Tales of Woe by John Reed
PowerHouse Books, 2010
Barnes & Noble: “True stories of totally undeserved suffering. Spectacularly depressing. Nobody gets their just desserts. Crushing defeats. No happy endings. Abject misery. Pointless, endless grief.
No lessons of temperance or moderation. No saving grace. No divine intervention. No salvation.
Sin, suffering, redemption. That’s the movie, that’s the front page news, that’s the story of popular culture—of American culture. A ray of hope. A comeuppance. An all-for-the-best. Makes it easier to deal with the world’s misery—to know that there’s a reason behind it, that it’ll always work out in the end, that people get what they deserve. The fact: sometimes people suffer for no reason. No sin, no redemption—just suffering, suffering, suffering. Tales of Woe compiles today’s most awful narratives of human wretchedness. This is not Hollywood catharsis (someone overcomes something and the viewer is uplifted), this is the katharsis of Ancient Greece: you watch people suffer horribly, and then feel better about your own life. Tales of Woe tells stories of murder, accident, depravity, cruelty, and senseless unhappiness: and all true.”