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Books that make you cry

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Being the emotional reader that I am I have to admit to being reduced to tears at the end of a book on numerous occassions. Last year both when I finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck I was totally inconsolable for a while. I was only glad that when I finished both books it was early in the morning, one of my favourite reading times, and RG was at work on both occasssions! With both books I had become so involved with the stories and characters that when I finished them I felt as if I had abandoned the characters and left them to their fates.


The book I probably cried at the most was Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I read it in my later teens just before the film was revived so had no idea of the ending of the book. When I did finish it I was totally outraged and howled for hours much to the amusement of my parets and younger brother!

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I also cry, or at least get misty-eyed, over lots of books. One that I can especially remember actually sobbing over was Sophie's Choice by William Styron. I could never read that one again.

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Thought long and hard and so many books have made me cry.

A few books I remember have literally made me cry with laughing.Terry Pratchett - The Colour of Magic(one sentence) and Tom Sharpe, George MacDonald Fraser...

So many films I have cried.Romeo and Juliet, Lassie Come Home, How Green Was My Valley,Elephant Man ET, Pride and Prejudice, Love Story, The Champ

Edited by Clavain
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some have that come to mind are:


we were the mulvaneys - joyce carol oates

animal farm - george orwell

lean on pete - willy vlautin

alone in berlin - hans fallada

a girl is a half formed thing - eimear mcbride

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Gave this a lot of thought and could only come up with a couple that I can specifically recall.  Many moons ago, about 30-odd years I think, I read "Sayonara" by James A. Michener, and, for reasons I simply cannot remember now, found myself in tears at the end.  So that's one.


Another, more recent, instance was David Nicholls' "One Day".  Blithely reading along one afternoon, when out of nowhere came the central female character's death.  It was the description of the last two thoughts that ran through her mind before she passed away that got me, and I do believe that I actually exclaimed NO!!!! when it happened.  I was swiftly brought back to Planet Earth by CP who proceeded to admonish me for ruining it for her, as she had not yet read it and now knew that something terrible happened.  C'est la vie.

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  • 1 year later...

I have cried a few times because of books! These are the ones I can remember:


1984 - George Orwell

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly - Sun-Mi Hwang (this one made me sob)

Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime - Mark Haddon

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I can only remember actually crying during two books; This is Water by David Foster Wallace, which was mostly because of his recent suicide; and reading The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to my kids, where there were times it took a really long time to finish a section because I kept breaking down.

But I get choked up a lot! Most recently while reading Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller, and Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

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If I know that the book involves an animal dying I simply don't read it, sometimes it sneaks up on me as I don't expect it and it spoils the whole book for me.

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If I know that the book involves an animal dying I simply don't read it, sometimes it sneaks up on me as I don't expect it and it spoils the whole book for me.

While I was reading the Aubrey-Maturin novels, momac, I skipped the descriptions of whaling and seal 'harvesting', not least because of O'Brian's powerful talent for description.  I agree that to come across it accidentally - well, I stop reading just before I get there.

Which reminds me of

"Fuzzy Nation" by John Scalzi,

which was recommended to me by Grasshopper. I was really, really reluctant to read it and spent most of my time hating to turn the pages. Yes, there was a very sad moment, but the  big sad moment didn't come. When I finished I realised I would have enjoyed it much more if I already knew the ending! Of course, I should have thought ... Grasshopper wouldn't have recommended it otherwise.

Edited by Ting Mikyunyu
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I don't mind if a book makes me cry I find it quite cathartic in that Greek tragedy way but it also demonstrates the power of the writing. As long as it's not just mawkish deliberate stuff like TV does with melodramas. As for the books that have made me cry .....


The Book Thief

Grapes of Wrath


are the only fiction ones I can remember right now but I'm sure there are more.


Non fiction list would be a lot longer but would include


The Holocaust by Martin Gilbert - a detailed history of the horror

and most other memoirs about the Holocaust. 

Latifa - My Forbidden Face

Wild Swans - Jung Chang - the bit about the cultural revolution filled me with such disgust that it made me cry.

I'm sure there will be many more.

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Tay I would have to agree about both The Book Thief and The Grapes of Wrath, they both made me howl! Like you I do not mind a book making me cry although I do have to be in a certain mood to tackle a book if I know that it is going to be a difficult emotional read. I never shy away from such reads I just find that I have to choose my times and be prepared for what is coming.


I have had The Railway Man on my book shelf for a while now but have not managed to bring myself to read it. RG read it some time ago and wants to see the film, we have the DVD, but as I always prefer to read the book before seeing the film I keep putting him off. I will have to either give in or just read the book soon I think!

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I spent most of The Shepherds Crown balling my eyes out, mostly because I knew it was an end to Discworld, and I couldn't handle it, at all. I really did grieve for Terry Pratchett. Quite a few of Terry Pratchett's final books have forced tears out of me. Night Watch especially caused me real pain when reading it, and I still can't read it without tears now.


The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde never fails to make me cry, as do a lot of the later Harry Potter Books, and I am dreading reading The Little Prince to my daughter because I will never be able to read that allowed without balling. The final book in His Dark Materials made me cry at the end, and I can't reread without crying all over again. There were parts of the final Left Hand of God book that also made me cry, and I am sure this is not all of them, because I am a big softy.


Brian Blessed's autobiography oddly had me pissing myself laughing and blubbering like a baby in almost equal measure.

Edited by Gryfynn
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Lots of books have made me cry:


Before I Die, Jenny Downham

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Forever, Judy Blume (when I was a young teen)

The Outsiders, S E Hinton

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin

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