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The saddest book I’ve ever read was The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
It was a dystopian horror tale about a man who was trying to keep his young son alive in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth in which every plant and animal they found had died.
The writing itself was decent, but there were so many awful things that happened during the course of the plot that I really struggled to finish it.
If you decide to read it, I strongly recommend reading some spoiler-y reviews first or asking someone who has already read it to warn you in advance about certain scenes. Some of them were pretty disturbing, and that’s coming from someone who read horror for years.
I don’t read books like this one anymore. My tastes have since shifted to require more hope in plots and endings, but kudos to those of you who enjoy this type of horror.
I have read The Road with my book club and while I totally agree that it is really sad and horrific, I believe everyone should read it because they might be inclined to do more for our environment. These books are there to wake us up before it is too late.
Very true! I hadn’t thought of that.
I’ve seen this book on many lists and we considered it, but passed for now, at book club. Hmm… I want to read for pleasure, not for sadness, though. You know? Still, might have to check it out.
I hope you like it if you read it.
I had definitely seen a few spolier-ific reviews of the movie version — and those were enough to warn me off both book and movie. Nah, I don’t want to read too much apocalyptic stuff — not after Contagion and the pandemic.
No worries there. 🙂
I generally avoid sad/depressing books (though I enjoy both horror and certain kinds of post-apocalyptic things), so I’ve always been torn about whether or not to read The Road. So far, the answer has been “not”…
If you’re hesitating, passing on it is probably the the best idea. 🙂
I’ll have to check this one out. I generally like horror.
I know what you mean. I really appreciate hope in my books right now more than ever, and that’s regardless of what genre it is.
I’ve been meaning to try a Cormac McCarthy, but I’m not sure I can do hopeless at the moment.
The Road doesn’t sound like one I’d enjoy. Thanks for the warning 🙂
That’s not one I’ve tried, though I’ve heard it’s very bleak. My saddest book would be “Flowers for Algeron”.