Emergency Dispatchers Share The Scariest Calls They Have Ever Received
The stress and trauma that a dispatcher's job comes with are insurmountable and deserve a lot of respect.
Some of the calls they get can be life-changing, not just for the people involved, but also the dispatchers themselves.
Redditor King_bob992 asked:
"Emergency service dispatchers, what is the scariest call you have ever gotten?"
You're definitely in the right profession.
"One of the first calls I ever took. Woman calls up and asks about the process of filing a restraining order. She discusses how her boyfriend has been abusive and controlling. Mid conversation the doorbell rings, she puts me on hold opens the door and I hear yelling."
"Guy barges in and starts beating on her and I'm sitting there helpless listening, because I didn't have her address yet. Luckily, I did have her name and within a few minutes we got her address and got help to her. She was pretty badly injured but lived, and he is still in jail."
"That call made me doubt myself and if I was in the right profession, but I stuck with it and it has been a very rewarding (though sometimes sad) profession."
"Not a dispatcher but a paramedic. But a man called, saying his mom had severe chest pains. So we head over to their address in a hurry. However, there was no mom, just the caller waiting for us and then robbing us at gun point saying be were going to kill us. He just wanted the drugs, but was quite shocking still."
"Always going through my mind when entering some shady neighbourhood."Giphy
That's so heartbreaking.
"I work for a sheriff's office and a good friend of mine was a dispatcher. I stepped outside one day for a smoke and my buddy was standing there shaking and crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he had just dispatched a call for his best friend."
"His friend was a former army sniper and had only been out for a few months. He was a volunteer fire fighter and was responding to a house fire, rolled the truck, and had beed decapitated. Guy had 5 young daughters."
"Call came in and was flagged as a frequent caller on the a** end of a very rural county. The dude was just screaming. We couldn't make out anything he was saying but we had his address and sent every available unit we had. After a while the screaming started to die down and his breathing got very labored. He wouldn't talk to us but he just kept muttering. After a few minutes we realized he was praying."
"Few minutes later deputy arrived on scene. Heard him check in on scene and also heard him on the line. First noise I heard was him vomiting. Turned out the dude had been working on his car and the lift collapsed. The guy wasn't under the car but was between it and a tree when the car started rolling. He was impaled on a branch and pinned between the tree and car."
"Dude lived. He's a quadriplegic but he's alive. First legit 911 call he ever made and everyone took their sweet time getting there because it was usually nonsense."
"I am a emergency helicopter dispatcher so I get calls from EMS in rural areas. First question I always ask is, 'what is the closest city to the scene?' I swear 80% of these people do not know how to pronounce it correctly and 50% of them do not know how to spell it."
"One time this guy cut his d**k off on bath salts. When he came too he realized what he did and called us directly."Giphy
"I worked as a jailer for a while after getting out of the Marines. We had a dispatcher who had 2 kids. Both boys one a POS that was always in jail the other younger troubled and riding a dangerous line. She got the call one night that her younger son got shot twice in a drug deal gone wrong at a public park where he was playing ball."
"He was dead before the helicopter got in the air most likely. The dispatch center was connected to the jail where she had to work less than 50 yards from the man who shot her son. She was pretty tore up."
"Not EMS, but work for a domestic violence shelter that offers sexual assault services. Will never forget talking to this one woman, and her husband came home during the call and she must have dropped the phone in the process but then I could just hear her screaming and him yelling. That will stay with me forever I'm sure. I really wish we had been able to get her help before that happened. That is the worst call I've had. But I find it so hard when children call, just always breaks my heart."
Good for them for not pushing themselves.
"When I was younger, I applied to be a 911 operator for the city I was living in northern California. I got through most of their tests and interviews, which there were numerous. The pool of applicants was over 200 for about 8 positions. I got down to the last dozen applicants then they played some recordings for us."
"The recording I listened to was a young girl calling 911 from inside a closet. She was crying and hysterical saying that her dad was in the house with a gun and was going to kill her mom. You could hear the mother screaming in the background and the operator was really calm and collected. She got the little girl to keep her voice down and whisper and tried to keep her on the line. You could hear the gunshots in the background."
