Books that have made you bawl

I recently finished reading The World According to Garp and I think I cried through the last two chapters. It started with a few tears hitting the page, and by the time I got through the end of Roberta’s story, I had to roll onto my side to stop from soaking the book. It’s been a long time since a book’s made me cry like this.

The first time I read Island of the Blue Dolphins and realized that the girl didn’t have any family left at all and never would have a new one EVER I nearly broke myself crying. I was ten.

And Lord of the Flies! Poor Piggy. LotF had me bawling in great, gasping sobs. It was just too horrible. Even The Simpsons spoof of LotF had me holding my breath for Milhouse.

On the Beach was the first book that both my dad and I had read and that we could actually talk about, intelligently, as opposed to Katie the Kitten. The entire premise of that book had me upset and I was an absolute goner by the end.

So, Dopers, what are some books that have had you blowdrying them afterwards?

“A River Runs Through It”, by Norman MacLean. The ending gets me every time, especially the line, “I am haunted by waters.”

I’m an incurable bookworm, so it’s amazing to me that only one book has ever actually succeeded in wringing tears from my eyes.

That was Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls. Read it in the sixth grade. I don’t understand how anyone can read that book and not be affected by it.

My sister lent me Message in a Bottle. It was an easy read so I was reading it at work during my lunch hour - basically a chapter a day.

She didn’t tell me about the ending. Big, deep, soul-rending sobs - and it wasn’t that great a book! But I was just so unprepared - I thought it was just a little romance story.

I’m still mad at her.

I’ve sniffled at many a book. But there’s only one that truly made me bawl like a baby. I’m talking heaving sobs, gasping for breath and huge crocodile tears. Night by Elie Wiesel. The whole book was sad, but I just completely lost it at the scene in the train car with the old man and the bread.

God, I’m feeling my throat close up a bit just thinking about it.

Only one
A Fan’s Notes by Frederick Exely.

Ugh, I was like that when I read Villette by Charlotte Bronte. I don’t know if it was just the right time of the month or what, but when I got to the end and Lucy had finally gotten something that was for her to enjoy and work at, and not just to help her exist, it made me cry. And the whole M. Paul thing: amazing that it could happen. But it was a soppy Victorian novel, so chalk it up to that.

That’s a Nicholos Sparks book (my wife’s favorite author). He also wrote “The Notebook” which my wife says is his biggest tear-jerker.

John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Old Yeller.

Here’s the first two I thought of, mainly because no matter how many times I read the books it always happens:

The High King, the final book (unless you count the short story collection) of Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles. Fflewddur Fflam (a bard) and friends are trapped in the mountains during a snowstorm and makes a fire from his harp, which proceeds to play all the music he’s ever brought from it and burns all night, letting them survive. I’m not sure why, but the writing always affects me the same way.

Dragons of Winter’s Night. Two words: Sturm’s death. :frowning:

Prayer for Owen Meany and Where the Red Fern Grows are already said, so… Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

I was surprised by how much I cried at the end of Of Mice and Men.

All the Weyrs of Pern

When MasterHarper Robinton dies. Damn he was my fave character. He was old and it was his time, but still.

The Last Unicorn- at the end there… it so sad… kind of uplifting and appropriate… but sad.

“The sirens Of Titan”

The ending, if you’ve read it you know what I am talking about. Its so damn bittersweet.

Well, I’m an incurable weepy baby, and a slow reader (meaning every book I read is a big investment), so it’s no surprise that there have been several books that made me cry:

The Catcher in the Rye: I was a junior in high school and finished it reading at the beginning of Chemistry class. I had to excuse myself and skip class just so nobody could see me crying.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay: The whole last chapter of my copy has tearstains on every page. That one not only made me cry, but put me in a funk for a couple of days afterwards.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Wasn’t even able to finish the first chapter. Started crying way too much (talking about the death of a parent gets me like nothing else, so the death of two…) to go any further. Couldn’t even do anything else that night, I was too despressed.

Microserfs: In retrospect this really embarrasses me, because I don’t think it’s all that good a book. But see the death of a parent bit above (not a spoiler).

And not bawling, but I was crying a little bit at the end of Night Watch, of all things. I was just really engrossed in the story and thought it had a perfect ending.

Sophie’s Choice, All Quiet on the Western Front and Crime and Punishment (the cart-mule part).

The only book that has ever made me actually weep was Garp. James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room made me feel like I had been kicked in the stomach, but no tears. And not two days ago, I picked up a comic book called Y: The Last Man, and a plot twist in that one came as such a shock I almost had an out-of-body experience. I felt light-headed, slightly queasy, and (and this part really fucked with my head all on its own) horny as hell, despite the comic not being even faintly erotic. Felt that way for the whole next day. Very strange. Never read anything that had quite that effect on me. Not that I can remember, anyway. And it’s not that great a comic book, either. It’s good, and all, but I’ve read much, much better. Still, something about this one found just the right receptor in my brain. Blew my mind right and proper.

Bridge to Terabithia and There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom both made me cry when I was younger. I haven’t read anything recently that triggered any tears, though. I’ll have to check some of these titles out, because sometimes I enjoy a good cry.

“Catcher in the Rye”

Other books have made me cry, but only that one made me sob.