Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Crying game

I have a theory that there's a breed of authors who thrive of the tears of their readers. Like some kind of evil yet enchanting fairies they haunt your thoughts with their words and then steal in at your most vulnerable moments and capture your tears in a crystal vial to fuel them through their next book.

I just saw a poster for A Monster Calls by the ever-emotive Patrick Ness on my way to the office just now and I started tearing up just looking at the words on the poster and thinking about the half-finished copy that kept me up till 1am last night even though I knew I'd be woken at 5.30am (for the record I squeezed in another couple of chapters then as well). Yes - only half finished and still the poster made me cry.

Other writers who have reduced me to tears include Laurie Halse Anderson, Robin Jarvis (the final chapter of The Oaken Throne has shaped my belief of how books should end), Jerry Spinelli, Gabrielle Zevin, Rodman Philbrick and Richard Adams (even someone I once described as an ‘emotionless automaton’ cries at Watership Down – still).

I adore books that make me feel – so I’d really like to know of any other authors out there who might be able to reduce me to tears at the turn of a page. Any suggestions?


  1. Oh - sniffle. You already made me buy a new box of tissues! Perhaps I will reduce you to tears one day? In the meantime should you ever come across "Sun on the Stubble" by Colin Thiele (a very Australian book) then I recommend for tears of laughter and of sadness at the episodic adventures of a boy growing up just prior to WWII.

  2. I love books that really get under my skin and make me 'feel' too. They can be hard to find, some do on a superficial level but a rare few really go deep. These are the books that really stay with me.
    One book that surprised me by just how sad yet uplifting it was was Milo and the Restart Button. Aimed at the younger reader you could really tell that the Alan Silberberg was writing from the heart.