"I couldn't listen to it anymore. I didn't want to find out what happened next, so I don't know the outcome. I knew I couldn't handle that then. I don't think I could take something like that now."
"There was an accident once on a somewhat busy state road here. An older couple in an suv pulled out onto the road without seeing a motorcyclist that was going well over 100 mph. He rear ended them, died instantly and plowed through the suv, landing halfway through the windshield. The suv flipped a couple times and landed on the passenger side, trapping the wife. Then it caught on fire."
"At my dispatch center we had 3 of us working at all times, and I don't even know how many 911 calls we instantly got when this happened. Dozens, I'm sure. After I sent the FD and they got on the way(this is a rural area and this intersection was probably a good ten minutes south of them), some bystanders managed to get the husband out of the suv but he died in the helicopter on the way to the hospital, I believe. The wife burned alive."
"Honestly the worst part was right after I dispatched the FD, one of the lieutenants on the biggest police department in my county happened to be driving through there with his family and he called 911. I'll never forget how panicked and frantic he was on that call. I had never heard any of our officers like that before, let alone one of the administrators. We were pretty friendly with all of them so it shook me up. After I hung up with him I just started sobbing."
The strength it must take to move past that...
"My sister works as a dispatcher. Her first week on the job, she had a man call in, saying he was going to kill himself. He told her that she couldn't do anything to change his mind; he was simply trying to let her know where he could be found. She heard the gunshot through the call."
"Second one, she had a little girl call in because her dad was unresponsive. She knew that CPR would likely save this man, but the daughter wasn't grown enough and didn't have the strength to perform it effectively. My sister had to tell her to leave the room, because the longer that girl stayed in there trying fruitlessly to save her father, the more scarred she would become by the experience of watching her father die."
Both are horrifying.
"Former 000 calltaker reporting in. Scariest one would have to be one of the very first calls I took while I was training. A young man rang up and it was evident from his voice that he was in shock. His exact words were 'I've just hit a motorbike rider who was coming around a blind bend on the wrong side of the road. I think I've killed him.'"
"From dealing with a few noise complaints to a car accident with a possible fatality was a massive switch, and this was only my second shift taking calls in training. The motorbike rider did not survive that accident."Giphy
"Second scariest would be when someone was working down a well and was overcome by generator fumes. His wife tried to rescue him but she fell off the ladder, injured herself as a result and was unable to help her husband. So there's one possibly dead male in the well and his wife is in danger of dying as well. And all of this is in a remote location that I am completely unfamiliar with. We didn't save the male. We did, however, manage to save his wife."
"My answer from a similar thread:"
"The one that always sticks with me was the time I had to tell a father how to cut his 15 year old son down after he had hung himself. He was actively reciting reasons why he may have been a bad parent while doing it. I'll remember that until the day I die."
"Obligatory posting on behalf of my mom. She answered 000 police emergency calls (Australian 911). The top two: A woman phoned up. She had a restraining order on her ex-husband, had come home to furniture moved positions inside the house."
"Whilst checking rooms she noticed handprints on the wall leading up to the roof cavity access point. This was slightly ajar. Mom tells her to leave. Woman decides nope, she's Dora the explorer and gets a chair. She stands on it, starts to lift the cover and it gets slammed back down. Yep, hubby in the roof. He'd been there a while (days)."
"2nd: a call comes in from a remote outback community. Someone's using a machete to stab their way into a door while laughing maniacally. There are no street addresses or house numbers to ID the location and the caller cannot give a location. Nearest police are 2 hours away. Mom just heard screaming, then gurgling, then silence then whistling."
"I was working at a small agency during a storm. We would work 1 person in dispatch per shift, as it was pretty common to go an entire overnight shift without a single call. The local hospital called and said 'A tornado just hit the hospital.' Turns out, the tornado dropped directly on top of the hospital, moves across the street to the college dorms and destroyed at least one of them. There must have been multiple 'naders because all of our phone lines lit up and everyone was saying a tornado just hit their house."Giphy
"The town close by had a couple fires, our paging system went down (meaning no paging out our volunteer fire guys, 3 officers in total for the entire f**king county, and all of our medics tied up at the hospital."
