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What is the most depressing book you have ever read, /lit/?
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2arms1head
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im sure a lot of anons may say no longer human, but, for me, it’s kafka’s metamorphosis. the text itself wasnt too depressing but reflecting on it afterward definitely was.
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>>15742900
The Elementary Particles aka Atomised.
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>>15742976
this
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Bernhard - Correction
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>>15742900
>>15742965
Yep, it's cliche as fuck but god damn it deserves its status as one of the most depressing stories out there. Anyone who has read 'No Longer Human' while in the pits of depression can tell you that it is a simultaneously soul-rending and salvific experience.
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>>15742900
MY.
DIARY.
DESU.
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>>15742900
Emil Cioran
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Absalom, Absalom! It's not supposed to be particularly depressing but I still felt a bit heartsick after finishing it, although I suppose poetry has always given me much stronger emotional impact than prose.
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>>15743007
which one specifically?
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stoner was fucking gut wrenching. it shows how harshly life treats you, without ever relying on a 'tragic' event. normal life is a fucking burden
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>>15743007
>>15743026
>Cioran. Haven't you read Cioran? He's a very pessimistic writer, there's no joy in that. Maybe you would like that.
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>>15743029
this one as well holy shit
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Notes from the underground, Stoner, Serotonin.
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>>15742900
Not really a book, but first hand accounts from Aztecs of the conquistador invasion was about as depressing as it gets
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>>15743064
link?
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>>15742900
the book of reddit. Unironically as depressing as 4chan.
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>>15742900
Danny The Champion of the world
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>>15742976
this and Celine's Journey to the End of the Night
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>>15743059
Notes from underground wasn’t depressing at all imo.
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I found the Book of Disquiet hauntingly relatable.
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Of Mice and Men
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it was kind of just adding fuel to the fire when i read it, but i had to stop reading the trouble with being born about 3/4 of the way through
shit was hitting a bit too close to home
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>>15743059
>>15743134
Notes from underground is a wonderfully sick comedy, it's only depressing seeing so much of oneself inside it.
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>>15742900
Stoner. It lacks all the romantics of other tragedies which makes even more depressing
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The Virgin Suicides got me because of the helplessness of it.

Revolutionary Road because of the strain and stress of "The American Dream" picturesque life that's nothing more than a facade. That's nothing unique but that story always makes me so sad.

No Longer Human hits way too close to home except I don't even have half the life experiences he has, as empty and hollow as they are to him.

I recently bought the pictured books. I always want to read depressing shit when I'm at my lowest, I don't know why, it doesn't help.
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>>15743030
Who?
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>>15742919
>waaahhhh I can’t live like a chad anymore because I rode my bike like a retard, life is pointless

