Masters Of Misery

Top 10 Masters Of Misery : The Handmaid's Tale, Anna Karenina, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Madame Bovary, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, Germinal, Jude the Obscure, Child of God, The House of Mirth, Smilla's Sense of Snow

AuthorMargaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant,...
AuthorLeo Tolstoy
Acclaimed by many as the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in all of literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who...
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
AuthorPatrick Süskind
ISBN0140120831
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion—his sense of smell—leads to murder.

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste...
Madame Bovary
AuthorGustave Flaubert
ISBN0192840398
'Oh, why, dear God, did I marry him?'

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent devourer of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending...
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
AuthorJohn le Carré
In this classic, John le Carre's third novel and the first to earn him international acclaim, he created a world unlike any previously experienced in suspense fiction. With unsurpassed knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carre brings to light the shadowy dealings of international...
Germinal
AuthorÉmile Zola
ISBN0140447423
The thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s great Rougon-Macquart sequence, Germinal expresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, but also shows humanity’s capacity for compassion and hope.

Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young...
Jude the Obscure
AuthorThomas Hardy
ISBN0486452433


i have just discovered betterbooktitles.com, so i am including this, but it is a total spoiler, so be warned.

(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)].
Child of God
AuthorCormac McCarthy
ISBN0679728740
In this taut, chilling novel, Lester Ballard--a violent, dispossessed man falsely accused of rape--haunts the hill country of East Tennessee when he is released from jail.  While telling his story, Cormac McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic...
The House of Mirth
AuthorEdith Wharton
ISBN1844082938
First published in 1905, The House of Mirth shocked the New York society it so deftly chronicles, portraying the moral, social and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities.

Lily Bart, beautiful, witty and sophisticated,...
Smilla's Sense of Snow
AuthorPeter Høeg
ISBN0385315147
She thinks more highly of snow and ice than she does of love.  She lives in a world of numbers, science and memories--a dark, exotic stranger in a strange land.  And now Smilla Jaspersen is convinced she has uncovered a shattering crime...

It happened in the Copenhagen snow.  A six-year-old...
A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories
AuthorFlannery O'Connor
ISBN0151365040
This now classic book revealed Flannery O'Connor as one of the most original and provocative writers to emerge from the South. Her apocalyptic vision of life is expressed through grotesque, often comic situations in which the principal character faces a problem of salvation: the grandmother, in...
AuthorThornton Wilder
ISBN0060088877
This beautiful new edition features unpublished notes for the novel and other illuminating documentary material, all of which is included in a new Afterword by Tappan Wilder.

On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into...
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
AuthorHenry Farrell
ISBN0881847259
Book jacket: Baby Jane, a child star of early vaudeville, resented having to grow up in the shadow of her prettier sister Blanche Hudson, who became Hollywood's reigning love goddess. Now, some fifty years later, they are together and alone. And reality has toppled crazily into eerie fantasy. Blanche...
The Terror
AuthorDan Simmons
ISBN0316017442
The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic...
Darkness at Noon
AuthorArthur Koestler
ISBN0553265954
Darkness at Noon (from the German: Sonnenfinsternis) is a novel by the Hungarian-born British novelist Arthur Koestler, first published in 1940. His best-known work tells the tale of Rubashov, a Bolshevik 1917 revolutionary who is cast out, imprisoned and tried for treason by the Soviet government...
AuthorWilliam Styron
ISBN0679736638
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

In 1831 Nat Turner awaits death in a Virginia jail cell. He is a slave, a preacher, and the leader of the only effective slave revolt in the history of 'that peculiar institution'. William Styron's ambitious and stunningly accomplished novel is Turner's confession,...
The Great Santini
AuthorPat Conroy
ISBN0553268929
Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine --- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete...
The Prince of Tides
AuthorPat Conroy
ISBN0553381547
PAT CONROY has created a huge, brash thunderstorm of a novel, stinging with honesty and resounding with drama. Spanning forty years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary...
The Black Cat
AuthorEdgar Allan Poe
ISBN1594561753
The Black Cat, Edgar Allan Poe
The Black Cat is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843. The narrator tells us that from an early age he has loved animals. He and his wife have many pets, including a large, beautiful black cat (as described by the...
AuthorThomas Ligotti
ISBN0881847216
Songs of a Dreamer was Thomas Ligotti’s first collection of supernatural horror stories. When originally published in 1985 by Harry Morris’s Silver Scarab Press, the book was hardly noticed. In 1989, an expanded version appeared that garnered accolades from several quarters. Writing in the...
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
AuthorWilliam Styron
ISBN0679736395
This very small volume was not an easy read. Mr. Styron eases us into his own story by relating stories of other writers and artists who experienced deep depression. Some made it through but most did not. His stories are liberally laced with a depth of understanding that he acknowledged could only come...
AuthorGraham Greene
ISBN0099478420
In a British colony in West Africa, Henry Scobie is a pious and righteous man of modest means enlisted with securing borders. But when he’s passed over for a promotion as commissioner of police, the humiliation hits hardest for his wife, Louise. Already oppressed by the appalling climate, frustrated...
Journey to the End of the Night
AuthorLouis-Ferdinand Céline
ISBN0811216543
Louis-Ferdinand Celine's revulsion and anger at what he considered the idiocy and hypocrisy of society explodes from nearly every page of this novel. Filled with slang and obscenities and written in raw, colloquial language, Journey to the End of the Night is a literary symphony of violence, cruelty...
AuthorHubert Selby Jr.
ISBN0714530387
Devastating, and strictly for the most daring reader.

Uncompromising, stark, bleak, unremittingly repetitive, gruesome, sickening and despairing -- The Room is perhaps not as great as Selby's more narratively interesting masterwork, Last Exit to Brooklyn, but it is no less accomplished...
River of Darkness
AuthorRennie Airth
ISBN0143035703
In a quiet and picturesque English countryside where people are still recuperating from the ravages of World War I, the peace of a small Surrey village is shattered by the discovery of a horrifying murder. Five victims; four of them killed with military efficiency and, judging from the wounds, a military...
AuthorPat Frank
ISBN0060741872
"Alas, Babylon." Those fateful words heralded the end. When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just...
Invitation to a Beheading
AuthorVladimir Nabokov
ISBN0679725318
An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here

Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude", an imaginary...
The Last Days of the Incas
AuthorKim MacQuarrie
Kim MacQuarrie lived in Peru for five years and became fascinated by the Incas and the history of the Spanish conquest. Drawing on both native and Spanish chronicles, he vividly describes the dramatic story of the conquest, with all its savagery and suspense. This authoritative, exciting history...
Justine
AuthorMarquis de Sade
Justine was the Marquis de Sade's first novella, written in 1787, whilst imprisoned for two weeks in the Bastille. Although published anonymously, de Sade was eventually indicted for blasphemy and obscenity (without trial) for the authorship of Justine at the behest of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Who...
A Separate Peace
AuthorJohn Knowles
ISBN0743253973
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war.

Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World...
Beach Music
AuthorPat Conroy
ISBN0553381539
An American expatriate in Rome unearths his family legacy in this sweeping novel by the acclaimed author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini

A Southerner living abroad, Jack McCall is scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife’s suicide draws...
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