Fictional books like American Psycho have never 'moved' me or affected me, because they are fiction. American Psycho was disturbing prehaps, but true life accounts of the horror and dispair that some people have actually had to endure or witness (ie. Touching the Void) are very moving IMO. I can't say that I have ever been truely moved or affected by a fictional book.
Which books(if any) have moved you...
Highly recommend The Book Thief - incredible, Time travellers wife, Papillon and Birdsong also great reads.
Cheers to ourmaninthenorth - the only one on here to mention the escape artist - I was in bits after reading it.
Another one that really got to me was GB1984 by David Peace - brought back a lot of uncomfortable memories about the miners strike.
Oh, and try 'The book of lost things' by John Connoly and 'The night country' by Stewart O'Nan.
Eeh, it's like Richard and Judy's book club on here...
I'd concurr with Betty Blue and The Grapes of Wrath, but the book I've read recently that has moved me to tears was "The Reader". The part where he meets her again at the prison.
I struggled with We Need to Talk About Kevin because my training made me wonder what the mother and father were doing or not doing but not acknowledging, that was creating such a disturbed young person. In my experience socio/psychopaths are hugely a product of their environment and faulty early attachment. I couldn't accept that this child was just born 'evil'. A good read, nonetheless.
Regarding Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones, I really hope the film that Peter Jackson is making matches the book. If it does, I think I might go to an afternoon showing where I can quietly blub without being seen, and get away with wearing dark glasses on the way out.
Film of Lovely Bones? Hmm... I foresee a new thread : "Books they never should have tried to make into films".
(By the way, what do you think of her new book Almost Moon ? I thought it was pants for the first half, and really good for the second half.)
I've read many of the books mentioned, but i would have answered "none" had i not read 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' last month. Really welled up at the end.
I couldn't accept that this child was just born 'evil'.
Mrs North has read it. I think it's the book that has really got her back into readuing in the last few years.
I disagree that humans are not inately evil. The idea that we're all born neither good nor bad, and then are entirely the subject of our environment I find impossible to accept. It assumes that there is nothing inate in us, and that we are just empty vessels into which others pour their own values, insecurities and f***-ups (which they too must have got from somewhere else, right?).
I'm not suggesting this is an original sin argument (not having a faith, I find that irrelevant), but I can't accept that we are all equally capable of brutality given a certain set of environmental factors - there must be more to a person that means that person A will turn out one way and, for the same influences, person B will turn out a different way.
OMITN, then we'll have to agree to differ. I don't dispute genetic predisposition to certain personality traits having a degree of influence, but I strongly believe in the 'nurture' side of personality development.
moving slightly OT but for tears of laughter and laughing out loud in public while reading i nominate some of the jeeves and wooster stories
Nice to see so many people share the same view as me of Grapes of Wrath. Utterly wonderful piece of writing and not a single word too many written on the last page. The perfect ending.
Birdsong was very good (kick-started my interest in the two world wars and I now read lots of factual accounts of them) but it certainly didn't move me like GoW.
Jojo...I too "struggled" with We need to talk about Kevin, and that is why I can't stop thinking about it.
At no point in the book does the mother describe herself as a good mother. In fact, if anything, she describes herself as being very coldy detached from Kevin. This to me is why it is such a good read. It is so out of the ordinary and thought provoking.
In 20 yrs of teaching I have encountered 1 boy, aged 7, who I would never be alone with in a classroom. He appreared to be pure evil; the kind of child who would push another child into a door, close it on their fingers, and then laugh. He too has a lovely younger sister!
I have to say I also struggled with Time traveller's wife, as I found it very heavy going and could only read it in small chunks! But I absolutely loved it.
On the Black Hill - Bruce Chatwin
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - ?
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
there are others but these stand out.
for me all weepers.
Great thread making a list of stuff I've not read.
Things Fall Apart really got to me. As did the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, especially after visiting Auschwitz.
mastiles_fanylion I read The grapes of Wrath over 20 years ago. I still remember getting to the last page while travelling in to poly on the number 73 and having an almost overwhelming urge to read it out to the rest of the bus. Luckily I managed to restrain myself and thus still have my liberty and don't have to spend my days looking out of the windows of some institution. Should have done it anyway, if I ever read anything like it again I will.
For whom the bell tolls
True Tales of American Life; Edited by Paul Auster.
A truly astonishing book. Frighteningly capable of cutting my dark heart open regularly through its humanity.
Sorry DrJ, not read Almost Moon yet, was a bit put off by the synopsis. Might give the library a try. Just had a look on IMDB for details on Lovely Bones, and it's in Post-production for release early 2010. I trust Jackson to film the unfilmable and do it with love and care for the story. The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarendon and Rachel Weisz, so it's a good strong cast. Knowing Jackson, the FX are going to be flawless. I'm getting in supplies of tissues now...
(edit) Susie is being played by Saoirse Ronan, who was in Atonement.(end edit)
How did I forget Richard's Bicycle Book. Probably had more effect on me than anything else.
first light by Geoff Wellum, autobiography of the youngest spitfire pilot at the start of second world war, laugh out loud one page, lump in the throat the next, even the mrs read it and loved it (we where on holiday and exhausted each others holiday book collections) and she has no interest in this genre. Also loved atonement, film didn't come near. And I'll get in the queue with the Birdsong fans, one of the few books I've read twice!
First light is superb. I thought the most moving bit about it was his realisation that at eighteen the defining moment of his entire life was behind him. That is something that must be very hard to come to terms with. The rest of us can always tell ourselves that "our finest hour" is yet to come, he has lived for nearly 70 years knowing that moment is behind him.
For all those fans of Birdsong I would recommend Pat Barkers WW1 trilogy
I'm surprised there's so much acclaim on here for "Time Traveller's Wife". I thought it was a ludicrous premise badly executed, and with a charmless protagonist who groomed a child who had little say in how her manipulated life turned out.
Just me though, eh?
"The Lovely Bones", I found wonderfully hypnotic and affecting. Her autobiographical "Lucky" even more so just because it was real and so obviously informed "Bones".
I also agree with the couple of posts above about "First Light", a superb account of unassuming bravery and the tragedy of the loss of young life. And while Wellum's finest hour may have happened early in his thankfully long life, a life is the sum of all you are and do. He's still miles ahead of most on those terms.
I recommend "The Virgin Suicides" for a shameless wallow - very moving. The film's very good with Kirsten Dunst playing Lux, but the book is so much better.
Biggles.....his "Affaire de Couer"! (Capt. W.E.Johns)
I cry my eyes out to this day!
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Gosh, yes - that must be the most unremittingly bleak book in the English language. Or any language. Hide the kitchen knives before you read it!
just finished reading The Book Thief
Didn't make me cry, but was written beautifully and in a style I wouldn't normally read. Saying that, the subject isn't the sort I'd normally read, but still, it had me glued to it, and I couldn't put it down.
Would recommend it.
Thanks for mentioning it.
Just picked up on this thread and there are some brilliant books already mentioned on here that I have read. Birdsong, Papillon, Touching the Void, Life of Pi and a few more.
One book that made me cry is called The Railway Man by Eric Lomax, it is an autobiographical account of what life was like working for the Japanese during WWII building the Burma Railway. Truly horrific!
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