Ever dreamed of a fairy tale love life? Do you lament not having the fiery love life that great authors, past and present, dreamt up? The kind of classic romance with ample swooning and getting swept off of feet?
Love is a bitter struggle where lives are ruined and romantics die violent awful deaths. That is, at least, according to these novels. Here we count down the top 12 worst relationships ever written from vampires to kidnappings and everything in between.
It's going to get ugly.
A true match made in hell. Amy and Nick are both pretty well psychopathic which made this domestic thriller immensely popular.
One reader review says it all: "Fun read, some interesting twists... but felt a little sick at the end."
Brothers and sisters getting involved with one another is never a great idea. Here it's exacerbated by the fact that they're both murderously power-hungry. They'd certainly make for very interesting guests at a dinner party.
This poor girl gives up her whole life for this controlling high school boyfriend - the kind of guy who'd take the engine out of her car so she can't see friends he doesn't like and have her leave her mother for dead.
On top of this he's also a dangerous vampire and wants to eat her.
This one's a real heart-breaker and the passion in the book overwhelms readers to this day. Passion can offer an escape from the humdrum world of a bad marriage but here, it seems also to isolate a woman from everything she's ever known and bring her to a violent death. Not a fair trade off.
This classic duo embark on a twisted quest to manipulate and seduce their way through the entire French aristocracy in a wretched game of malice and humiliation. Everything spirals out of control and ends in death and small pox.
The story was aimed as an attack on the evil nature of the French ruling class but was so wicked that it became a guilty pleasure for them and a personal favourite of Marie Antoinette.
As previously mentioned, incest is never the ideal form of romance. This was as true in 1930s Mississippi as it is now.
In what is probably the most uncomfortable classic of the 20th Century and one of the most successful examples of the unreliable narrator in fiction, Lolita tells a tale of sexual abuse and kidnapping. Not a happy story by any measure.
Emma Bovary is in love only with the idea of love itself, the kind of love that exists in her romance novels. It's not the kind of love that you find with a meek, provincial public servant like Charles. Emma goes to such great lengths to escape the reality of her marriage that she ends up bankrupt, involved with several men and, at one stage, the Catholic Church.
Selfish, arrogant adulterers who don't care a lick about one another. They killed the American Dream and now we have Donald Trump.
Let's be real - no one wants their husband to lock them in the attic. That's a relationship gone wrong right there.
We learn in Jean Rhys's prequel novel, Wide Sargasso Sea that this pair were married without really meeting and getting to know each other first. Relationships that don't have a strong start seem to end all the worse.
This novel is one of the most elegant portraits of a sour marriage ever achieved. The Wheelers are well-fairing American optimists who ache to escape the ordinary but when they make it over the horizon to the life they've dreamed of their freedom is a punishment. They hate each other more everyday.
In this dizzying romantic epic, the pair have a perfectly innocent beginning as childhood chums who cannot bare to be apart from one another. But society lifts Catherine up and leaves the fiery Heathcliff behind. She takes another man to confirm her status and he takes another woman to spite her. They obsess over control and bring tragedy upon one another.
You teach me now how cruel you've been — cruel and false! Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself...