What are the most depressing books?

asked by Anonymous
453 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 47

    #1Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was written by Anne Frank, published from the diary she kept when she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis in the then German-occupied Netherlands.

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  2. 40

    #2Bridge to Terabithia

    Bridge to Terabithia

    Jess and Leslie started a unique friendship. The other day, they were competing against each other. The next day, they were inseparable. Together, they created the magical world of Terabithia where imagination is their only limit.


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    Xiang Pan
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "This was the hot potato of books when I was growing up. Someone would read it, get all sad, and then pass it on to someone else saying "you'll really enjoy this book! I swear!" and then the trick would begin anew. I didn't break the chain."
  3. 39


    1984 is a dystopian novel by George Orwell that tells the story of Winston Smith, who lives under the rule of the tyrannical government ruled by the omnipresent Big Brother. It is a bleak portrayal of how society might become in the future.

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    Kathy Hawkins
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "This is not a depressing book. It's more sobering. Some of these things that they deal with can be seen as becoming more and more normal."
  1. 38

    #4Animal Farm

    Animal Farm
    Animal Farm is a short novel by George Orwell that tells the story of a farm that's taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. They set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality, but a revolution starts to show. 

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    Charles Berry
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "I would not consider Animal Farm to be a depressing book. It is an interesting story of mistreated animals overtaking a farm, setting out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality."
  2. 36

    #5Flowers for Algernon

    Flowers for Algernon
    Flowers for Algernon is a novel written by Daniel Keyes. It tells the story of Charlie, who agrees to be a human subject for an experimental brain operation, following the success of the operation on Algernon, a white mouse.

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    Lori Bates
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "Flowers for Algernon is a very sweet and sad story about a slow-witted man who allows himself to have his intelligence improved by science. It's a book that's been popular for 50 years and is still pleasing its readers. I saw the movie when I was growing up and liked it a lot."
  3. 34

    #6Of Mice and Men

    Of Mice and Men
    Of Mice and Men is a book by John Steinbeck that follows the story of George, small but smart, and Lennie, big and strong but mentally challenged, as they set off in a journey to look for a livelihood during the Great Depression.

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    Albert Weber
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is one grim and depressing novel. This book was littered with death and offers little comfort. Despite the depressing nature of the story, this is a well-written novel and a quick read."
  4. 31

    #7The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic about teenager Holden Caulfield, who was used as an icon of teenage angst and rebellion. The controversial book has caused debates, mainly because of its vulgar language and themes.


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    Devansh Banerjee
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "This is a classic book which is a must read for all, if not as adults, then as a requirement in high schools. Though it is not a fun and adventurous type book, it isn't flat out depressing as it tells the life of a teenager and growing pains. Highly recommended as it is a work of classical American fiction."
  5. 28

    #8A Thousand Splendid Suns

    A Thousand Splendid Suns

    A Thousand Splendid Suns is a contemporary fiction book written by Khaled Hosseini which tells the story of a poor and uneducated woman who needs to endure hardships in her life. 


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    Frank Kelly
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "Really sad story written by Khaled Hosseini about a poor uneducated woman facing hardships. The story has both ups and downs, and really makes for an emotional read. There are times when you want to cry, and then there are times that the book makes you smile. Really recommend to anyone."
  6. 25

    #9Thirteen Reasons Why

    Thirteen Reasons Why
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher narrates how Clay Jensen learns about the reasons why his classmate, workmate, and crush, Hannah Baker took her own life. Hannah Baker left cassette tapes so Clay and everyone involved could listen and discover why.

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    Anthony Vargas
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "Having recently read Thirteen Reasons Why about a girl who commits suicide and then leaves tapes for various people about what they did that lead to it. The main character other than the girl who committed suicide is one of the people receiving the tapes who listens to them and goes to each location she describes. A very pointed book about the consequences of people's actions and how it unfortunately ended a life. "
  7. 22

    #10Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)

    Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)

    Angela's Ashes is a book written by Frank McCourt and is the first in the Frank McCourt Series. This classic book recounts the author's survival during poverty and cruelty. It is published in 1996.


