HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Single positive word to define novels intentionally not "uplifting"

Writer-readers

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

1bruneau
Jan 26, 2010, 10:39pm Top

The entertainment industry is known to favor "uplifting" stories over the alternative, aware that these are the stories that sell. The bigger the "uplift", the less risky the investment for the television, cinema, and publishing conglomerates.

"Uplifting" is a great and positive qualifier that can also be used to define the possible attraction to a particular novel. It's a word that alone can sell.

Yet, many readers prefer stories not constructed with a happy ending in mind. These stories may have a different introspective angle, might purposely end on a sour note, have an abundance of characters without any redeeming features, or any other non-formulaic bent. An example that comes to mind is Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck - certainly not uplifting, but an excellent read. However, coming up with a single positive word that defines the attraction that some of us have towards such novels can be challenging.

Recently, before a live interview on Radio Canada about my recent novel (which is certainly not "uplifting"), the host of the program, one who truly enjoys non-formulaic literature, used the word "refreshing." That is certainly a good one, but it made me wonder what other adjectives could be equally suitable while defining that attraction for the non-conventional.

Rather than running to the thesaurus, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to tap the collective wisdom of the LibraryThing social network and see how avid readers and writers describe their own attraction to such novels.

Please contribute to this post by sharing the words that you believe best describes this attraction.

Thanks

Michel Bruneau (author of "Shaken Allegiances")

P.S.: Disclosure: While I have posted a similar discussion topic on Amazon.com (and the posting received in response there contained many excellent suggested words that could be used to define novels intentionally not "uplifting"), LibraryThing users have told me (in another post) that they never ever look at the Amazon.com discussions lists ("I will have nothing to do with Amazon" stated one). Therefore, it will be interesting to see the creative responses that will come up here (no peaking/cheating by looking at the Amazon.com post).

2ajsomerset
Jan 26, 2010, 11:22pm Top

Uncompromising.

3MinaKelly
Jan 27, 2010, 11:04am Top

Stark
Powerful/Strong (both so wonderfully bland, but usually used to convey "you'll like it, but you may not enjoy it")

4slatterly
Jan 27, 2010, 11:59pm Top

I definitely second "powerful". Ambiguous enough to cover both upper and downer stories, but still rules out the strictly mediocre.

5Mud
Jan 28, 2010, 11:43am Top

Gripping!

6barney67
Jan 28, 2010, 2:32pm Top

Nihilistic?

7Nazurelle
Feb 1, 2010, 4:35pm Top

Poetic

8Uraeus
Feb 7, 2010, 5:58pm Top

I write stuff that is purposefully depressing and bleak a lot of the time.

9bkswrites
Feb 12, 2010, 11:16pm Top

Don't have a single word, but one of my favorite author quotes is Kafka's (to his friend, complaining that he hadn't "enjoyed" the book Kafka had him read) "A good book is an axe for the frozen sea within you."

But then there's just gruesome, like the new one from Alice Sebold.

10EvaPasco
Feb 28, 2010, 8:07pm Top

How about "compelling"?

Eva Pasco
Author, Underlying Notes
http://www.booklocker.com/books/4431.html

11BlackSheepDances
Mar 1, 2010, 1:05am Top

Complicated? Complex? Realistic? Intense?

Amy
http://www.theblacksheepdances.blogspot.com

12LintonRobinson
Feb 27, 2011, 11:38am Top

Downchucking?

13Cecrow
Mar 4, 2011, 11:56am Top

Insightful
Haunting
Memorable

141Owlette
Mar 4, 2011, 12:16pm Top

Unforgettable
Illuminating
Eye-opening
Moving

15RickHarsch
Mar 4, 2011, 12:21pm Top

forthright
bathetic
margravian
moravaginian
a necessary mastication

16AprilKnarr
Mar 5, 2011, 7:29pm Top

Thought provoking

17JNagarya
Mar 7, 2011, 8:00am Top

"Uplifting" could work, as in "Does not end with a smiley-face emoticon."

:)

Group: Writer-readers

3,077 members

9,466 messages

About

This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,505,570 books! | Top bar: Always visible