Wednesday, September 06, 2006

a reading list: totally depressing

for the most part i am a happy person who doesn't like to visit frown town very often. however, for some reason i'm really into sad depressing boo hooey books. here is a list of books that will make you sad and if you ask me, happier in the end.

play it as it lays by joan didion: i actually finished this book last night and that's what prompted me to scribble "depressing books" on my hand. the foreword of the version i read (linked to here) is totally insightful and applauds ms. didion for calling out her contemporaries on being vapid d-bags in los angeles. totally relevant.

hunger by knut hamsun: i believe this book was originally written in the late sixties and is essentially a biography of a man starving to death in a little swedish town (i think). i read this some time ago and just happened to pick it up after reading junky by william burroughs for the third time. i found them to be very similar and both entirely depressing.

less than zero by bret easton ellis: for the most part, i love all of his books. they're insane and sometimes you have to skip over pages so you don't barf on the bus. this book is nothing like the movie. at all. sometimes books like these make you feel like it would be cool to be a fudged up rich kid with a porche in 1981. this one just makes you want to go to bed and hide.

hand to mouth: a chronicle of early failure by paul auster: the title of this book pretty much says it all. it's depressing because life is hard. especially for people who chose to be artists/writers/musicians. actually i guess it's proof that there really isn't a choice. you either are or you aren't, right?

a prayer for owen meany by john irving: all of his books are amazing and in my opinion this one is by far the best. lil owen meany is a tiny guy who changes the lives of everyone around him. it's bizarre and creepy and made me cry and cry. and i don't cry.

hope you like, even if you get sad. sometimes sad is good. if anyone would be willing to make a list of good/sad music for me, i'd be really psyched.


Audrey said...

I too am a huge fan of any book that makes me cry. Here are a few to add to the list:

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer. Soooooo good.

"Atonement" by Ian McEwan

"Bastard out of Carolina" Dorothy Alison

"House of Sand and Fog" by Andre Dubus III. Never saw the crappy movie, but the book is excellent.

Cristy said...

i wholeheartedly second the "prayer for owen meany" nomination. sweet little creepy OWEN MEANY.

QuarBy said...

i loved play it as it lays also.

gary tijuana said...

Erin do you own these books because I'd like to read Less Than Zero, it was one of my favorite movies.