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    Sara Owens
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "A very detailed and interesting memoir. It does have depressing descriptions of the Irish poor during the 1930s and 1940s and so, in that respect it is factual. Yes it would fit in the best most depressing books category."
  8. 20

    #11Never Let Me Go

    Never Let Me Go

    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a dystopian science fiction novel published in 2005. This book tells the story of three children who are studying in an exclusive boarding school and their 'special gift'.


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    Kevin Taylor
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Never Let Me Go is written by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's a story of 3 children who attend a boarding school. "
  9. 16

    #12The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    Bruno returns home after a school day in the Berlin of 1942, when he discovers that his family should move to another house close to a tall fence where he can see strange people in the distance. Bruno discovers there a desolate place where he'll make a friendship, with devastating consequences. 


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    Harry Long
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Well, my daughter wanted me to read this and I obliged. I did it with lots of cannabis on hand. I'm not really into reading this type of book, but...hey, I can see why others would be? Or, is that the weed talking?"
  10. 14

    #13Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    Tess of the D'Urbervilles is a classic romance novel written by Thomas Hardy which centers on Tess Durbeyfield trying to claim a portion of the family fortune of the D'Urbervilles and meets her cousin Alec.


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    Nancy Porter
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Tess of D'Urbervilles is one of the most depressing books I have read in a long time. It is a romance novel written by Thomas Hardy, which revolves around Tess Durbeyfield trying to claim her family fortune. Each page I couldn't stop turning, and I couldn't put it down. Excellent read."
  11. 13

    #14My Sister's Keeper

    My Sister's Keeper

    My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult centers on Anna, who was conceived for the sole purpose of providing bone marrow for her sister Kate, who is suffering from leukemia. Anna questions her life's purpose and starts to decide on her own.


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    Joe Russell
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This sounds like it would fit the bill for a most depressing book. This is a thorny and controversial theme, and the thought of a young girl with no reason to live other than to give her bone marrow to her sister should fill any reader's soul with the sadness and ennui of life."
  12. 10

    #15Where the Red Fern Grows

    Where the Red Fern Grows

    Where the Red Fern Grows is a coming-of-age adventure novel by Wilson Rawls that tells the story of Billy and his two hounds, Old Dan and Little Ann. This is a story about dogs' loyalty and abiding love for their masters.


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    Angel Sengupta
    Written on April 26, 2018
    " Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past."
  13. 8

    #16The Lovely Bones

    The Lovely Bones
    Susie is a 14 years old girl who has the chance of seeing how life goes on after she dies: she is able to see how everyone copes with her loss, how her family still has hopes of finding her despite being already dead and how the man who raped and killed her continues his life.

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    Miguel Luna
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "The Lovely Bones is compelling and entertaining to read. I found this book to be a surprising change from the ordinary."
  14. 7

    #17Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies is classic fiction written by William Golding published first in 1954 which is about a group of English schoolboys who survived a plane crash and got stranded on an uninhabited island.


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    Gao Wei
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "Excellent read. The author truly transports the reader to the uncharted island, and the plot develop beautifully from there. Would recommend this book to anyone. "
  15. 4


    Night is the first book in Elie Wiesel's historical trilogy about the Holocaust. Night shows the worst side of humanity during World War II, when familial relationships blurred because of hunger, pain, and fear inside concentration camps.

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    Eugene Jensen
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This is a super sad and really lonely book to read. I was pretty depressed after reading this, honestly."
  16. 2

    #19The Road

    The Road
    The Road is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. It tells the story of a father and son walking through post-apocalyptic America to reach the coast. This is an ultimate story of survival in a desolate world.

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    Tyler Gonzalez
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "I ecourage people to try reading the book, its soo amazing."


Best What are the most depressing books
1Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young GirlBooks 47 Paid
2Bridge to TerabithiaBooks 40 Paid
31984Books 39 Paid
4Animal FarmBooks 38 Paid
5Flowers for AlgernonBooks 36 Paid
6Of Mice and MenBooks 34 Paid
7The Catcher in the RyeBooks 31 Paid
8A Thousand Splendid SunsBooks 28 Paid
9Thirteen Reasons WhyBooks 25 Paid
10Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)Books 22 Paid

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