1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are books with sad endings the most memorable?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tesoro, Jan 21, 2012.

    Just finished reading a book that actually made me cry, both because I was so disappointed, (I've spent 400 pages with these characters and this is how the writer rewards me?) and because it was a really sad story overall, even though written with humour.

    Are the books that end in a sad/bittersweet way the ones we remember best?
     
  2. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I remember the best written books the best. :p
     
  3. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    I agree with both of you (SHOCK! HORROR!!)

    I remember the really well written books, but I think the ones that have stayed with me the longest have been sad - 'River God' by Wilbur Smith left me emotionally numb for days. I don't know if it was particularly the most well written book ever (my agent calls him an 'appalling' writer :D) but his characters were so compelling, I just couldn't believe what he did at the end (no spoilers). I am still trying to psyche myself up to read the last in the series!
     
  4. kablooblab
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    kablooblab Member

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    :eek: Kallithrix, agreeing with someone!?
     
  5. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    I know. I'm not quite feeling myself today.
     
  6. TheWritingWriter
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    TheWritingWriter Senior Member

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    I cry really easily when it comes to books and movies. I mean, a pen drops and I'm bawling. "Oh. :( That poor pen." So, a book that makes me cry is one of many, lol. It depends on how the book ended. If a character died, or if something horrible has happened, it depends on the nature of the event and how it came about.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    :D lol.
     
  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    It was like I was waiting for the ending the entire book, pretty sure it would be in a certain way, but when we got there it was more like an anticlimax and then the author pulled the rug from under my feet.
     
  9. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Not always.
    I prefer sharp/witty or unusual endings that have nothing with normal feelings.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!

    i don't see why a sad ending alone should make a book any more memorable than those with happier ones...
     
  11. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that well-written stories are the most memorable, usually. ;)
     
  12. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's more about powerful endings, and tears is a powerful reaction. One of my favorite books, Mannen som elsket Yngve (the man who loved Yngve) had me crying through the last couple of chapters, even though no one was dying. I think that is a great feat. I’m actually trying to figure out a happy ending that has stuck with me, but I can’t…

    The closest I can get is probably Disney’s the Princess and the Frog. The ending was really sad (and brave on Disney’s part imo), but then he was reunited with his Evangeline, and you smiled through the tears. Yes, I am deeply moved by children’s movies. What of it?
     
  13. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I do find that a bittersweet or ambiguous ending tends to stay with the the longest. I like a happy ending, but it's kind of like I go 'ah, that's nice', shut the book and think little more of it, where bittersweetness makes me ponder more- I suppose it's the lack of satisfactory closure, in a way.
     
  14. hootertooter
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    hootertooter New Member

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    Don't sweat it. I watch Nickelodeon about as much as I do every other channel. And the Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks animated films usually rock all sorts of awesomeness. :)

    Oddly enough, I find animated entertainment for kids to usually be very well thought-out. It's odd that shows like Fairly Odd Parents are actually smarter and faster-paced than many shows for adults like all those awful reality TV shows. It's not just reality TV shows either; even your average sitcom has these huge lengthy pauses after every ****ing line as though I'm so stupid I need to take 5 seconds to absorb/interpret what was said. It's like they're dumbing down entertainment for adults but not for kids.

    With that being said, because somewhere around...oh...99.99999999999% of entertainment produced has happy endings, I can only be surprised by sad, bittersweet, or twist endings (save for one movie where it had a very melancholic tone and mood throughout it then suddenly made the ending happy - it felt like an ***pull though).
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hihi :)
    Mammamaia, spklvr say what I was trying to in another way. if a book makes you cry it means it caused strong feelings, so that might make you remember it because of the powerful ending, or because you didn't get the answer you wanted from it. Maybe it makes you think about it for longer afterwards because you can't accept the way it ended.
    Exactly what I was starting to wonder. I love happy endings but I'm starting to think the sad or bittersweet ending is more powerful.
     
  16. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Ditto this. I try to think of happy endings that stuck, but none come to mind. It's always the sad ones I remember. Like Captain Corelli, although that was more bitter sweet really. Jane Eyre was happy I guess, and that's an enduring favourite. Mostly I don't remember the ending of books unless it was in some way shocking or unexpected, or not the way I wanted it to end.

    Oh, I got one! 101 Dalmations. LOVE that book to bits and have done ever since I was tiny. :D

    DUDE?!?! Thanks for ruining the ending for me :mad:
     
  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I try to avoid the books with tragic endings, sort of, I have enough sadness in my real life I read books to cheer me up, not to traumatise myself. I agree that the books that make you cry are the best ones, it means that you engaged and that you deeply care about the characters, but I am a sucker for a happy end. And not necessarily a stupid-happy end, but something that won't leave me absolutely gutted.
     
  18. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jazzabel: I totally agree with you. I don't need a reminder of the injustices in life, or the fact that it's sometimes sad and tragic and unfair, I read to get away from reality, not to throw myself into it, usually I avoid them too, but I really thought this would be a more happy book. I'm a sucker for happy endings too, but, like you say, not the obvious ones or the silly ones but the ones that makes you feel good and walk around with a smile for hours after finishing reading. :) that kind of happy endings is what I try to accomplish too, when I write.
     
  19. Immy
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    Immy Member

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    I think so but as long as they're well written. Nicholas Sparks is a biggie with these kinds of books; almost every book of his has a sad ending and to be honest, I remember each book perfectly, even if I'd read them ages ago. That's why his novel The Notebook is so popular, because of it's bitter-sweet ending.

    Any book that is clever enough to make you cry at the end is a book worth reading and remembering :)
     
  20. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Oh yeah, the notebook - perfect example of a bittersweet ending (admittedly I'm only going on the movie because I haven't read the book, but that did make me shed a lickle tiny tear. My mum was in floods)
     
  21. The Magnan
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    The Magnan Active Member

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    I prefer some books with good endings but I do like sad endings if the book is well written and have I growin particularly fond of a character or characters. I mean nearly shed a tear reading the final book in the Malazan Book of the Falle and i rarely cry.
     

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