Whittling away at my To-Read List, my three most recent reads were this:
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka [depressing]
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green [more depressing]
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath [MAIN CHARACTER TRIES TO KILL HERSELF.]
I don’t know if you’re familiar with these books, but if not, let me break it down for you:
The Metamorphosis is about a guy who wakes up one morning as a monster– something like a beetle– and becomes totally useless and repulsive to his family. They keep him locked out of sight in his room, feed him scraps and crumbs, and when he gets out he tends to upset the guests. (It’s unclear whether Gregor has had a mental lapse or is actually a bug. Some scholars think the story is a metaphor for the life of a writer. HOW ENCOURAGING.)
The Fault in Our Stars is about children (well, okay, mostly snarky teenagers) with cancer.
The Bell Jar is about a woman who loses interest in life and tries to kill herself, only to be sent to shock therapy and later institutionalized. NOT FUN FACT: author Sylvia Plath struggled with depression herself, and ended her life shortly after the book was published.
Now, while The Fault in Our Stars admittedly also made me laugh aloud more than any other book I can remember, isolationism, cancer, and mental illness are all pretty depressing subjects. Stack the three back to back and add several chapters about the violence-ridden dealings of an organized crime family (my latest beta reading which, despite its dark nature, I am very much enjoying) and you’ll get something close to the DOOM CLOUDS OF MISERY AND DEVASTATION brewing over my head.
Anyway, as I was finishing up The Bell Jar, I got an email saying that my latest library reservation was in.
Me: Oh thank god. Finally I can end this sadness.
*Opens email to see what book is in*
The Good News: despite the morbid nature of the title and the fact that there is a dismembered arm on the cover, I’m 61 pages in and can safely report that the book is HILARIOUS. Turns out David Wong, the eponymous main character and listed author of John Dies at the End, is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, the editor in chief of Cracked.com.