to wonder who on earth reads these books? And why??

(184 Posts)

I forget the snappy term for them but I'm referring to all the books about child abuse. Titles like "No Daddy No" and the like. I can understand that if you have suffered abuse it could be cathartic to write about it but I really don't understand why anyone would want to read it.

I may be a bit unreasonable as I have never read one of these books - have I missed something?

MrsKeithRichards Sun 27-Jan-13 18:17:36

Misery Memoirs?

I've read a few, can't say I've enjoyed them.

Celticlassie Sun 27-Jan-13 18:17:44

I don't understand it either - why read about someone else's miserable life? I don't think they're at all well written either.

DomesticCEO Sun 27-Jan-13 18:18:54

Misery Lit - dreadful sad

CheCazzo Sun 27-Jan-13 18:19:05

Never understood this. Anyway - the ones that came after the original few aren't even true - typical bandwaggoning such as seen as 50 Shades of Shite. But why would you put yourself through this? Must be a certain type of person - but I've never met one.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 27-Jan-13 18:19:27

YANBU at all. Misery Lit is vile beyond words.

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 18:19:55

misery porn

i agree with you OP. the shelves in asda book aisle are filled with stuff like this.

i have read a few of these type of books in the past and felt really uncomfortable throughout each of them. i do understand that it is a therapy for the victims but i just dont understand what people get out of reading them. maybe people have a curiousity about it? i dont know, my mum reads alot of them and keep trying to pass them onto me but i refuse. i just dont want to be that uncomfortable when trying to read.

BeanJuice Sun 27-Jan-13 18:20:00

I do think it seems a bit of a horrible attraction - there are big sections of them in some bookshops and it's a bit distressing.

BambieO Sun 27-Jan-13 18:20:03

I have to admit I have read a few. I read the because I am lucky enough to have led a very lovely probably slightly sheltered life and I find it opens my eyes to the horrific lives some people have had to endure.

It does make me grateful for my own family but I don't read them to think 'oh aren't I lucky' it's more of an education for me I suppose

Llanbobl Sun 27-Jan-13 18:21:39

Misery memoirs or something similar I think they are. Can maybe understand why you'd want to write stuff down f you've been neglected/abused as it could be cathartic effect (generalisation) but it sure why others would read it - smacks of voyeurism. YANBU

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 18:21:55

i actually became quite depressed during the time i was reading that stuff. not a good place for your head to be, especially when it isn't even your own trauma.

BambieO Sun 27-Jan-13 18:22:09

Ps I don't ever buy them just seem to be given them. I do find them upsetting I suppose I shouldn't read them but I do think it does give an insight into behaviour

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 27-Jan-13 18:22:21

It all started with A Child Called It didn't it? Massively popular a few years back.

Not me - but the girls in my Yr 11 form like them (my daughters have more taste!).

We play a game with the dds whereby we pick a letter and whoever can think of the best potential misery-lit title beginning with that letter gets a point.

VBisme Sun 27-Jan-13 18:23:06

I totally agree, I think they are horrible.

HollyBerryBush Sun 27-Jan-13 18:24:23

A Boy Call It - drivel - and fantasy if his siblings recants are to be believed - but hey! it made David Pelzer a fortune at the expense of his family.

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 18:24:23

yes alis that's the first one i remember.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 27-Jan-13 18:25:00

I used to work in a library, they were very popular and quite often with young women, usually quite new mums, who were quite open with talking about their own backgrounds. It seemed they were reading these books in an attempt to make sense of their own upbringings. I have one friend who eventually went into care but not before her dad beat her regularly and drowned her cat and New kittens in front of her for coming home from school late one day. in short she could probably write one of her own. She reads a lot of these books, I think it helps her in some way.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 27-Jan-13 18:25:26

Ha ha, ds1 and were laughing about these last night. He's 12 and has just discovered his school library has a shelf full of 'em. All fake after the first few, and WH Smith staff in my town call them Misery Books. I imagine the sort of people who read them are the same people who buy the lifelike china dolls and kitten plates from the Sunday papers.

The one thing that these books did do was to get people who don't read "good" newspapers, talking about child abuse.

In the 90's i had conversations with so many people who honestly thought that CP SW took people's children away because they didn't have a spotless house and chidlren made up stories to get taken into care, because they hadn't been bought the latest trainers.

The general public does seem to have a much better perception of what can go on behind closed doors.

I was half convinced I'd get a flaming for asking - MN is a bit unpredictable atm!

Good points Birds and MrsKeith, I hadn't thought of those.

seanbonbon Sun 27-Jan-13 18:29:14

A friend gave me a loan of (I shit you not) "Ma, He sold me for a few cigarettes" picture of girl in a raggedy dress. She told me it was a great read! Funny, I just haven't had a chance to start it yet.

DeepRedBetty Sun 27-Jan-13 18:29:15

What upset me was finding that they were filed under 'biography' in Asda, and there were virtually no 'real' biographies there at all.

DeepRedBetty Sun 27-Jan-13 18:29:58

Actually my SIL does read this crap. But she's a bit dim.

NoelHeadbands Sun 27-Jan-13 18:30:22

Some folks, for whatever reason, actively enjoy hijacking other people's misery. These are the people who read these books.

They also like to pore over every detail of murder/missing children cases on Internet forums, referring to persons involved in the case by their first names, like they know them, and come up with their own theories based on 'evil eyes' and 'bad feelings'.

Shudder

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