by Patrick Appel

Nige rejects the notion that gritty books with unhappy endings are somehow more real:

[T]here is nothing more innately real in a relentlessly bleak narrative than in one that ends happily. Almost everybody's life contains (often intermixed) bleak narratives and happy narratives, even happy endings (necessarily provisional) - are the former narratives any more 'real' than the latter? Surely not, and the will to regard them as more real seems to me to be related to the bleak scientistic reductionism that insists on telling us what is 'really' going on when, say, we fall in love or enjoy a work of art.