"The calls would go like this: 'Are you injured? Do you feel safe enough to drive yourself to the hospital?' If they said yes, I'd tell them to make their way to the staging area at the hospital, if no, I had to write it down and have one of the other agencies sending help to check on them."
"Luckily the college was on an extended weekend so hardly anyone was in the dorms. I still have anxiety issues when I'm at work when a storm hits."
Don't do drugs.
"My dad's friend got a call from a man who claimed there was an alien in his stomach. When they got to him they discovered he cut his own stomach open and took his insides outside. The knife was lying in his flesh next to the body. The man was high on some drugs."
"A 3 year old was at a campground with her family and they let her out of their sight for 20 seconds and she wandered down to a creek and drowned. Her mom found her and her father called in. While I was getting details from the understandable distraught father, a random guy camping there was doing CPR managed to resuscitate her. I can't imagine how her parents felt, but it was like physical weight being lifted off of me."
Pain in the moment...
"Was a 911 operator for 10 years. Scariest is probably different than worst. My scariest was an active shooter in a high rise. Just sitting on the line trying to give the best directions so every one makes it out okay."
"When I first started out, I worked for a rural county and some areas were very far from help. One night I got a call from a group of people who were in a3m accident and their car caught fire. The girl I was speaking with was stuck in her seatbelt and as the fire spread she was in terrible amounts of pain."
"She kept begging me to send help and I was but it was far away. I stayed with her until the phone dropped (assumingly the phone and it melted or malfunctioned). The other was a hanging."
"The father called me for a welfare check and I was putting in the call when he got to the house. He said the door was unlocked, so I stayed landline while he went inside and he found his son. The pain in the moment he walked out and told his wife was so horrible and raw."
"I think the most genuine terror comes from child callers. I had this 5 year old call in that her dad was growling and wouldn't wake up. Ok agonal breathing, probably a heart attack scrambling to get a confirmed address for ems, pd dispatched to unconfirmed address."
"Finally confirm the address and start giving directions on CPR. Nope she will not touch him because she is scared then bursts into tears. Luckily pd arrived just after she refused and they were able to do CPR until EMS arrived."
CPR instructions and he kept screaming...
"911 dispatcher here for a large city. I get a little bit of everything and mostly it's BS. But one that stuck with me was something recently. A man called in frantic and it was really hard to get him to calm down. He told me his 35 year old girlfriend was unresponsive and not breathing."Season 5 Nbc GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"I immediately started giving this guy CPR instructions and he kept screaming 'I'm sorry I'm sorry my love.' Tough morning for the guy no doubt. It hit me that he could have been responsible or the last thing he ever said to her was not pleasant. Never followed up on the call. In this line of work, it's on to the next one."
"Too busy to think about it. I have millions of people depending on me not to let the last call effect the next one. I don't know what happened other than she was a DOA. Didn't hit me until the next day. My God, that scream was deafening. All i know is there was more to the story, I could hear it in his voice."
"P.S. I've heard people shot in real time, parents trying to revive their dead kids first thing in the morning, but this for some reason hit me."
On the Roof
"There's a guy up here on the roof. He was wandering around in a daze and not responding to me. He's got his shirt off and he's sitting on top of the parking garage with his legs over the edge and he's rocking back and forth. He's covered in blood."
"Vehicle pursuits aren't fun either."
On the Porch
"Heard this story from a cop I knew. Guy calmly calls 911 to report a man standing on his front porch with a shotgun. Police arrive at the address provided to find a man in his 50s standing on the porch as described in the call. They take cover and prepare to shoot if man decides to open fire. Man points gun to his own face, cops realize what was going on, but it happened too quickly for them to intervene. That man on the porch was the one who called."
the_one_with_no_facescared famous smile GIF by VH1Giphy
Dispatchers seriously aren't paid enough.
Do you have any experiences to add? Let us know in the comments below.
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When love is on the rocks and there's no salvaging a relationship, it's better for a couple to call it splits.
Sometimes the reason for a breakup is obvious.
Other times, it's more complicated.
But the people involved going their separate ways is better than staying in an unhealthy relationship.
Curious to hear from ex-lovers who've been there, Redditor Lishasquarepant asked:
"What caused your last break-up?"
