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I can't believe I've been so disturbed by a book!

(64 Posts)
nkf Sun 26-Apr-09 13:59:06

I recently read One Half of a Yellow Sun and it has distressed me beyond belief. I wept buckets and was upset for days. An overreaction? I need to get certain image out of my head but I can't.

Sorry. This is a bit of a mad post but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions of where to "park" horrible thoughts.

blueshoes Sun 26-Apr-09 14:12:10

Sorry to hear of your distressing read, nkf. I have read that book but I know what you mean about carrying images around in your head.

I don't have any solution - many of these images follow me. I try not to read books with disturbing content. A cop out, I know. But with young children, I have become more sensitive to others' suffering and can cope with less.

blueshoes Sun 26-Apr-09 14:12:33

I have not read

MrsMattie Sun 26-Apr-09 14:16:07

I loved this book. It did have some disturbing content, but then, don't all the books that really affect you and that you end up really loving?

nkf Sun 26-Apr-09 15:33:03

Thank you Blueshoes and MrsMattie. Maybe I just read it at a bad time.

tillyfernackerpants Mon 27-Apr-09 19:24:50

nkf, I think I know the image you mean & yes it was particularly disturbing. I did love it though, I learnt so much about the Biafra war, I hadn't heard of it before this, and I thought it was excellently written.

But back to your original question, I usually follow a book like that with a light, funny read & that helps a little.

yappybluedog Mon 27-Apr-09 21:32:39

I had this woth American Pyscho, which I read against my better judgement in my 20's

nkf Mon 27-Apr-09 22:05:36

I must find something frothy. You are right. One has to manage these moods.

KateF Mon 27-Apr-09 22:08:20

It is a difficult and disturbing book. I found it hard to deal with too. Second the suggestion of reading something light for a bit. Hope you feel better soon.

nkf Mon 27-Apr-09 22:16:12

Thank you for your kind words. It's also helpful to know it's not just me who's had a reaction like this. I honestly felt I was losing the plot for a while. No pun intended.

thumbwitch Mon 27-Apr-09 22:25:13

books can do this - I don't know how to cope with it tbh, I just make sure I never read those again. but I do try and remove the sting by reading something fairly mindless to try and replace the sad/disturbed thoughts

Books that have upset me for ages:
the Kite Runner
the Sett by Ranulph Fiennes - I still have trouble working out how much of this book is true, especially as he includes the main character as one of the people he thanks - if it's true then that makes it 100 times worse.
Sold - about an Englsh Pakistani girl who was sent to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, with her sister, and her bid to escape
the Nanny Diaries - I couldn't shake the sadness I felt for the little boy in this book - perhaps shouldn't have read it while pg!

Haven't read the book you mention and don't now intend to!

tillyfernackerpants Tue 28-Apr-09 10:14:30

The Kite Runner upset me as well, haven't read the others though.

Thumbwitch, isn't the Nanny Diaries supposed to be a frothy read as well?! But if its the one I've read, then yes I did feel sorry for the little boy as well.

TeriHatchetJob Tue 28-Apr-09 10:16:43

Open a little box in your mind - put the sad thought in it, fold up the box and shift it over until it falls off the table and into the ether.

Mad, but works for some.

thumbwitch Tue 28-Apr-09 11:47:52

tilly, yes, it's supposed to be light hearted but I couldn't get past the sadness of that little boy's life! It blighted the lightheartedness of it for me.

nkf Tue 28-Apr-09 20:26:01

Thank you. I am reading reading Barack Obama's memoir now. Not exactly lighthearted but positive and loving and full of hope. I've also put the Yellow Sun book out of sight.

I think what made the Yellow Sun book so bad was although it was fiction, you know that the sort of atrocities that it describes did and do happen.

admylin Tue 28-Apr-09 20:34:10

With me it was recently A thousand splendid suns that I found distressing. It's because the things that happened in it are happening in real life and it was really hard to get the images out of my head. Won't be rereading that one for a long time although I usually read my books 2 or 3 times.

tillyfernackerpants Tue 28-Apr-09 22:00:36

nkf, I think you're right. Although its fiction it is grounded in fact, similar to the Kite Runner etc.

hester Tue 28-Apr-09 22:09:57

The Road - I found it almost unbearably distressing. Couldn't finish it, it made me cry so much.

coffeecups Fri 01-May-09 19:37:22

I loved The Yellow Sun - as you say it's based on fact so it is sadly disturbing, but i think it also indicates a great book and writer that has knocked you off kilter. It made an impact on you which is the hope of many a writer. I loved Once Were Warriors as well but it was so disturbing i had to stop reading it for about 5 years

tillyfernackerpants Fri 01-May-09 20:17:07

Once Were Warriors, was that made into a film? Set in NZ around the Maori culture?

nkf Fri 01-May-09 20:27:57

Oh, she can write all right. I even finished the book though I read it in a rather strange way. Sort of skimming for story but resisting it. Sorry, I'm not explaining myself very well. I do recognise her talent. I'd read Purple Hibiscus and that too is disturbing but it didn't have the same effect on me.

TheMysticMasseuse Sat 02-May-09 20:57:36

i loved half of a yellow sun. hard but so powerful.

know what you mean abou being upset by a book... i am still having flashbacks about this, 3 years after having read it...

Maria2007 Mon 04-May-09 08:46:14

I was also upset by the Nanny Diaries (I read it a while ago). Yes, it's supposed to be a light / frothy read but it's quite cutting at times, and the little boy's life is very very sad tbh.

There are all sorts of books that have upset me in the past & have made me cry & cry. 'Prayer for Owen Meany' was one (it also made me laugh very much; btw if anyone hasn't read it yet, rush off to amazon NOW & get it You won't regret it). Can't really remember others atm but perhaps we could start a separate thread on this? Oh there was actually a children's book I read when I was about 10 & I remember I cried & sobbed. It was about the friendship between a little boy & an old man & the tile was something like 'my beautiful orange tree'. Anyone heard of it? I haven't been able to track it down since... I think the writer must have been latin american.

MayorNaze Mon 04-May-09 08:53:43

since having children i am a wimp. i refuse to watch sad/disturbing films and ditto books. if someone tells me a book is really really good then i will give it a go but on the whole tend to to stick to butterflies and fairytales as stuff that isn't can and does really upset meblush

the kite runner is on my pile of things to read...maybe i shouldn't...

WowOoo Mon 04-May-09 08:58:03

Nkf. Have just received this in the post and am worried about reading it now!

Do you regret reading it?

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