Angsty Authors

What with the negativity surrounding our failing economy and a constant bombardment in the news concerning wars, riots, diseases, murderers and perverts, I felt compelled to assemble a personal list of the dreariest souls throughout modern history who have become authors of depressing literature. These cheerful individuals tackled the social and political problems of their day head-on…and then proceeded to coat them with a thick layer of sombre imagery and gut-wrenching symbolism. They then allowed it to set and repeated until a novel was produced gloomy enough to entertain miserable gits such as myself. So, put a bid on that underground bunker and prepare your Coldplay CD for a list that would make Saving Private Ryan look upbeat…

  1. George Orwell is immediately a writer that one would associate with the death and destruction of the human soul. He created insightful concepts such as Big Brother, likened human beings to pigs, and is famous for having written, ‘ If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.’ Delightful.
  2. For the book American Psycho alone, Bret Easton Ellis must be mentioned as one of the more sinister and bleak novelists. His sickening descriptions of a cold-hearted yuppie’s thoughts and ‘hobbies’ would make even the hardiest reader wince and recoil. For those who have read it, I only need to say the following: hungry rats and a helpless lady. The fact alone that someone was able to conjure up such images is a miserable thought for the future of humanity.
  3. Jodi Picoult thrives on plots centring around dying children, suicide, sexual assault, murder, and generally enjoys concocting new-fangled ways of disturbing her readers. Quite inexplicably, her novels are often made into films shown during mid-afternoon on Channel 5 and her fans are mostly housewives and grandmothers.
  4. Jean Rhys adored tragic female characters. Her most famous work, Wide Sargasso Sea, is about a crazy lady in an attic. Good Morning Midnight is about an ageing woman feeling down-trodden by society, recovering from horrific past events. She wrote a short story named ‘The Grey Day’. She had three failed marriages, an affair, an abortion and her firstborn child died. Must I really go on?
  5. Stephanie Meyer. Because nothing says the-apocalypse-is-coming quite like the atrocity that is Twilight. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, two-dimensional characters, transparent plots, millions of obsessive fans – it’s never going to get more disheartening than this, kids. Well, perhaps Fifty Shades of Grey could fight it for the top spot, either way I’m loading up on tinned food and hiding under the floorboards until it’s all over.

Emily created Dystopic in July 2012 after requiring an outlet for her love of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. Her debut novel 'These Unnatural Men' was published in 2018.

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