorites so far are Skippy Dies and The Finkler Question. I seem to be alone in enjoying the latter.

Regarding the first bracket, it's killing me that I haven't read either of those. Should have planned better. Judging by comments here and elsewhere, it seems like Kapitoil is surprising a lot of readers and I keep seeing 'over-rated' applied to Freedom.


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