These Redditors found they and their significant other were no longer on the same page.
"Simply, we grew apart."
"Same, I feel like Michael Scott everytime I try to start another relationship. 'No question about it, I am ready to get hurt again.'"
"Same. We loved each other like siblings, not spouses... Ugh! Lovely man though who now has a fab girlfriend. We are good friends and much happier apart."
"Same. And it f'king sucks, but that’s life. It’s been a year and I still hate every second that she’s not in my life, but at the same time I know she’s happier now than she would’ve been if we stayed together."
Having no communication is the worst part.
"He slowly got distant. I believe he lost interest and didn't dare be honest with me about that."
The Late Blame Game
"I had that happen as well, but then he pinned it on me being distant and not affectionate enough."
"My guy, if you pull your hand away every time I try to hold it, I'm gonna stop trying to hold it. And if I ask if something's up and you repeatedly tell me everything is fine, I'm going to believe you. Don't wait till I'm at my worst moment and then reveal you had issues with me for 3 months and break up with me for it being 'my fault.'"
"Everything Is Fine"
"Oh man, the asking repeatedly and getting a 'nothing' reminds me of a story."
"My friend used to ask her ex this every time he was unusually quiet. He’d always say he was fine, then at one point, told her to stop asking because it was making him feel weird."
"So she did."
"Six months later he initiated a divorce because she didn’t care about his feelings anymore."
"Like…don’t ask for sh*t then get pissy when you get what you want."
And then there are those who were not invested in the relationship for a long time.
The Struggle Is Real
"He seemed to struggle with the concept of not f'king random people."
Leaving The Problem
"He moved to his country because he missed his family. So he only sent a WhatsApp message saying he was going to stay there. I would have preferred a call at least to break up a marriage."
"Something similar happened to my cousin. He married her in the US, they had a baby together.. a few years go by, he misses home, goes back to visit.. His family had an arranged marriage ready for him 🤦🏻♀️ He ended up with a new wife and new baby. Hasn’t came back."
A Foreign Custom
"It just seems so surreal that a grown a** adult with a wife and baby would leave his family behind for an arranged marriage. I'll never fathom the mentality."
"I wasn't having sex near as often as she was."
Breaking up is hard to do.
But a good thing to remember is that love can be found again and the new relationship can be even better than the previous one.
And that's something that can't be recognized until you look back in retrospect.
We all have to kiss a few toads.
Everyone looks back on their high school experience differently.
Some wish they could relive it all over again, while others are more than happy to put it all behind them and seldom, if ever, look back on it.
Of course, no matter if they look back on high school with pleasure or disdain, everyone has a few memories of their classmates.
Particularly the one who always seemed to be getting into trouble.
Constantly landing themselves in detention and, in more severe cases, landing themself in trouble with the authorities.
Some of these students thankfully grew out of their bullying days and have grown and learned to treat others with respect and kindness. Others were not so lucky, and still found themselves getting into trouble long after their school days were over.
"Who was the worst student in your high school, & what did they do that was so bad?
The Beginning Of The End...
"There was a kid who walked up to the pencil sharpener and set the substitute teacher's hair on fire from behind her with a cigarette lighter and then claimed sparks had flown out of the light switch."
"He's in prison for other stuff now."- isfrying
Lucky The Room Was Empty...
"I knew a lot of sh*tty people back in school, but I think the guys who dropped a whole desk out of a third-story window onto some kid qualify as the worst, purely because I think that qualifies as an attempted murder."- WixedEcho
Doesn't Exactly Scream True Love...
"The boy that put a pipe bomb into another kid's locker because he talked to the girl the original boy liked."
"He went to a juvenile program and then disappeared."- dreamermom2
The Demon Student Of High School...
"A girl at my school took the ashes of her recently deceased grandfather."
"Baked it into cookies and handed the cookies out amongst her classmates."
"Nine students had eaten them before she revealed the urn and told them what she did."- FiddlerofSticks
What A Waste, So Close To The End...
"He put LSD in a teacher's drink and they tripped."
"12th grade, he got arrested as he should have."- Amy_OZ
How Did He Even Get The Job?
