Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Saw a Monster

I really did. It appeared to me the other day. I know it was a monster because it made me cry. Nothing real makes me cry. I'm a grown man. I read a lot of books and some of them are sad. Sometimes they tug at my heart strings, maybe if it's a really good book or movie I let a tear escape. But the last time I really cried? Before the other day, it had been years, perhaps decades.

Do you like to read books that make you sad? I do. It is strange to think of liking something sad. It seems a little backwards. The way I think of it is if a book makes me feel so strongly it must be well done. It is that way with other arts; a painting, a song, or a dance can evoke intense emotions. Yet they rarely make me cry.

A Monster Calls

I read the book A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I thought it would be about a monster. It was, but it was also about humans and cancer and loved ones. It is a short book, a book for kids (though I can't imagine a kid reading it). I read it in a night. Then I cried and I couldn't sleep after. I felt sad thinking of all close people I have lost in recent years to cancer. Then I felt relief. And for several days I see my son, I see my wife, I see my mom and my friends and I am so grateful to have them all in my life. It's miraculous that a book can do that. It's a book so sad that it makes me happy, how weird is that?


Jackie said...

I have sobbed uncontrollably for books before. It is way less embarrassing than crying for movies.

Cheryl said...

There you adult librarians go lumping all ages of kids together :) A Monster Calls is aimed at readers in grades 7 and up and is shelved in the young adult area not the juvenile fiction section of the library.

You say you can't imagine a kid reading it but I'm sure that there are young teen readers who are in a similar scenario and are looking for a book where the main character is facing the same fears.

As someone whose mom died of cancer, this book was extremely powerful and affecting. My advice to anyone who has been in the same situation is to read it. It's hard but this book, as sad as it is, is so beautiful and I found it life affirming. I will only read it once but I'm glad that I did.

[And unlike you David, I read it in the office so my sobbing breakdown was a little too public for me. It's hard going around the rest of the day with red puffy eyes!]

Linda K. said...

I have problems with sad books. I'm one of those who have to ask "does the dog die?" before reading a book about a dog (or cat) because I hate to cry while reading. It gets the pages all soggy. (I wonder what it would do to my Nook?)

HeatherI said...

Hi, a little late to the party but I read this blog, got the book and just finished last night. This book was beautiful. I very rarely cry over about "fiction" but i defy anyone to read this and not.

Linda I understand what your saying re: the dogs. I'm like that with kids, these days. At a certain point I chose to stop reading mysteries that begin with the death or abduction of a child (and there are lots of them). It's just a fear that's too close to home for me. I literally was reading a book that made me so sad and uncomfortable, I asked myself "why and I choosing to do this to myself and bailed. I read the Lovely Bones before I had kids and enjoyed (if that's the word) it. Post-kids, I could not bring myself to watch the movie (-:

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