13 July 2011

The special importance of the end of a book


Last week I read a book and I enjoyed it a lot. The story was very entertaining and heart-warming. But then came the last twenty pages of the book and everything changed. To be quiet frank, in my opinion the ending sucked. It was rushed and overly dramatic. After reading those last twenty pages my whole perception of the book changed. Before reading the end I would have said that the book was great, but now I would only rate it as medicore.

Something similar happened to me a few years ago with a thriller. The book was brilliant right until the last two chapters started. After I finished the book I felt like throwing it against the wall, because the ending made me so frustrated and angry. Even today I sometimes remember this book and its frustrating end. 

Of course everyone expects something different from a good end. And what I dislike might be something you enjoy. Still I think that the end of a book has a special importance for all readers because the last impression of something is always crucial. And of course I love it when a book gets an end that fits to the whole story and that feels right.

Have you ever read a book you enjoyed right until the last 10-20 pages and then everything changed because you hated the ending?

15 comments:

  1. Yes Yes Yes! I totally agree! I feel the same way about movies!

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  2. I didn't like the accidental end of stories I like the ends in which we get a best lesson and a best message for us which change our at lest one bad habit..........
    buy books online

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  3. This is why I argue that for certain books (romantic ones!) I have to check that it ends in a way that won't kill me. My husband always comments when he sees me "checking", but seriously, if it's a romance and it ends badly, the book is RUINED.

    (and I also agree with Tampa Bookworm above. I seem to have watched a lot of rom coms lately with BAD endings where yeah they get together but in ways that ignore other people's feelings and so on. Blah).

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  4. I certainly must have read books with a bad finish, but can't think of any at the moment. I do dislike books with immense cliffhangers at the end though.

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  5. I really really liked What Happens in London but the last 100 pages were totally meh and changed my whole view.

    And do not even get me started on Mockingjay

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  6. I have totally changed a book from a 5 to a barely 3 due to the last chapter. Everything I thought was really good about it, unraveled in that one chapter. I have also had books go from so-so to fab because of the last chapter!

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  7. Yes! In fact, the book I read was so awesome, I went out and bought four or five more of the author's books (before finishing the first). Well, when I got to the last three chapters I felt like the editor must have been holding a gun to the author's head so he could meet deadline. It was a thriller and all the loose ends were 'loosely' tied up and I was left a very angry reader. So angry I gave all the other books to a thrift shop without even trying to read them. It was sad.

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  8. Have you ever read "I am the messenger"? Fantastic book. Except for the last chapters. If I remember correctly, four pages ruined it. I had been warned about it by the friend who lent it to me, but just couldn´t NOT read it. Actually considered buying one and ripping off those pages.

    (Also, agree with the romcoms. Anyone seen "Something Borrowed"? Just wrooong.)

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  9. Got to know that I'm not the only one who is frustrated with bad endings. It's weird that only a few pages can destroy everything.

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  10. OMG, YES!! The ending is something that can stick with me for eons if it's good and if it's bad... Well, then the book just became a 'meh'-read instead of a great one. I mean, how can you recommend a book saying: 'it was really good, but the ending sucked'? I don't think anyone would pick it up based on that.

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  11. I was disappointed in the ending in Water for Elephants. It just didn't seem plausible and I got the impression that the ending was rushed.
    Ann

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  12. I agree. One of my book ending pet peeves is a cliffhanger. Each book should have a beginning, middle, and an end. If it's a series this doesn't change, it's just even more important to wrap up the book in a way that leaves us wanting more. I feel that cliffhangers are a cheap ploy to get us to read the next book.

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  13. @ Rie: Don't get me started on cliffhangers. In most cases I hate them.

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  14. YES! I have had many books where I LOVE it, think it's a 5-star book, but then I read the end. And that just KILLS the book. My Name is Memory was one of those.

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  15. I've read many disappointing endings but I don't think it's affected my perception of the book because it's not exactly a bad ending, just different from what I expected. If things go downhill for me it's mostly at the beginning or in the middle. :)

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