lmao what a fucking baby
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>>15743007
>>15743026
>>15743030
>>15743468
>>15743694
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>>15742900
Probably Suicide by Edouard Leve. It's even more poignant when you know the context in which it was written. No Longer Human and Under the Volcano are also pretty sombre reads.
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I found 2666 really depressing. To the point of being numbing
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>>15742965
>>15742976
These two and Never Let Me Go.
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>>15742990
I'm in the deep pit of depression, probably the lowest I've ever been. I guess I have to buy this book.
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>>15743029
this 100%
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>>15742900
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>>15744990
Fuck off with that pretentious dogshit
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>>15742900
At the moment, Blood Meridian has me down the most. I get that The Judge's worldview is supposed to be reviled, but looking around at the world, I can't help but feel his ideals have triumphed, that power defines morals and that God is war. Frankly, that just makes me sad.
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White Nights by Dosto. It's the only book that's made me cry; the narrator's abandonment and subsequent loss of joy made me feel genuinely ill.
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>>15742900
Death and the Dervish
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>>15744990
unironically one of his worst mangos. Umibe no Onnanoko and, after a chasm-like divide, Reiraku are the best things he has written.
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>>15742990
Absolutely, i read it while being an alcoholic, really low shit. 10/!10, would read again drunk
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>>15742900
m-my diary.....desu...
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>>15742900
Not really a sad book, but I thought the degradation of the protag in a scanner darkly to be pretty rough.
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>>15743678
read Seratonin first and then Stoner, im sure you will like the transition
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>>15742990
I think I have brain problems, because while being a rather sad book it didn't 'destroy me' like everyone else said it would. Probably has to do with me being a kvfag and maybe not being able to empathize with a lot of emotions in the book...
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>>15742900
American Psycho was depressing in how boring depravity could become.
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>>15745431
thats a great book man
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this year it was never let me go by kazuo ishiguro. made me cry thinking of how all my relationships fail and how doomed to fail we really are, sometimes for no real reason.
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>>15745513
>made me cry thinking of how all my relationships fail and how doomed to fail we really are, sometimes for no real reason.
The death of Ivan Illich made me feel like this
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>Please let me make her happy, deliver me from this dreadful tyranny of self. I have sunk low. Let me sink lower still, that I might know the truth.
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>>15742900
>Suttree stood among the screaming leaves and called the lightning down. It cracked and boomed about and he pointed out the darkened heart within him and cried for light. If there be any art in the weathers of this earth. Or char these bones to coal. If you can, if you can. A blackened rag in the rain.
Suttree can get pretty damn depressing at times. It's hilarious and joyous but deeply somber as well.
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>>15745513
Love Ishiguro, but not a big fan of "NLMG." That said, I don't think it was particularly depressing. We all have a one-way ticket to the grave despite the number of detours we might take take. That even those with a more direct route can still find some meaning in caring for others, as Ishiguro's clones ultimately did, seems at least some consolation for our final destination.
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>>15745619
it's the only work of his i've read and id love it if it were one of his weakest. i think maybe it hit me so hard due to parallels in my own life and because it was sold to me as dystopian sci fi, when i found those elements to be almost entirely unimportant.
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A hidden gem if you want depressing nihilism and period dialogue.
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>>15745690
It's not as weak as 'When We Were Orphans' or 'Nocturnes,' but it's also not on the same level as 'An Artist of the Floating World,' 'Remains of the Day,' or 'The Unconsoled' (the latter two are probably the best novels of the last 30 years). Hope that you keep on reading his books anon, they are terrific.
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Le vide - Senecal.
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>>15745237
My "optimist" PoV is that humanity is a mistake and will ultimately destroy itself entirely via climate change and things will go back to being natural again :)
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>>15745697
PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME FIND THE AUDIOBOOK FOR THIS I'VE BEEN TOLD IT'S AMAZING BUT THE ONLY PLACE I COULD FIND IT IS IN ONE OF THOSE LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND DATABASES BUT I'M NOT DISABLED SO I CAN'T GET ACCESS TO IT
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>>15742900
the claus and lucas trilogy
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>>15745938
>I'M NOT DISABLED SO I CAN'T GET ACCESS TO IT
He's never gonna make it, bros.
>>>/g/ptg
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>>15745938
Just read it, you illiterate moron
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>>15745938
imagine really wanting to know a story but being to lazy to actually read it.
Guess how I know this guys age
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>>15745246
Is this one of his short stories?
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>>15742900
Zinky Boys
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>>15743007
Couldn't read the trouble with begin born
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>>15745442
Thanks anon
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Conspiracy against the human race.
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>>15743007
>>15743026
>>15743030
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>>15743845
This book was strangely hopeful to me. Idk why.
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>>15742900
grapes of wrath
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The Road - Cormac McCarthy
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>>15747102
Yeah I know what you mean, it was just a book that came very close to home with absolutely no pretension.
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>>15742900
Book of Disquiet, by far. There is no glory or vindication in it, no absurd humor, no doomed self-assertion of human dignity which would at least give a glimmer of defiant hope. It is just pure tedium, a locked-in vegetative existence, spiritiual stagnation until death - it is the most horrifying and depressing book I have ever read, and it doesn't even try to be any of these things, it just is. I will never in my life read it again, although I am glad I did.

Stoner has been mentioned as well, and it has much of the same feel to it, tedium, hopelessness and quiet, stifled, inglorious desperation. But it did not have the same effect on me as Pessoa did, because Pessoa manages to convey the feeling even stylistically, mastering as he did the aphorism that does not cause the mind to blossom with inspiration, as aphorisms tend to do, but to die, revert to the same eternally, tediously, insignificantly, one tiny step at a time. Pessoa has conveyed metaphysical boredom that draws the very marrow out of your bones, one drop at a time, and leaves you a dry uncaring husk, and to me, that is the quintessence of depression, different from sadness and tragedy, which are still predicated on there being something in the world that matters. One contrast that shows this difference between depression and tragedy, to me, is Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida set up against Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is tragedy; it is predicated on the death of something beautiful. Troilus and Cressida subverts this, by forcefully denying that that which dies in it was ever beautiful to begin with. Tragedy allows for hope, if only for it to be crushed; depression does not, it denies hope from the outset.

