Books causing strong emotional reactions

Discussion in 'General Books' started by Firiath, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Just a few moments ago I found a Tumblr post saying Reblog if you've ever yelled at a book, and someone wondered "Are there people who don’t reblog this?"
    I myself have never yelled at a book, but some books I've read did lead to rather strong emotional reactions. But I'm wondering... Which books have managed to make you yell, or cry, or react in any other emotional way?

    I think ASoIaF will be mentioned a lot in here. While reading book 3 I had to pause several times, uttering things like "Oh no..." or "WHAT THE F-" - but it never made me throw the book away or anything else.

    The only book that has ever made me cry, however, is probably something you would never expect. I cried at the end of Karen Traviss' novel Aspho Fields, a book about Gears of War, which most people know as a brutal, manly, and mostly unemotional video game series. The only explanation I have is that Traviss is simply an amazing writer. :p

    So, what about you?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I've wanted to shout at Fitz in the Farseer books by Robin Hobb - he makes some outright really bad choices and you just want to smack him and get him to see sense and make the "right" choice ;)

    A Song of Ice and Fire and Malazan Book of the Fallen both also give me that "stop start" chapter effect where you have to just pause and go "WOW" between chapters at times as you digest the sudden massive events that just took place or the death that stuck down a loved character!
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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  4. CheshireGrin

    CheshireGrin Active Member

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    The strongest reaction I've ever had while reading a book was when I read Dweller by Jeff Strand. I turned into a total baby and cried like crazy. It's far more horror than fantasy, but no other book has made me have a reaction like that one. I don't know if other people would necessarily have as strong of a reaction to it, but it just really got to me.
    And I absolutely agree with you guys about ASOIAF. George RR Martin is a master at making you have to stop and take a few seconds to process what the heck just happened. lol It's one of the reasons I love his writing so much. :)
     
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  5. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Another interesting question would be when you read these books, whether you read them in certain stages of your life that made you prone to (if that's the right words) these reactions - or whether it was just the writing style that affected you. I'm thinking that if I had read more books in my teenage years, I could probably add a bit more to this thread. :p

    anonymous - Wikipedia says about The Brothers Lionhearth: "Many of its themes are unusually dark and heavy for the children's book genre. Disease, death, tyranny, betrayal and rebellion are some of the dark themes that permeate the story. The lighter themes of the book involve platonic love, loyalty, hope, courage and pacifism."
    Did you read it as a child? Because now I wish I had. :D A book that makes you wonder about life sounds amazing!
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    The more experienced and well read you are the less an author can "surprise" you with things; however on that same token the more you can start to perceive the possible direction and the eventual events that might unfold - so the emotional relationship changes, but if its a well written book that connection is still there.

    I find that emotional attachment is more a matter of readability and style of writing; if the style and nature of the story is too child-like I find that its hard to read and associate with the story itself - which is why some young-adult books I feel have to be read when you're younger (and then re-read when you're older); whilst trying to read when you're older can make the story feel a touch hollow.
     
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid... The Diary of Anne Frank was an emotional read. Not so much for what she had committed to paper, but knowing as she wrote it her time was running out. The other book I recall from my childhood was To Kill a Mockingbird. That might have been the first book wherein I grew up a bit just from the reading of it.
    Of books I've read in the last ten years it's a story meant for Young Adults, of all things, that got me a little emotional and nostalgic. It was As Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway. It's a coming-of-age mystery story as told by the boy, and in the 'unreliable narrator' style... so the poor kid is very naive about girls and love, and how certain memories don't let us alone or move on with our life. A very bitter sweet tale.
     
  8. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    Yes I did :) It holds a special place in my palace of books :p I suggest you all to read it even as adults, it is still a wonderful book!
     
  9. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    Not a book, but a short story: "El niño proletario" by Osvaldo Lamborghini. I cried reading it, I cried of terror, sadness and pain. I had to read it for a class at the uni and if it wasn't for that I would have never finished it. The story was just so cruel that I couldn't handle it. Never before had I experienced a reaction that strong.
     
  10. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I'm a pile of mush over many stories (I know, you'd never guess, right? :D) but one that really got to me was a child's story called The Velveteen Rabbit.
    I read it when I was little and then again to both of my kids. It's such a wonderful coming of age story, all about growing up and leaving childhood behind. The coming of age metaphor is exquisitely bittersweet. At first it seems as if childhood experiences will be forgotten and devalued in the exciting new adventures of growing beyond them. This part of the story always makes me cry. In the end they aren't though, they are saved and cherished in another way.
    Maybe others wouldn't get the same metaphor out of this story but to me it's also highly personal. My daughter never bonded to any particular toy or blanket as a baby but my son did. "Brown Bear" went everywhere with us. Seriously, we have pictures of Brown Bear wearing a life jacket in the canoe at my in-laws cottage...lol. My son is now 11 and though Brown Bear still hangs out in his room, he doesn't make public appearances any longer. I can't help but be reminded of The Velveteen Rabbit every time I see that bear. :)