- Night by Elie Wiesel. Even if this weren't based on a true story, it would be incredibly depressing. The fact that this stuff actually happened makes it all the more saddening. I taught Night for two years. Every time we read it in class, I would feel sad all day. Here's a summary.
- 1984 by George Orwell. Orwell hammers home the futility of fighting Big Brother. There are very few novels more pessimistic than this classic. Here's a 1984 study guide.
- Of Mice and Men. Even without the tragic ending, Of Mice and Men doesn't send out a whole lot of positive vibes.
- Sophie's Choice by William Styron. Nothing like getting to choose which of your children gets sent to the gas chamber to completely ruin your life.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: 'Nobody wins when a monomaniacal scientist constructs a human out of dead body parts, brings it to life and abandons it!" For more themes in Frankenstein, check this out.
In honor of finishing Of Mice and Men for the 34th time (no exaggeration), I thought I'd compile a list of five depressing novels.
Trent Lorcher teaches English at Foothill High School in Henderson, NV. He has a really hot wife, five beautiful kids and a loveable dog.