My dear friend Cari has a post up today about book endings and which ones she likes and dislikes. I started to write her a comment, but then it got away from me a bit, and I had to go to work, and so now you get to see a slightly better-put-together version. I hope. πŸ™‚

One of the things that got me right away was how Cari said “However, we don’t often talk about endings. It’s a taboo subject because, well, no one wants to spoil it for someone else. In fact, in this post, I will not bring up any specific books because I do not want to ruin them, either.” And I thought, oh, man, I spoil endings all the time on my blog! Well, not as in “and then this character TOTALLY DIES,” but more as in, “and then there’s some lame twist ending” or “and then you don’t at all find out what happens and it’s kind of awesome.”

I do this probably because I like it when others tell me what style of ending a book has, because there are some books that I know that I enjoyed a heck of a lot more on re-reading when I knew that there wasn’t going to be an easy ending than I did when I got to the end the first time and was all, “What.” And so knowing that the ending is going to annoy me usually makes it annoy me far less, and I hope that you guys don’t mind it!

And, of course, there have been books I’ve read that are nothing but lead-ups to the AMAZING TWIST ENDING OF OMG I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING, and those are fun, too, and I won’t say anything about said ending when I tell other people about it, because that’s not fair. Although sometimes I have to throw in a “yeah, yeah, the first 300 pages are crap but then the end is spectacular!” or else they’d never read it!

I was telling my book club the other day, in re: The Book Thief, that I adore books that spoil their own endings. The ones where right from the get-go, you know everyone dies in the end or that every survives or that a plague of monkeys is going to come down upon the earth. I like them because it means that the author has to work that much harder on the beginning and the middle to keep things interesting, or surprising if they must. I prefer interesting.

So, yeah, endings! (I am personally bad at them!) What’s your take?

4 thoughts on “Endings

  1. Cari says:

    Woo! Thanks for the follow-up post!

    I think what you do is totally fine. I guess what I was referring to was explicitly telling what happens in the end. If you give me an inkling, I am okay with that. Just be vague. (I like the picture!)

    I also like the ones where you know the ending in advance! I didn't think about that.

  2. Alison says:

    You don't want to know how much effort went into finding that picture (hint: WAY more than necessary because today I am doing things the difficult way). But it's totes appropriate. πŸ™‚

    And I guess I could have expounded more on specific ending spoilers, but then the post would have been super long… but I guess basically I feel like if knowing the ending spoils the book, it's probably (not always) not a very good book.

  3. Beth Hatch says:

    I love a good ending! But a bad ending ruins everything. It makes reading the whole story seem like a waste of time and that the author got lazy and just threw something together. i.e. The Lovely Bones. Getting killed by an icicle? Give me a break. Good premise, horrible ending. And yes, I just ruined it for someone! MOO Ha hahahaha

  4. Alison says:

    Beth, I totally forgot that an icicle existed in that book, largely because I've forgotten pretty much everything about that book. πŸ™‚ But yes, I am always irked when endings go terribly horribly wrong, because isn't someone supposed to be watching out for that?

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