There is only one book that has ever made me cry. A couple of books have come close, and have certainly stirred deep emotions within in me and have made me consciously fight to hold back the tears, but only one has left me with that raw sensation of feeling hot tears roll down my face – only one has played with my emotions that much. That one book, I have to admit, is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
Catch-22 had only one scene that caused this reaction in me, and it is one of the most stunning, beautiful and heart-breaking scenes ever in literature, so far as I’m concerned. What I am about to tell you doesn’t really spoil the story, because the story shifts back and forth throughout the book anyway. It is revealed quite early on in the book that a character called Snowden has died, and that his death had a tremendous effect on main character Yossarian. As the book goes on, more and more is revealed about both Snowden’s death, and also how Yossarian reacted at the time and as the days went by afterwards. But it isn’t until the very end of the book that a full chapter is devoted to the moment that Snowden loses his life, and it is a dramatic scene, in which you know the outcome, and yet the wording of it plays with you as a reader, leads you on into thinking different things, before continuously knocking you back. The dozen or so pages of this chapter really muck around with your emotions, and I imagine this is the desired effect, and by the end of this chapter I was absolutely crying my eyes out, so much so that I had to put the book down and just let myself cry for a few minutes. I half suspect that no other book will ever move me this deeply, but I guess time will tell.
Is there a book that makes you cry? Do you find that despite this, or perhaps because of this, you love that book?