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Uncertain Endings: Literature's Greatest Unsolved Mystery Stories

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  23 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The most intriguing riddle mysteries in literary history, including tales from Bradbury, Dahl, Huxley, O. Henry, and Twain Tantalizing, as ingenious as they are devious, the classic stories in this continually arresting collection come with an irresistible challenge: At their end they leave it to you, the reader, to determine how they end. For ultimately it's the reader wh ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published September 17th 2008 by Pegasus Books (first published 2006)
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Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
UNCERTAIN ENDINGS. (2006). Otto Penzler (ed.). ****.
Penzler has put together an anthology os short stories by a variety of authors. Each of the stories has a potential alternative ending, or, has an ending that leaves the potential result unclear. I’m sure that there are many such stories out there, and he has come up with nineteen examples. As an introduction to each story, Penzler has provided a short bio of the author and a brief bibliography of their works. The works included are:
Stanley Ell
I am the first to admit that I read mystery novels just for the conclusion: that fleeting moment of satisfaction when everything clicks into place. It makes the world feel reasonable, manageable.

In his introduction Penzler points the finger at readers like me and warns that this is a book we will hate.

But I didn't. I found myself laughing at the cleverness of the brutal, untold endings. I liked the way they left you, in the dark without a match, puzzling together in your mind what happened next.
Tzu-Mainn Chen
I picked this book up on a whim while bored at the library, needing something to pass the time. 'Uncertain Endings' definitely does that; as a whole the stories in this collection move quickly to the plot and end before the reader can grow too bored. There's nothing especially memorable about most of them, except a sense that the writing and social mores are a bit old-fashioned (the most recent of the stories was published in 1954).

The best of the stories - for example 'The Moment of Decision' b
Alison C
Uncertain Endings, edited by Otto Penzler, is a collection of mostly out-of-copyright and renewed copyright stories, the earliest from the 1850s and the most recent from 1958, about mysteries where the author doesn’t provide a solution, but leaves it up to the reader to decide. Most famous is Frank Stockton’s “The Lady or the Tiger?” which isn’t remembered as a story published in 1882 but as an existential dilemma - which door to choose, between death and love? There’s a lot of fun to be had he ...more
May 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is a compilation of short stories which have no satisfactory resolution, the most famous of which is Frank Stockton's "The Lady or The Tiger". His sequel "The Discourager of Hesitancy" is also included, along with stories by writing greats such as Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Alduous Huxley and Mark Twain. Despite this, the quality of the 19 stories is uneven, and in at least one case a strong story (Ray Bradbury's "The Whole Town is Sleeping") is made far less "uncertain" by the inclusion of ...more
Feb 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, everyone
Shelves: mysteries
A very creative anthology of "mystery" tales that have not been solved. The most famous is "The Lady or the Tiger." The stories are so expertly crafted--how else to obscure the endings from the reader? Otto Penzler is one of the foremost figures in mystery writing today, and a nice guy to boot. He gives the background to every story as well as insight into the "debates" circulating about which way the story "should" end. Great for discussion as well as for those who enjoy little challenges to sp ...more
Jul 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of the best unresolved mystery short stories. Some were definitely better than others, although it was nice to have short stories to read in small amounts. A few classics with some new material I hadn't encountered previously.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I am attracted to these unsolved mysteries because it always annoys me at the end when I don't know what happens..........ironic???
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Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Otto Penzler founded The Mysteriour Press in 1975 and was the publisher of The Armchair Detective, the Edgar-winning quarterly journal devoted to the study of mystery and suspense fiction, for seventeen years.

Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for The Encycl
More about Otto Penzler