"Not me, but my daughter and her female friends in 9th grade."
"There was a boy who was disturbed who was making threats to the girls in his classes."
"The girls told me he had photos of dead animals he'd killed."
"Anyway, for whatever reason, my daughter felt like telling me about it for the first time well into the school year, like in November or so."
"I had no idea this was going on until then."
"I called the teacher first, who was a man, and he was afraid of this kid."
"Teacher said to call the principal and gave me his number."
"Principal said, and I quote: 'Lady I have 1200 students to deal with on a daily basis'."
"'I can't be worried about whether your daughter is safe at school'."
"Which was the wrong thing to say, bc it obviously pissed me off."
"He said that he put this kid and my daughter alone in a room and told them to essentially kiss and make up."
"Called the superintendent next, who was incredibly bowled over by the incompetence of the principal."
"He told me to call the police."
"Which was too late because I had already taken my daughter and 3 of her friends to the police to make reports and file for a restraining order."
"The next day the principal called to apologize, from the phone in the superintendent's office."
"The kid was removed from the classes with all of these girls, which was next to impossible."
"And less than a week was removed from the school."
"I think my daughter said that he's in prison now."- floridianreader
Some People Can Turn Their Lives Around
"Not the worst student but craziest thing to happen was freshman year this kid got caught using a keylogger to steal teacher's gradebook logins to sell grade changes."
"He was also stealing credit card info."
"Ran into him a few years ago and he actually graduated Harvard and is in real estate now."- AbortionCrow
Bad Decisions Have Consequences
Bullied other kids mercilessly."
"Stole cigarettes & alcohol from shops, to sell to other kids for cash he'd use to buy weed."
"A few years after high school him and 2 of his closest mates were hooning in their sh*tbox on the highway, playing Chicken."
"It was night time and they had their lights turned off, and they were driving on the wrong side of the road with the intent to make other people flinch & dodge before they had to."
"Other driver didn't even know they were there & just drove a straight path."
"So because of that the other driver obviously didn't dodge or deviate, forcing them to flinch and they dodged off the side of a road, right into a huge Gum Tree."
"All 3 killed instantly 140+kmph impact on a hardwood tree."
"Small rural area so the whole town grieved over the 'tragic loss of 3 young lives' but single kid who grew up around them knew better than to call it a tragedy."
"Glad the other driver didn't see them & suffer their fate."
"Gladder that they're gone."- Pharya
Some People Simply Never Learn From Their Mistakes
"One of the rich families kid was just 100% incapable of driving safely at all."
"We're talking at the age of 16 has already totaled 3 cars."
"His parents kept giving him new ones, not cheap ones either, Acura RSX, VW Golf, Subaru WRX."
"The VW and Acura he did nothing but crash them into trees while he had his DRIVING PERMIT - not even a license."
"The First WRX he had a passenger in it and decided to hit another tree."
"Passenger broke his neck but was fine."
"3 months later, parents got him his second WRX."
"Was doing 70+ in a 45 back road with a 2 girls in the car."
"Swerved to avoid a truck pulling into a road, clipped the back corner, spun the car sideways and got T-boned by a box truck/Uhaul."
"It was sad but I'm more outraged at his sh*tty parents."- Saturn_5_speed
One never knows the kind of person your classmates are going to grow up to be.
Though sometimes, you can't help but appreciate that you were right about your instincts to avoid certain people.
Who among us hasn't seen things that made us think we were still asleep?
Sometimes those scary movie moments are a reality.
Once in a while, Michael Myers IS in the shadows.
There are so many unexplainable happenings that leave our nerves wrecked.
As I type this, I swear I can hear moving in the bushes outside.
I'm not in the mood to be terrorized before bed.
Redditor TractorLoving wanted to hear about the things many of us have seen that left us shaken and a bit scared, so they asked:
"What's the most creepy thing you've ever witnessed?"
I've lost track of the number of things that have creeped me out in life.
I barely leave the house.
From the bushes...the lion king disney GIFGiphy
"When I was about 12 I was sleeping on my trampoline with a friend and we heard the bushes move behind us, we flashed our flashlight to the bushes and a mountain lion was laying there stalking us, I have never run so fast in my life."
