CPL's Book Quest: The Challenge discussion

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2018 Weekly Threads > Week 32 - The End

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (morwesong) | 47 comments Good Monday morning, everyone! I hope everyone had a good weekend.

I want to talk book endings. I am going to be fairly vague for most of mine, but be aware that there may be spoilers for books in here!

Which endings do you love? Which left you feeling unsatisfied?

I really love the ending to Ian McEwan's Atonement. It was not a totally unexpected twist, as I had seen the film beforehand, but I thought it was handled so well. My mother, on the other hand, was upset. She felt as though the book essentially lied and misled her all the way to the end.

The last line of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favorite lines in literature. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." It may not have wrapped everything up neatly, but it is beautiful. In the same vein, I love the last line of Orwell's 1984. "He loved Big Brother." It is not a happy ending, but it is a powerful one.

As for endings I didn't like, I would have to say the epilogue to JKR's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and the epilogue to Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay. I realize that both of the epilogues were written with the intention of wrapping up the series and providing a concrete ending, but I was unsatisfied with both. I felt like the Harry Potter one was not needed and should have been left out, and I feel like the Mockingjay epilogue ruined Katniss. She took and strong and empowered female character and destroyed basically all of the character-building she had done for three books.

So - talk to me about the end!

Atonement by Ian McEwan The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1984 by George Orwell Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K. Rowling Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins


message 2: by Jodie (new)

Jodie Reha I would prefer endings that are definite, i.e. murderer gets caught, bad guy is defeated, but can accept an ending that is ambiguous, as long as it makes sense. The ending to The Stand by Stephen King is both hopeful and despairing. When Good and Evil battle, is Evil ever vanquished? Yes and no, and therein lies the ambiguity.

"Frannie," he said, and turned her around so he could look into her eyes.
"What, Stuart?"
"Do you think ... do you think people ever learn anything?"
She opened her mouth to speak, hesitated, fell silent. The kerosene lamp flickered. Her eyes seemed very blue.
"I don't know," she said at last. She seemed displeased with her answer; she struggled to say something more; to illuminate her first response; and could only say it again:
I don't know.


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