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Books that have taken your breath away...

(198 Posts)
HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Wed 01-Jul-09 13:59:17

literally! Which books have you been so emotionally involved with whilst reading that you actually feel what is happening?

I haven't had this for years - I think the last time was A Prayer for Owen Meany back when I was in high school - but I felt it (somewhat to my shame) reading the first Twilight book blush. My heart was pounding, I was breathing faster than usual...hmm

Anyway, I have just got round to reading the second book, and I am experiencing the same thing again. I am in agony over Edward having left, I am literally fighting back the tears - I've had to restrict my reading time so that I'm not getting unnecessarily upset at inconvenient times throughout the day.blush

Am I alone in this? I don't mean Twilight - I think that has just struck a chord in me, even though it's teenage vampire romance <cringe cringe> - but any book at all?

<waits and hopes is not alone in this madness...>

MayorNaze Wed 01-Jul-09 14:00:40

the boy in the striped pyjamas.

oh my god i will not be reading that again. it was FANTASTIC but i was far too emotional for far too long afterward

janeite Wed 01-Jul-09 16:51:34

Well, not Twilight.
I read 'A Clockwork Orange' last month though and it really did leave me speechless and then, after absorbing it for a while, desperate to talk about it to anybody who cared to listen.

The Deathly Hallows did it for me too because, although her writing is sometimes rather clumpy, I was so attached to the characters by then that watching them die, one by one, from the opening onwards, felt like a personal affront and Dobby's death scene was such a shock and happened so quickly that it had me gasping for air and reading back, questioning why and how she could have let it happen.

babyignoramus Wed 01-Jul-09 16:56:13

'Walk Two Moons' by Sharon Creech - it's a kid's book but I read it when I was about 18 I think. I won't spoil it but it had me in floods of tears, and that takes some doing.

AbricotsSecs Wed 01-Jul-09 17:41:55

Message withdrawn

HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Wed 01-Jul-09 20:39:43

I'm surprised at myself with Twilight - it's not great writing, and it's actually overly dramatic and very teenagey (teenagerish?), but something about it has hit me right there and I am living this novel as I read it.

I am too scared to read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, as I'm not sure I could bear it.

Interesting that from the small number of responses, it seems to be children's books that are really getting to people...

wrinklytum Wed 01-Jul-09 20:41:42

To Kill A Mockingbird.It made me cry blush

Babbity Wed 01-Jul-09 20:43:44

The third book in His Dark Materials: The Amber Spyglass. I sobbed for hours.

Babbity Wed 01-Jul-09 20:45:23

for adult fiction, the most recent was "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham. Absolutely astounding; he write so incredibly well from a woman's point of view; it was harrowing but very very worthwhile.

funnypeculiar Wed 01-Jul-09 20:47:07

Oh God, yes to the Amber Spyglass - I was crying so hard I physically couldn't hold the book, let alone read it <pathetic>

And, on a completely different note, American Psycho (probably the only book I recommend people not to read...) - I utterly lived it, and then was absolutely furious at the end - just felt totally, totally robbed...

TabithaTwitchet Wed 01-Jul-09 20:49:13

I remember sobbing unconsolably (as a child) whilst reading 7 Little Australians blush

Noonki Wed 01-Jul-09 21:01:01

goodnight mister tom (as a child)
the last book by Primo Levi had me sobbing and sobbing.

Cathpot Wed 01-Jul-09 21:14:25

Time traveller's wife made me cry,a lot, as did the end of We need to talk about Kevin (that one got my husband waving book at me saying 'for goodness sake, didnt you read the phrase 'tragic denoument' on the back cover, did you think it would end well??')

Oh and a few years ago Captain Corelli's Madolin (sp?) tipped me over the edge in a big way.

I recently read The Book Thief followed by The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, loved both but I dont recommend the combination unless you are feeling very strong...

Overmydeadbody Wed 01-Jul-09 21:16:29

The only book that has ever taken my breath away totally is Mara and Dann by Doris Lessing.

potatofactory Wed 01-Jul-09 21:18:54

Look Homeward Angel - Thomas Wolfe. Unbelievable.

motherpi Wed 01-Jul-09 21:21:44

Oh, as a child it was Black Beauty. How could she have killed off Ginger?

LyraSilvertongue Wed 01-Jul-09 21:24:26

Hopeforthe best, I had exactly the same thing with the Twilight series. I think that's why they're so popular - the author makes you feel everything her characters feel. I was hopelessly in love with Edward Cullen by the end of the first book.
Oh dear, I think I might have to read them again...
I'm currently reading Owen Meany and not having the same experience, sadly.

Littlepurpleprincess Wed 01-Jul-09 21:24:46

The Time Travellers Wife. I was in pieces for weeks! I gave it to DP who read 2/3 and stopped because he couldn't bear it. Bless him.

I am so curious about Twillight, I might just read it!

HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Wed 01-Jul-09 21:26:19

Ah, the children's books trend continues!

I've just thought of another - the third HP, The Prisoner of Azkaban. The first time I read that, I was breathless with excitement and fear and suspense.

I'm trying to remember if there are any others, not necessarily ones that have upset me (there have been a few) but ones which I've really been drawn totally into whilst reading, to such an extent that I feel like I'm living in the book world...

LyraSilvertongue Wed 01-Jul-09 21:28:08

Overmydeabody, I loved Mara and Dann too. I think it was a thread you started that made me read it. Thank you smile

LyraSilvertongue Wed 01-Jul-09 21:30:01

Hopeforthebest, since reading Twilight I haven't read anything that's grabbed me so completely, so enjoy them while you can. Eclipse is another fantastic book, Breaking Dawn is a bit, shall we say, different from the others.

SpawnChorus Wed 01-Jul-09 21:31:00

The Kite Runner... parts of it were just unbearable.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 01-Jul-09 21:32:16

A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Knowing that some women's lives were, and remain, as in that book, was truly humbling. I cried for a long time, and carried the book in my head for ages afterwards.

SpawnChorus Wed 01-Jul-09 21:33:08

And I thought The Subtle Knife was pretty breathtaking too...esp the bit with Hester.

releasethehounds Wed 01-Jul-09 21:33:12

It takes a lot to get me really hooked into a book but I couldn't put down 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khalid Hosseni (sp?). I read it over a year ago, and despite reading several books since, I still think about it.

The only other one which came close to that was 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop; again, very emotive and stays with you.

I'm watching this thread with interest as I'm struggling to find other books to rival the above and the way they made me feel.

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