Houllebecq has been mentioned a few times, but he will never be as depressing to me - he is much too full of lust and appetite. His spiritual priapism lends itself to frustration, not depression, and I think there is a crucial difference between the two.

>>15745237
Does the mere fact that it makes you sad not hold the promise that all could be better?

>>15745246
Oh god oh fuck I read that during a doomed infatuation three summers ago. It is very sad, but I would not call it depressing or hopeless. There is ambiguity in those last lines:
>“My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?”
Of course one can read it ironically, as a laconic expression of the cruelty of the world, but I don't. I see it as remarkably defiant and hopeful affirmation, one that can be taken in as different senses as a Nietzschean and a Christian.

>>15746584
Novella, about 80 pages if I recall correctly. Worth a read, but very sentimental.
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I've read most of the books mentioned on the thread, and yes, I was affected by them, but I just can't pick one, so I'll name a few less often cited.

>Jude the Obscure
The perfect word to describe it would be gray. From Jude's circumstances and his sad fate to little Father time and the baby. Jesus. That was bleak.

>Germinal
Probably Zola being slightly melodramatic but the ending is so emotional it gets me every time.

>The Emigrants
It's sad (every character is a suicide iirc) but in a charming way.

>Steps
It's style make its a lot weirder than it really is, but I don't recall a single happy vignette.

>Black Rain
Hiroshima (or perhaps Nagasaki) and why I'm not a fan of the 2 nukes were not enough meme.

>Gears + A fool's life
Akutagawa's suicide note told in vignettes and a short story about a man completely losing it.

Honorary mentions
>Buddenbrooks, House of the Dead, The Miner (bit melodramatic even for Soseki), Grave of the Fireflies (the movie is the same), All quiet in the Eastern Front, Darkness at Noon, Darkness in Summer, The Plague, Bartleby, Cancer Ward
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>>15743123
I agree with Journey to the End of the Nigh
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>>15742900
Basically everything by Mishima
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>>15743608
Stoner is pretty depressing alright. I've seen discussions about it where people describe it as life affirming, or the "celebration of an average life", but it struck me as the story of a man who simply never takes the risks necessary to make his life better, or to make his mark in a real way upon the world. It's a cautionary tale against inaction and lack of will.
>>
bump
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>>15742900
No longer human
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>>15747480
But Stoner himself was never depressed about his life, he never succumbed to the miseries that happened to him. He found small happinesses that were enough to keep him going.
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What are some books from which you will emerge stronger and not just more depressed?
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>>15742900
Canticle of Leibowitz
Particularly toward the end
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>>
>>15742900
2012 UN demographic projections, which have been spot on so far.

Africa passed one billion people in 2015 but will be more populous than Asia by 2100. Many African nations have median ages in the teens. Even with dropping birth rates, population is exploding. They cited Mali, which had over 10% GDP growth, but saw per capital income sink because population growth was even higher, which then led to a civil war.

Around 2080, France, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands will become majority non-European. Around the 2110s they will become plurality African descendants.

The diaspora will be huge, 300 million+ and push towards East Asia and the Americas, although Europe is closest. Extreme population growth mixed with the least stable states on the globe, mixed with the most vulnerability to climate change, will absolutely ravage the continent.

One should recall that the Second Congo War was by far and away the deadliest war since WWII, 10 Syria's in less time, due to how fragile the systems are.

We seemed due to a dystopian nightmare as cultures are dislocated in a see of migration from our least developed areas, while catastrophe seems inevitable.

