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What are the bleakest books you've read?

 
 
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 10:27 am
What are the bleakest novels, works of nonfiction, short stories, comic books, etc...?
(Regardless the genre: science fiction, historical fiction, horror, etc...)
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 12:09 pm
I always thought that Death of a Salesman was pretty bleak.

I had to read it twice in during my years of education and I cannot remember another book that gave me such a feeling of bleakness.
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InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 12:50 pm
@tsarstepan,
By far, 1984.
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izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 01:23 pm
Last Exit To Brooklyn was pretty glum.
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 03:12 pm
The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer. It won The Pulitzer Prize, too.
Quote:
"Notable for its portrayal of Gilmore and the anguish generated by the murders he committed, the book was central to the national debate over the revival of capital punishment by the Supreme Court. Gilmore was the first person to be executed in the United States since the re-instatement of the death penalty in 1976."
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InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 04:41 pm
There's also Thomas Hardy's devastating critique of late 19th century mores, Jude the Obscure.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 01:04 am
@InfraBlue,
Thomas Hardy was a bloody miserable bastard full stop. I had to study Tess and his poetry, most of which was about how he regretted not being nice to his wife when she was alive.

I live in Wessex, and it's actually quite a jolly place.
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 05:59 am
Good Country People by Flannery O'connor. (Short story)

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (three act play)
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 08:10 am
@izzythepush,
I suppose just about any Charles Dickens novel would be considered bleak.

I read Hardy's Tess of the d'urbervilles and saw the Masterpiece Theater production.
I wouldn't call it bleak, but severly tragic. The life of this poor girl, Tess that is, could be graphed. There is a long slow elevation and then a precipitous drop followed by another slow elevation followed by another precipitous drop, etc., elevation and a final precipitous drop. Horribly tragic, but, still, a wonderful novel.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 10:39 am
@coluber2001,
I didn't like her, it all seemed too contrived. I lost all credulity when her confession letter ended up under the carpet, and the melodramatic sleepwalking scene on the wedding night was way too much.
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izzythepush
 
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Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 11:18 am
If we're talking sci fi, A Canticle For Leibowitz is pretty depressing. Post apocalymptic novel in 3 parts centring round monks who have kept sacred scientific records safely. It's in 3 parts, the last part being where things have got back to 20C technological standards, only for it to end with another nuclear war.
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BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 07:45 pm
Two books come to mind by the same author, The Turner Diary and the Hunter by William Luther Pierce.

The Diary was used as a blueprint for the bombing of the Oklahoma federal building and the Hunter begin with having a racist killing mix race couples by gunning them down.

I had hear so must about the Diary I did wish to read it but it took three attempted before I could force myself to finish the book.

Bleak indeed that there is so must irrational hate in the world that those two books reflect.


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hingehead
 
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Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 10:36 pm
I found the second trilogy of the Thomas Covenant Chronicles (Stephen M. Donaldson) relentlessly bleak.
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BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2018 08:05 am
Odd that we seems to have a fan of the writing of William Luther Pierce to the point of voting down my posting selecting his books as the bleakest possible books.

Here is the result of his most popular book the Turner Diary thanks to the actions of another fan of the man writings.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQTzd267cKlvSnCxRXFRNF2gt1_8OLxNbt6Qk3ZWxV3BQjUU5vU
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2018 08:24 am
@BillRM,
Maybe they wanted to vote down someone who'd admitted giving money to a company that publishes neo Nazi propaganda.

You were the one who thought it appropriate to include neo Nazi propaganda in a thread on literature. Haven't you read any other books?

I didn't vote you down btw.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2018 09:23 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

Maybe they wanted to vote down someone who'd admitted giving money to a company that publishes neo Nazi propaganda.

You were the one who thought it appropriate to include neo Nazi propaganda in a thread on literature. Haven't you read any other books?

I didn't vote you down btw.


You hear of public libraries and other such sources? No not a dime of my money went to the publishers of such books in any case.

An there seems with special reference to what is now going on in the US news of late Nazi and Racist propaganda would fit under the subject of being bleak and current books!!!!!!!!

In fact the US nazis are marching in Charlottesville again.
Joe Nation
 
  6  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2018 10:51 am
the road cormac mccarthy

Couldn't wait to get to the end of it, all the while hoping everyone would just die.
Joe(Spoiler: But they didn't)Nation
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2018 12:20 pm
@BillRM,
It's not exactly a surprise though is it? If you're a Nazi it's a happy ending, if you're not it isn't.

When public libraries loan out books royalties are paid to the author. It's called PLR.

Our libraries don't stock neo Nazi propaganda, that might be why we don't have as much of a problem with them.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2018 01:36 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

It's not exactly a surprise though is it? If you're a Nazi it's a happy ending, if you're not it isn't.

When public libraries loan out books royalties are paid to the author. It's called PLR.

Our libraries don't stock neo Nazi propaganda, that might be why we don't have as much of a problem with them.


Yes indeed the US first amendment is almost as must of a problem as the second amendment.

Next once a book is purchase by a US library system that is the end of royalties under the US system no matter how many times it might be loan out during it lifetime by the library.

Interesting system you seems to have in the UK however but it is not our system.

Hell it is my understanding that the seller in the European system can place limits on the used of the books on future buyers an that is not our system in anyway.

Quote:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

The first-sale doctrine is a legal concept playing an important role in U.S. copyright and trademark law by limiting certain rights of a copyright or trademark owner. The doctrine enables the distribution chain of copyrighted products, library lending, giving, video rentals and secondary markets for copyrighted works (for example, enabling individuals to sell their legally purchased books or CDs to others). In trademark law, this same doctrine enables reselling of trademarked products after the trademark holder put the products on the market. The doctrine is also referred to as the "right of first sale," "first sale rule," or "exhaustion rule."

The first-sale doctrine is one of the limitations and exceptions to copyright.
Tai Chi
 
  4  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2018 01:38 pm
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Joe we watched the movie "The Road" one New Year's Eve -- I mean seriously what were we thinking?
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