This Will End in Tears

This Will End in Tears : The Miserabilist Guide to Music

3.49 (181 ratings by Goodreads)
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For anyone who listens reverentially in the half-light to Robert Johnson, Nick Drake, or Morrisey, who wait anxiously for new albums from The Cure, Leonard Cohen, or The Blue Nile, who buy up catalogs of Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, or Scott Walker, who search the Web for rarities by Radiohead, Elliot Smith, and Miles Davis, this is the book they've been waiting for. `This Will End in Tears` is both a compendium of the greatest sad songs and artists of the modern era and a collection of essays that attempts to explain what exactly draws us to sad music, and how sad music actually makes us happy. Adam also makes an argument, based partly on the structure of operating systems and popular sites like Pandora, for the existence of a miserablist genre, one that's becoming increasingly more important than traditional genres such as blues, rock, country, etc., one that's organized around the rather more amorphous principle of cosmic grief.
Specifically, `This Will End in Tears` will include an A-Z list of entries of the masters of melancholy (from Samuel Barber to Patsy Cline, George Jone to Joy Division, Nico to Hank Williams), a top-100 list of the saddest songs of all time, essays explaining the power of particular songs and artists, and essays explaining particular types of sad music and their effects on the listener. There will also be recommended playlists throughout.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 28mm | 454g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • It Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0061719676
  • 9780061719677
  • 514,907

Review quote

`Highly entertaining.`--`Publishers Weekly`
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Back cover copy

Sad music moves us like nothing else, and despite its gloomy nature it also has the curious power to make us happy. In This Will End in Tears: The Miserabilist Guide to Music, author Adam Brent Houghtaling explains why, while offering up a compendium of history's masters of melancholy and the greatest sad songs of all time, featuring artists across genres and through time--from torch songs to country weepers to emo classics. Loaded with recommended playlists and insights into our favorite sob songs, This Will End in Tears is a fascinating immersion into the "miserabilist" genre, a musical marker with increasing resonance.
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About Adam Houghtaling

In my early teens, the capes and tights of my comics-bred youth fell away, replaced with an explosion of sound from GUNS 'N' ROSES, BLACK SABBATH, S.O.D., INXS, THE DESCENDENTS, and THE MISFITS. In short order I began playing bass and started a staple-bound fanzine (Chinchilla Smile) to celebrate my favorite indie-pop bands. Music has been a passionate part of my life and depressing music makes me particularly happy and I routinely sweep hours away in record stores and online looking for new artists to feed this miserable addiction. I'm a singer and a songwriter and have written for Prefix Magazine and was responsible for music coverage across 8 cities while an editor at AOL CityGuide. I have been an editor for over ten years and was most recently the online editorial director at, the online extension of Gourmet Magazine.
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Rating details

181 ratings
3.49 out of 5 stars
5 14% (25)
4 36% (65)
3 39% (70)
2 9% (16)
1 3% (5)
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