I can't see liberal democracies surviving that sea change.
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>>15748756
>Around 2080, France, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands will become majority non-European.
Good.
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>>15745690
> it was sold to me as dystopian sci fi, when i found those elements to be almost entirely unimportant.
Worked in an exactly opposite way for me. While it's no news that government can do whatever they want to you and you will provide zero resistance, this book made me feel that on an absolutely visceral level. Protagonist failing her relationships was pretty benign compared to that.
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>>15742995
This
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>>15748779
nigger
>I can't see liberal democracies surviving that sea change.
Good.
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>>15745938
shut the fuck up zoomer
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>>15748756
>One should recall that the Second Congo War was by far and away the deadliest war since WWII, 10 Syria's in less time, due to how fragile the systems are.
Surely, and it was barely noticed outside the Africa.
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>>15748581
But he also brought others down with him through his inaction. Look at his daughter, for example. She becomes an alcoholic from being manipulated and abused by her mother as a child. Stoner's attitude towards this is to shrug and do nothing, even though it is obvious that he loves his child. He takes the easy option instead of fighting for his child. And even on the point of him just taking small happinesses where he could: he didn't need to live a life where this was the case. At various points he has the opportunity to take a risk and try to actually make something of his life and open the doors to real happiness and fulfilment, but he just avoids the difficult option and takes the easy one. He could have fought to be the head of his literature department at the University, and he probably would have got it, but he doesn't try. He could have absconded with his lover and left his dull life behind, but he decides in advance that it would fail without thinking any further. The only point in the story where he shows mettle is hen he challenges the authority of the head of his department, and even then, it is in such a small and insignificant way that it only accentuates how he himself has actually lost in the grand scheme of things. Stoner's contentment is exactly why it is depressing, because he could have done so much more, but he never wanted to actually try.
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>>15742900
The Bible
>Holy shit people actually think that this shit is real
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>>15748683
I can't think of a single Hemingway novel or short story without a depressing undertone.
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>>15749642
Big Two-Hearted River?
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>>15748588
The Prince
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I was trying to think of a book, but all I could picture in my head is how inexplicably awful I felt after watching Eraserhead. That shit was truly soul-gutting.
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Anybody say the stranger yet?
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>>15742976
>The Elementary Particles
Fuuck
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>>15742976
Yeah

>>15742990
Maybe it was just the translation but I thought it was kind of funny in a way.
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Tartar Steppe
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We Children of Zoo Station
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>>15750291
>when you relate to some of his indifferences
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>>15742900
This atm. Never lacked the motivation to pick up a book like this. I'm snailing through it. He's right and I have had these thoughts for years but he's descibing them in such a pinpoint way. I have to enjoy my life even if it's pointless or I would lay down and give up. At the end of the day no one knows why this is happening. I can't claim to.
>>
Gonna be using this thread as a rec list. who /sad/ here?
>>15742990
I can't actually read it in one go, the depression inducement is just too potent. After something hits me particularly hard I have to put it down for a few weeks. I've read it 3 times now and still feel pain.
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>>15742900
Unironically Where the Red Fern Grows
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>>15750595
>I have to enjoy my life even if it's pointless
then stop reading this book or otherwise it will destroy you.
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>>15750393
My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.
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I read most of the Mark Twain in childhood, and that was the book which impacted me the most.
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>>15748756
>Around 2080, France, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands will become majority non-European. Around the 2110s they will become plurality African descendants.