"Finding my dad dead in his recliner. I swear I heard his voice when the coroner came for his body."
"My granddad knocked over my great-grandma's ashes in his car accidentally, and to this day swears he heard her laugh, loud and clear as if she was standing next to him. She had a hugely wicked sense of humor and would have found this (and my very stressed granddad carefully collecting her ashes back into the container before my grandma saw) very funny."
From the Sea
"When I was serving my time as an engineer in the merchant navy we used to have to clean out what is called 'sea chests;' they're basically big filters for seawater that we would pump in to use as coolant and if the pumps were on when we were dockside we'd find all sorts of things like bottles, fish, crabs etc."
"One day we opened up the chest, pulled out the filter, and immediately saw this gold shiny thing which turned out to be a Rolex watch. Usually, we'd just dump out the filter but with the mitigating circumstances, we went through it thoroughly and found a piece of a shirt with cufflink still attached and last but not least a nicely rotted finger."
"The police ended up closing off the dock and dredging it but never found anything on the end." ~ MarkyBhoy101
TerrifiedWatching I See You GIF by TravisGiphy
"This guy followed me home. Said he saw me there often and named a few local spots I go to sometimes as places he sees me. It’s been about a year. Never saw him again. I was terrified for a little while for sure."
Stay vigilant out there kids.
People are watching and some of us don't notice.
Back Up CreepScared Homer Simpson GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"I was in a restaurant years ago on lunch break. At the time I was a very thin 25-year-old woman. There was this big creepy guy sitting there who would NOT stop staring at me from the moment I walked in the door."
"I mean just open face staring without blinking for the entire 15 minutes I was eating several seats away. I asked for a box and left early to get away from him. As I walked out he said, 'You shouldn't be out alone. Someone's going to grab you and steal you away." 100% convinced creepazoid had someone locked up in his basement."
'Youth in need'
"Was working in a restaurant. Nice place. That night we held a charity dinner for a 'youth in need' type of house. The guy representing the house, a worker there, was such a nice and kind man. Every teen there was only saying nice things about him. A good soul, that was giving everything he could for these teens."
"At one point they gave a big check to the charity. I must guess an amount they rarely received. Well under the excitement, that poor man had a cardiac arrest. Dropped there on the stage, cheque in hand. He couldn't be brought back. He died. Seeing this was already bad enough, but the kids everywhere in the restaurant screaming and crying for hours after... haunting."
Inside the House
"One random night in middle school I woke up and had the odd feeling that something or someone was present in the house and coming towards my room. I was scared so I closed my eyes to pretend to be asleep. I could faintly hear something come into my room and it felt like someone was standing over me, looking to make sure I was asleep. I laid on my back, eyes shut, until the feeling passed, and ended up falling asleep. I woke up in the morning to find out that our house was robbed."
There in lies the rub...
"Well dressed 50 something business dude on a quiet Chicago L train reading a Wall Street Journal. Pretty woman with long curly hair dozing in the seat in front of him, her hair dangling behind the seat. The guy is rubbing and playing with her hair while reading his paper so I figure she's his wife or girlfriend who just wanted some space to nap."
"He is now intently rubbing and fondling her hair and not reading anymore. Suddenly she snaps awake and pulls in her hair like a bug was in it or something. She gets off at the next stop, he continues reading. They didn't know each other at all."
Why do people feel the need to overshare?
People really need to discuss boundaries.
If someone were to ask us which book we either hated or could not finish, we all have an answer to that question.
There are some books that simply do not work for us, while others stick with us forever.
Redditor Fair_Swing_6461 asked:
"What is the most challenging book you've ever read and why?"
"I have been an avid reader for many years. Thick and difficult books usually don't daunt me. 'Ulysses' by James Joyce has me beat, though. I just can't take the rambling about nothing at all and gave up 200 pages in."
"'Finnegans Wake' by James Joyce: hold my pftjschute."
"'Finnegans Wake' is very similar to this for me. I tried to read both 'Ulysses' and 'Finnegans Wake' and never got too far with either, even though they fascinated me."
