Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Cry-y-y-ing

I don't know if you've seen the new Picador blog yet but there was a good feature on it the other week about books that make you cry. I didn't leave a comment because I could only think of two books that have ever made me actually sob in an unattractive tears-streaming-down-face snivelling kind of a way - those being Something Might Happen by Julie Myerson and Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. BUT we got out the kids' Christmas books the other day ( saved up in a box for the rest of the year) and I remembered another one - The Little Reindeer by Michael Foreman. I don't know what it is about this book - it's a happy ending, for goodness' sake! - but the last page - oh, every time I read it aloud, I am welling up by that point. It just gets me every time, I really don't know why. There's another children's book too, now that I think of it - Come Back Grandma by Sue Limb - oh, again, I just can't read the last page aloud without blubbing. Funny, isn't it, how a clutch of words on a page can trigger such intense responses. For the Myerson, Faulks, and Grandma books, it's the subject matter that got me. But The Little Reindeer...I am baffled. Maybe there is some faulty wiring in my brain. Maybe I was a flying reindeer in a former life. I dunno.

Anyway. Enough sadness and tears. I have posted off the copy-edit of Over You this morning and feel MUCH better about it. I think I could have gone on tweaking and fiddling for ever, but have drawn a line under it and off it's gone. The copy-editor had actually left a note saying she thought it was "great fun and moved me to tears too" (we like that copy-editor) and now I can't help feeling curious about which bit made her cry. It's not a big weeper of a novel by any means, not like The Little Reindeer, for example, but there you go...

14 comments:

JJ said...

Now I'm singing the Don Mclean version of Cry-y-y-ying and thinking of the books that have made me weep.

I'm ashamed to admit that I wept buckets when Colin Dexter killed off Morse - I cried at the book, I cried at the TV Show. Come to that I cried reading the John Thaw book that his wife wrote.

Maybe I've got a John Thaw fixation?

JJx

Pacha said...

The last book I read that had me bubbling with tears (inside I was screaming noooooooo although I knew how it would end all along) was 'In the time of butterflies' by Julia Alvarez. But I find books sometimes aren't necessarily sad/tearful and yet I can cry. Unexpectedly and a lot. And for no good reason.

Maybe something comes to the surface, maybe a memory dislodged, maybe I'm just premenstrual, menstrual, postmenstrual. Inexplicable. A bit like your Reindeer story (I so want to read that book now...)...I've been coming to your blog all day now but keep bouncing off it on all the links! (Just so you don't think I am mad stalker of your blog! Which I am too of course)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I'm the other way round. Books frequently move me and amuse me, but rarely make me cry real tears or laugh out loud. And only one book, so far, has ever made me do both: 'What A Carve-Up' by Jonathan Coe. I told him so, when I met him once, and he promptly gave me a signed copy!

Lucy Diamond said...

Oh JJ, I loved that Sheila Hancock/John Thaw book too - so moving and so well written. Must confess I have never read or watched any Morse but am a frequent telly-crier, usually at the news, or anything horrible happening to children. Oh, and children singing - that always makes me cry too!

Ooh - haven't heard of In the Time of Butterflies, Pacha, will check it out. (PS You will probably remain completely dry-eyed at the Reindeer book, am sure it's only me being a madwoman who is affected!)

Zinnia - What a Carve-Up is one of my fave books too, it's fantastic. I went to see Jonathan Coe when he did a little tour for his new book and got it signed - and I was absolutely speechless, just so star-struck I couldn't get a word out! Very embarrassing.

Juliette M said...

I bet none of them as are bad as The Velveteen Rabbit...

*sniff*

or the Railway Children!

Jenny said...

Books that make you laugh properly are rare too and that's a topic for a whole other blog post. But 'What a Carve Up' would be at the top of the list. I may be getting this slightly wrong, but the bit where he spends ages thinking of the perfect word, think it was for inclusion in a book review he was writing, and that word is 'brio', and it gets misprinted as 'the author lacks the necessary biro'. Am even laughing just writing about it now.

Lucy Diamond said...

Hi Juliette - the Velveteen Rabbit - oh yes. And the Railway Children!!! Red flannel petticoats! Father returning! Oh Gawd, am welling up at the thought...

Hi Jenny - oh, I'd forgotten that brio/biro thing, hilarious! Books that make you laugh is a great idea for a blog post. The last book that I read that made me laugh like a drain was The Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife by Niamh Greene - so so belly-roaringly funny. And frightening just how much I could relate to the demented housewife herself too!

Keris said...

Oh now I need to re-read What A Carve Up.

David (husband) can't read a book called Goodnight, Harry to our son without welling up. And I laugh at him every time.

Since I once cried at the Coca-Cola Holidays Are Coming advert (in the gym!), I understand the Reindeer issue, Sue. :)

One book that made me howl was The World According to Garp. I actually stopped reading for a while because I knew something was about to happen, then, when I read it, I had to put it down so I could recover. Proper wracking sobs!

Lucy Diamond said...

I love it that you cried at the Coca-Cola ad!!! You big softie. I LOVE all the Crimbo ads, they go so mad on them, don't they, the big stores with all their celebs and 'plots'. I'm not sure WHY Morrisons think that their ads featuring Alan Hanson and Lulu will get them any new customers this year, but never mind...

Sarah said...

Hi Lucy/Sue,

I was reading your blog this evening (when I should be writing) and I have to agree, children's books often move me to tears. (And Grey's Anatomy of course!)

The Sad Book by Michael Rosen about how he felt when his son died had me literally sobbing. Amazing book.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson (they made a rather nice film of it which was out earlier this year) - is utterly heart wringing stuff. Beautifully pitched.

And I was getting ready for my cousin's wedding while reading the end of Before I Die, an amazing book for teenagers. My eyes were blood shot from crying. Brutal timing!

Hope the little ones are well. I've been trying to write my own blog, but adding to yours is so much easier!

All the best,
your Irish writing friend.
SarahX
https://www.sarahwebb.info

Lucy Diamond said...

Hello Sarah!
Lovely to hear from you. I will seek out those books when I'm in particular need of a weep!
xx

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