There will be civil wars before this happens
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>>15745431
The roughest part of that book is Philip K. Dick listing all the friends and acquaintances he'd known who had died or suffered permanent damage due to drugs... and then his own name appears in the list
His political views were a bit of a crazy mess in places but it's sad what he had to experience
>>
Weirdly I find a lot of David Mitchell's books pretty depressing, though I don't think it's intended. Something about the sweeping cross-generational scope of most of his works and how pointless each individuals' actions seem as they're swept along by the undertow of history and the overwhelming power of the evil in the world makes me feel so disappointed with life itself it's hard to justify bearing it. I've got to at least outlive the people I care about though because I don't want to upset them.
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How depressing is Fritz Zorn's Mars?
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>>15751391
The Zappfe quote he seems to care about the most, "most people learn to survive by limiting the content of their consciousness", I can't do that to myself. I'm not an anti-natalist but I understand why he feels that way. Simultaneously he speaks in an unequivocal way about so much that is unknowable. I'm conflicted but conflict is better than the apathy of ignorance.
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>>15743064
Link, i need this.
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>>15745448
same
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>>15742900
Confessions of a Mask
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bump
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Can't believe nobody said Lolita, shit's so depressing.
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>>15742900
What is the name for the aesthetic of OP's picture?
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>>15750348
Based, Tartar Steppe also gets my vote. When I read it, I enjoyed it greatly, although I did not reflect upon it at that time. But now that I read Opposing Shore by Gracq, quite similar, it comes to my mind again and again. I need to reread it. Also, while depressing, I think it is also liberating to some degree.
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>>15755728
What did you think of The Opposing shore? Reading it at the moment myself
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>>15742995
his diary desu
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Book of Disquiet.
The only book that is too real and i had to put down. I swear i would have topped myself if i continued reading it.
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>>15750348
I read this long ago and it really left a big impression on me. I was in my early twenties, I think I should read it again now.
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>>15755793
Fantastic atmosphere, very vivid. While reading, I felt I could trace every step of Aldo. The imagery was great. But I had a bit of trouble with the convoluted prose, English is a second language for me and a lot of the terms Gracq uses were new to me. Nevertheless, I was very engaged by the plot, and by the fate of the characters. I think it is in a sense a twin to Tartar Steppe, but also it's counterpart - both novels are, in my opinion, about men grappling with their fate. But while Drogo waits for his fate's arrival, Aldo more actively pursues it.
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>>15742990
>rich
>get's pussy all the time
>great artsitic habilities

oh yeah sucks to be alive am I right?
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>>15751391
Will it push me over the edge?
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>>15755847
>But I had a bit of trouble with the convoluted prose, English is a second language for me and a lot of the terms Gracq uses were new to me
Yeah it's a translation from the French, so that might be part of it. I'm finding the sentence construction rather convoluted at times as well, even if I quite like the effect it creates. I'm not sure if it's an attempt by the translator to preserve the cadence of the original language, or if it is just as convoluted in French as well
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>>15746159
>>15746541
>>15749163
Everyone, EVERYONE knows that audiobook is the way to go for Sot-Weed Factor. Step out of line again and I will kick your teeth in you fucking niggers.
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>>15755692
Some sort of noir?
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>>15756538
Gracq was praised for his "refined vocabulary" and "elegant style", so I suspect it is just as convoluted in French. Can't blame him to be quite honest, since this was the standard at the time. Still, great book.
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>>15756639
Ah that makes sense so. Yeah I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes. I'll probably read the Tartar Steppe after
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>>15756838
do that anon, you'll see what I mean about the similarities. I also recommend more of Buzzati, his short stores are so damn good.
>>
A Scanner Darkly
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>>15751731
Not that depressing. Stuck me as a Swiss version of Houellebecq. The Swiss lifestyle and class structure just doesn't really impact me quite like how Houellebecq paints a lot of the French social classes.
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>>15742900
>>
Mars by Fritz Zorn
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The Book of Disquiet is dangerous for sub 130IQ, Unironically
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The Rings of Saturn, depressing as hell but in an oddly beautiful way
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>>15757089
This looks interesting. Why is it so depressing?
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I need a book with this feeling. Pic related.
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>>15757339
I want to get out of this feeling of4chan, books for this feeling?
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>>15757344
Reddit
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>>15747317
>>15756970
Based
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>>15743594
This is uncompromising but I thought it had a rather hopeful ending
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>>15757368
Reddit is also filled with retards, anon. I want to leave the internet in general. If it is all retards I would rather stick with the ones next to me.
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>>15742900
Jude the Obscure
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>>15757431
Same. I regret wasting so much time here
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>>15742900
20 century /lit/ is pure pessimism, I have to go back to the romantics to cheer me up
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>>15757339
every Russian book in existence
>>
Return of the Native; Sanin; The Bell Jar
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>>15742900
I DON"T WANT TO BE WHITE ANYMORE REEEEEEEEEEE
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>>15757524
I can read Russian natively but I hate my language. Russian books in English even worth reading?
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>>15757339
It remembers me a section of Narcissus and Goldmund
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>>15757316
Most of what the narrator's discussing comes across initially as bizarre, random facts completely unrelated to each other, but by about halfway through the book you realize he's connecting them all through a certain feeling they evoke. He's clearly got something stuck in his mind that he can't or won't come to terms with directly, so the little factual vignettes are a way for him to circle around it and feel it out indirectly.
One of the most unique books I've ever read, it didn't come right to mind as sad for this thread because like the other anon said there's something quite beautiful about it that typically outshines the sadness.
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>>15755886
Absolutely filtered. The book wouldn’t work as well if his outer life was as bad as his inner life. That contrast is a big part of the book
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>>15756853
>his short stores are so damn good
Definitely.
We had to read one of his short stories book when I was in high school like 20 years ago and I liked the book so much that I actually did not return my copy and I still have it.
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>>15742900
Sugar Street, by Nagib Mafhouz
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Grendel by John Gardner