"'Finnegans Wake' is so much more difficult to understand than 'Ulysses,' in my opinion. 'Ulysses' is like a waking man’s stream of consciousness while 'Finnegans' is almost in a weird dream-like stream of consciousness that hits different readers in different ways. 'Ulysses' is Joyce playing with style/prose while 'FW' is him playing with language."
"'Infinite Jest' by David Foster Wallace."
"Every page has footnotes that are required to understand the story. All 1,000 of them."
House of Leaves
"I'm reminded of 'House of Leaves' by Mark Z. Danielewski, where the footnotes are the story."
"'The Silmarillion' by J. R. R. Tolkien."
"It's like the Old Testament of Middle Earth. I couldn't do it."
"'Being Mortal' by Atul Gawande."
"My Dad read it to prepare himself for his death from cancer. He gave it to me and said he hopes it brings me the comfort of his demise as it brought him."
"I can't get past chapter three. I cry each time I try to finish it. Ugly uncontrollable despair cry."
"It is a great book, it has helped me a lot. The author has some important insights into mortality. But six years on, I am still not there yet."
"'Les Miserables' by Victor Hugo, in French. I was a second-year French language student."
"I came here to say 'Les Miserables' in English. The plot, more plot, 50+ pages of the history of Paris's sewers, more plot, more plot, more extremely long history."
"I enjoy history but don't interject an extensive detailing of it in the middle of a story."
"'Blood Meridian' by Cormac McCarthy. Judge Holden is one of the most disgusting yet intriguing characters in fiction I have ever read."
Reading Comprehension Who?
"I've read a bunch of Thomas Pynchon and Dostoevsky cover to cover and forget everything that happened in them."
"I find it very hard to reconstruct the words on the page into a movie in my brain. I might as well be reading a bunch of numbers. Pretty much all fictional books are challenging for me."
"'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov. It's an infamous book that has been historically misinterpreted, romanticized, and weaponized as a love story, when it's really the account of the sexual abuse and manipulation of a 12-year-old girl, written from the perspective of the abuser trying to convince the reader of his innocence."
"Some scenes are gut-wrenching when you actually read between the lines and keep in mind who is telling the story. It's the ultimate 'unreliable narrator.'"
Intruder in the Dust
"Anything by William Faulkner. Specifically 'Intruder in the Dust,' because that is the one I actually read. It was a requirement for one of my college classes. It was awful."
"He doesn’t use punctuation. Sometimes a 'sentence' can go on for pages at a time."
"'The Sound and the Fury' did me in. I had to read it for my last year of high school at a time when you couldn’t look up summaries and whatnot."
"It was just an uninterrupted stream of consciousness with barely any punctuation or flow. The definition of word vomit. I felt the mental equivalent of motion sick when I read it, and thinking back on it I can vividly recall these feelings, even several years later."
"'Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics' by Peter J. Lewis."
"The book focuses on the three dominant interpretations of Quantum mechanics from a viewpoint of metaphysical ontology (the philosophy of what exists and what is real)."
"I have read many popular books on Quantum physics both in English and in Dutch. I can say I understand 70% of what is written in those books. This book sparked my interest very much when I came across it."
"I did not understand any of it. I could not finish the second chapter as I had no idea what the h**l this guy was talking about. It grounded my smug a** for a while."
"'Moby Dick' by Herman Melville. Just chapter after chapter describing whales and the whaling process. This might have captured the imagination in the 1850s, but when you’ve been watching Attenborough documentaries since childhood, explaining how big a whale is becomes tedious."
"I think people approach it wrong. It’s not a book about an exciting adventure, although it does have that, it’s a book about being bored at sea and reminiscing on life. I hate when people say you should only read the plot chapters. The point of the book is finding meaning in the dull things around you, and the writing is beautiful."
"This is a strange choice because it's a classic, but I struggled with 'David Copperfield,' because of the writing style, by the author, Charles Dickens, who wrote these long, drawn-out sentences, and it got to the point, as I was reading, where I would just start to count, in my mind, how many punctuation marks there were, in each sentence."
While we could take this conversation as sad, seeing as how there are books out there that some people do not like, it's better to take it as a reminder that not every book is going to be for us, and we have every right to put that book down and pick one up that we'll love instead.