Sad books

The word "lap" was in one of the stories on the kids' test last week, describing what a cat does to milk. Two of the 5 teachers in my unit did not know what it meant. When I expressed my incredulity that this could be so, they accused me of having a large vocabulary, and of being a bookworm. (Um, hello, that's where I GOT my large vocabulary.) This led to the discussion of Frank McCourt's book about being a teacher. (Is it Frank's book, or the brother's? I don't remember now.) Cindi asked if I'd read Angela's Ashes and I proclaimed it a horrid book. Cindi was stunned. When I went on to say that it was so depressing, she said, "Well, yeah, but it was a good book." Yeah, I guess, in that it had the power to depress me for weeks! I can't even look at the cover without a form of PTSD ;) I cannot read books like that, and when I asked her why she could, she said it made her feel better about her own life.

Yeah, well, not me. I avoid sad books and sad movies because I have a hard enough time being cheerful, ya know? I remember the second Gabaldon book, the Dragonfly one, about did me in. I am probably the only person I know who has no desire to see Brokeback Mountain.

I know I'm missing a lot with this attitude, but I have to protect myself. And that's why I read romance. There's always hope at the end.

Okay, so I didn't love the end of this movie, but I pretend it didn't happen. Remember the episode of Friends where Phoebe learned she hadn't seen all the ends of sad movies?

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MicheleKS said...

Mary, I am in complete agreement with you. I've had some pretty sad moments in my life and because of that I do NOT want to relive them in my fiction (books/movies/tv). Some sad/depressing things work for me because of their emotional power but for most part, I avoid the sad stuff like a bad disease.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of happy endings too.

Toni Anderson said...

Totally agree--I love my happy endings and Angela's Ashes, while it is a good book, isn't what I choose for my entertainment. I think that is one of the problems in the UK--good romances are hard to find and still frowned upon. Stupid.

Million Dollar Baby was pretty depressing too!!

Stacy Dawn said...

I am a total happy ending person. If someone let's it slip that people die at the end, I don't watch that movie. If a movie I am watching kills the main people at the end, I come out of it so depressed and dejected. (Ones that come to mind every time are City of Angels and Message in a Bottle). Books and movies I still feel should be for entertainment, to make you happy and have fun. Sad books are definately no fun.

Tracy Montoya said...

Hear, hear, Mary. I personally think the scriptwriters for Million Dollar Baby, Traffic, and 21 Grams should be in therapy and not inflicting their horrible messes on us. I have my own form of PTSD with those films! Didn't read Angela's Ashes, but now I won't! (And Dragonfly in Amber wasn't so bad for me, because I didn't start reading the books until Voyager was already out in paperback, so I knew there was more....)

Trish Milburn said...

For the most part, I enjoy the happy endings too. That's why there are hundreds of romance novels stacked in my office. I do enjoy movies without the HEA sometimes though. For instance, I really liked Million Dollar Baby, though it made me cry. Same with Brokeback Mountain. I've always been a fan of movies, even fantasized about being in them, and like lots of different kinds, except horror.

Dee Tenorio said...

Hey Mary, if it's any consolation, I hate the end of TR2 as well. (But that also has a lot to do with Gerard Butler and my undying fixation on him, lol...dammit, I have to rent Timeline again!) Also, not so much as a whisper of interest in Brokeback Mountain. I'm afraid I'd giggle my rump off because the title is poorly chosen. LOL!

I love the happy endings. I understand sometimes there can't be one, but I never refer to those stories as romances or heart warming. And they never make me feel better about my life. :)

Viva el Fin Bueno!

Anonymous said...

I always say, "Why would I pay to see sadness on screen when I can see it for free any day of the week?" But my daughter is totally different, she is like your friend, Mar...she sees sad endings and feels better about her own life. We all have our ways. I like HEA. :)


MJFredrick said...

Ya know, I shouldn't be surprised about Cindi. She likes sad movies. She was the one who gave me Out of Africa (which I love anyway), Untamed Heart and....I can't remember the other one. She loved Million Dollar Baby. Another movie I have no desire to see.

Stacy, no one had told me about City of Angels and Message in a Bottle, and was I mad! What a waste of time!

Dee, LOL! There is an alternate ending to TR2. He still dies, but he's a good guy through the whole movie. I usually quit watching after the love scene, though ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't mind a sad book and I loved Angela's Ashes. BUT I hate novels or movies billed as romances where one of the main characters dies in the end. And I especially hate it when it seems like the author does it simply to make the reader cry adn for no other reason: Message in a Bottle, City of Angels.
I went to StepMom on Christmas the year it was released because all the previews made me laugh and I love Ed Harris. I needed an entire BOX of Kleenex afterwards. I was so angry! I've heard The Family Stone is the same way.

Shesawriter said...

I don't read sad books. I get enough sadness in the nightly news. Most, if not all of the books I buy have HEA endings.


MJFredrick said...

Noooo, not The Family Stone!! Dermot!!!

I refused to watch Stepmom. There are some others - I turn off Gone with the Wind before Bonnie dies. Hey, maybe I am Phoebe!

I literally cringed all through Angela's Ashes - it was just so hopeless. I only read it because it was Irish.

Trish Milburn said...

Yeah, one of my critique partners saw The Family Stone and said it's nothing like all those funny clips you see on the previews.

MJFredrick said...

Okay, The Family Stone is coming OFF my queue! Rats, and I had such high hopes. Sarah Jessica AND Dermot!


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