It's a retelling of the book Beowulf but from Grendel's perspective. The book is ultra pessimism. I read it during a bad time in my life and it swallowed me whole.

The thing that got me was the inescapable constrains of life, the limitations of the self, and the perceptions of others.

It took years to detach myself from that book's thinking.
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>>15742990
>has sex
Absolutely dropped
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>>15758785
based. I read Tartar Steppe a few years ago and only recently got more into Buzzati's work. If someone would ask me now, I would name him as my favourite author.
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>>15759166
The short stories book I have is "The K".
That's in French, not sure what it is in English, but all the stories in it are great.
>>
bump
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>>15742965
Is Metamorphosis a very straightforward metaphor of disability? Man provides for family - he gets disabled - family slowly starts to hate him - he dies.
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>>15742900
The Nausea
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surfing this website is far more depressing than any book I've ever read
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No book is as depressing as scrolling through the catalog
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>>15761099
which one?
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>>15743030
Need the link to this interview, can't find it.
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>>15761134
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>>15748756
You should read The Limits to Growth, or at least the Wiki.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth
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>>15742965
Yeah, The Metamorphosis hit a little too close to home for me. I stopped reading Kafka after that.
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>>15748655
I just finished reading this last night. it was really good, though part 3 was weaker than the rest i thought, but holy shit I feel like there's been a cloud hanging over me since I finished. its a real punch to the gut
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>>15745598
I need to reread Sutree. It was my last book my Cormac that I read so coming off his other works I thought this was a little boring by contrast.
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Most Depressing = Jude the Obscure
Favorite depressing? Last Exit to Brooklyn
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Brave new world by huxley
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>>15742900
Neuropath.

Fucked me hard. Bakker is a bit of a meme for his fantasy, but Neuropath is amazingly written, and desperately depressing and terrifying.
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>>15743059
Stoner was rough. Amazing though
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>>15743029
Stoner tore me up inside. big rec to anyone on the fence.
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>>15760817
It wasnt depressing at all
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>>15742976
Yep
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bump
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>>15761290
Doesn't this mean that elites will start significantly reducing either world population or at least life quality?
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Irre - Goetz
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>>15742900
Candide

It just goes downhill and never stops
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A Canticle of Leibowitz was just soul crushing, though I still absolutely loved it. its great at drawing you in and being funny and making you comfortable, then turning around and just fucking slapping in you in the face
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>>15742900
Bump
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>>15742900
Cityfags wish they could see stars.
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Reading Das Kapital made me feel pretty depressed
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>>15742976
>Humor won’t save you; it doesn’t really do anything at all. You can look at life ironically for years, maybe decades; there are people who seem to go through most of their lives seeing the funny side, but in the end, life always breaks your heart. Doesn’t matter how brave you are, or how reserved, or how much you’ve developed a sense of humor, you still end up with your heart broken. That’s when you stop laughing. In the end there’s just the cold, the silence and the loneliness. In the end there’s only death.

love this book...ahaa!
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>>15768654
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No one read the good soldier? Kinda sad
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>>15748588
Anna Karenina
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>>15742990
just finished reading it. dont wanna sound like an edgelord, but it wasnt too bad. it started off bad, but then it was drink drink drink, pussy pussy pussy
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>>15765678
Why do you think abortion and birth control pills are now inalienable human rights, anon?
Buckle up.
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>>15742900
Martin Eden
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>>15742990
i didn't feel it. he never reflects on anything, it's always just i feels so bad. the moment he went for suicide because he was out of money i lost all my sympathy and it was hard to finish. i usually like things from japan, but this is bug depression.
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>>15745237
Well, it was just a very bad time, the wild west. We dont have to go through it, we dont live in egypt, so no reason to be sad.
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>>15742900
Pat Buchanan- Death of the West



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