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Friday, July 28, 2006

A character in a book I just finished remarked at one point "Sad stories make the best novels".

I realized instantly that in my case at least, as far as my tastes in books, that is definitely true.

First of all, the book I just read ,The Kite Runner, was INCREDIBLY heart-wrenchingly sad. I mean it takes place in Afghanistan pre and post Taliban so I knew it wasn't going to be a shiny happy story.

Excerpt from Amazon.com

"The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule"

Anyway, few weekends ago when I was at the beach reading , a woman stopped me to say "You're reading The Kite Runner!? It's so depressing, how can you stand it!". Of course I took that as a challenge and commenced plowing my way through it and it WAS depressing. At certain parts I felt my heart plummet down to my toes and could barely bring myself to continue on and see what heart-breaking event occurs next. I would even torture myself and reread the most horrible parts to make sure I knew exactly what happened.

And despite...or rather because of that, I LOVED it. I could not put it down and I have been reccomending it to every literate person in my sightlines ever since.

And this is not a one time occurance with me, this love of tragic novels..If you look at most of my favorite books: I Know This Much Is True, Wuthering Heights, East of Eden...all are pretty depressing and contain horrible tales of death and destruction of families.

In my more philosophical moments, I think that with all the horrible things going on in the world...I have it too easy. It's almost a relief to read something that makes you feel terrible, because if you feel terrible then you don't have to worry about feeling guilty for being so lucky.

In my less philosophical moments, I think I am a drama queen who is attracted to reading about drama of any kind. Fact or fiction.

In any case, it was a gorgeously sad book. Check it out.

14 comments:

Mr. & Mrs. Cappella said...

If you like sad, you'll love "In Revere, In Those Days" by Rolland Murello and of course "All Souls: A Family Story from Southie" by Michael Patrick MacDonald. Talk about depressing...

Sarah said...

sweet! i actually own All Souls! i shall read it next!

Anonymous said...

My roomie is LOVING All Souls at the moment. I've always been a sad story kinda girl my self going back to my obsession with Lurlene McDaniel books back in grade school/jr. high. I was particularly disturbed by "A Child Called "It" and "The Lost Boy" (by Dave Pelzer) back in high school...

Miss Browneyedgirlie said...

"The Kite Runner" is actually on my list - as soon as it's returned to the local library, it's all mine!

If you're looking for good books, I'd like to recommend "Running With Scissors," by Augusten Burroughs.

Excellent.

averagedrinker said...

to get over that sadness, webdate can be of good use to you. your tears will be repalced with excitement. flirting can be of good purpose in your life right now.

Ezra said...

I love sad books and movies too. Hollywood endings drive me nuts. You should "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry. It's really good, and sad

Frankie said...

I LOVED Kite Runner...it was gut wrenching, but so beautifully written!

Anonymous said...

i agree.
amazing book. i couldnt stop reading it!


k

grace said...

Have you read My Sister's Keeper?

AWESOME book

Sarah said...

Thanks for reccomendations, guys!!

kate.d. said...

i just have to chime in and say that i too loved The Kite Runner, it's one of the best books i've read in a long time. i feel like the first 50 pages or so were a bit slow for me, and i had a hard time getting into it, but once i did, i read the rest in about 48 hours.

Sarah said...

i know what you mean! in retrospect...i almost feel like the author was trying to give us a break before emotionally scarring us!

fleecey said...

i am halfway through this book already- in one day. i hope to finish it tonight.
best book i've read in awhile.

Stacey said...

I want to join the sad book party, too! I loved "Reading Lolita in Tehran", by Azar Nafisi. It details the author's struggles with identity, scholarship & access to literature in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It's very moving.

Last night, I finished "No Great Mischief", by Alistair MacLeod. It's an emotional novel about a tight-knit Scottish family in Canada. The protagonist loses his parents when he is three years old, but the extended family takes over his & his twin sister's care. Really great - I may have cried when I finished it. ;)