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to read "misery lit"

(158 Posts)
shewhowines Mon 01-Jul-13 13:38:53

Is that the correct term for it?

I have just finished reading a book, about someone who suffered childhood abuse, that somebody passed on to me. I know there is a hatred of such books by many people.

Whilst it would not be my first choice of book, I must admit that I "enjoyed" it. It made me sad and I did actually have tears in my eyes at one point.
Reasons I have occassionally read them/watched sad films.

1. It is important that people are aware that this sort of thing went on/goes on.
2. It is important that people have some ability to empathise (although I know you obviously can't really understand unless you have gone through it yourself).
3. I get a positive emotion from it, in that I feel grateful for the life that I have led and feel very lucky. There for the grace of God goes I...

I am prepared to get a flaming for this, But I am genuinely interested in why it is supposed to be so popular, and what other people think of it.

thebody Mon 01-Jul-13 18:51:20

Cailina, I read the post from Shew, really really made me think.

Of course it's distasteful that some people seem to wallow in other people's dreadful experience of abuse and I guess it's a distaste of that is what I meant.

Of course survivors have the absolute right to share their stories.

I suppose it seems so bloody dreadful that to read about it, like you would a Marion Keys seems disrespectful.

scottishmummy Mon 01-Jul-13 18:58:35

No.i avoid those sepia books with the ghoulish I said stop daddy type titles

persimmon Mon 01-Jul-13 19:02:23

I don't like that such books have become a huge industry. I think a lot of people read them for a voyeuristic frisson not because they care or want their awareness raised.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Mon 01-Jul-13 19:13:59

Re the link posted by HullyGully - this paragraph absolutely sums up what I would be groping to express if I tried to say it myself:

"As a reader, there is certainly a relief in reaching the end of one of these books, but the faint glimpses of hope and positivity offered at their endings rarely atone for the horrors that one endures to get there... it can be an uncomfortable and faintly soiling experience to read explicit narratives of incest and horrific abuse, told in the matter-of-fact chatter of a damaged child and rarely mediated by much literary merit. The authors of these books may feel they are revealing important truths... but can they be certain that there isn't a degree of uncomfortable prurience, or worse, in the relish with which such tales are whisked off the shelves?"

Lionessy Mon 01-Jul-13 19:41:46

I went through a phase of reading a few of these books. I am a mother of 4, not a paedophile, weirdo or misery addict.

It was when I first started therapy for my own sexual/physical/emotional abuse and adult rape. I was trying to tell myself that my experiences were not 'that bad' and wanted to find out about other people's experiences that were surely much worse than mine so what did I have to complain about? We don't talk about this kind of thing. Victims are left with feelings of shame and guilt and it is kept hidden.

Reading them did help in the sense feeling less 'alone' as the damaged person I am. I, for one, am happy that this topic has come into greater public awareness through these 'trashy' books.

I was neither titillated, excited nor did I 'get off' on them. I was full of empathy and anger that these things so often go on unnoticed and unchallenged and that the long term damage it can cause is not fully understood.

soontobeburns Mon 01-Jul-13 19:49:42

I love them and im not ashamed to admit it.

I cant put a finger on why but I do just kikelike

soontobeburns Mon 01-Jul-13 19:51:09


Just like I like the shawshank redemption, the magdelene sisters etc.

I don't "get off" on them but its good for making you think.

Hullygully Mon 01-Jul-13 19:53:31

This is where debates get silly, when they are polarised.

No one has said/is saying that ALL people that like them are to be doubted

Likewise, no one is saying that ALL of them are made up nonsense to get money.

There are 500 different shades of views and reasons.

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