1. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Most disappointing ending to a book?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by TobiasJames, Nov 14, 2010.

    After two months of on-and-off reading, I finally finished Sophie's World yesterday. Others who have read the book will surely understand my resentment at working through nearly 400 pages, only to be presented with THAT ending. And it's a real shame, because the rest of the book was building nicely. I was genuinely hooked on the story in spite of the fact that the plot was really only a secondary device to pique the reader's interest in philosophy.

    It got me thinking - are there any other books out there which are excellently written, only to be let down (in your opinion) by a substandard ending?

    This isn't meant to be a book-bashing thread. I enjoyed the rest of the book, but I felt cheated out of a proper resolution and I wondered if anyone else had suffered a similar experience?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, yes, yes lol I have a very clear winner for the title.

    Brothers Bishop by Bart Yates. It was the most gripping compelling fast moving tale. It went out with a complete copout limp wristed wimpy ending. The book had been brutal, emotional, fasinating. I loved everything about it up until the last sentence and found myself double checking I hadn't missed part of the book lol Either a happy ending or a tragic ending would have worked much better. After so much emotion and investment in the characters I needed more - I wanted more from him - I could go on.

    If it wasn't for the ending it would be in my top three favourite books because of that last paragraph it doesn't even make it into my top ten. It was like the author had gone - oh my dealine is up better end the book. I haven't read anymore Bart Yates not sure if it is something he makes a habit of - don't really want to go through that again.
     
  3. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    What was the ending Tobias? I read that a long time ago and can't remember a specific thing about it, but do have a vague recollection that the whole second half of it was a little flat.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Not a book, but the Buffy TV series :) Or, both Buffy and Angel, I suppose.
     
  5. miss_darcy
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    miss_darcy Member

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    So, I'll admit, I have read the Twilight Series. :eek: But the end of Breaking Dawn was just terrible, I mean she just builds up to this huge climax between the Cullens and the Volturi and then it's like she just wanted to end the series so she put a crappy cliche ending on there and I was so mad! I said to myself: "Really? You made me read four books, FOUR! And you just give me a crap ending? Awesome!...NOT!" It was ridiculous, and if anyone else has read it you feel my pain! I mean if it wasn't for that, some major grammatical errors, and the crazy fangirls maybe I would have considered keeping the copies of those books.
     
  6. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. I did enjoy the book and it was a short read. But it also built up this idea that someone bad was going to happen. That all these small comments about various things was supposed to hint at the idea of it being released.

    Turns out the danged thing becomes harmless after mutating.

    Though I guess the ending itself wasn't actualy bad. It was after all only dumb luck that saved them.

    Only book I think think of that had a disapointing ending.
     
  7. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    It won't give too much away if I say "garden party" and "Disney characters", will it?
     
  8. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even that doesn't jog the memory, but that does sound pretty grim.

    The end of the main text of The Glass Bead Game is reasonably effective: some drive to the narrative, a little drama, a little poetry; but it's a kick to the gut because it drives home just how laboured the rest of it is.
     
  9. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    I'm still confused how the author of Mr. and Mrs. Smith got his/her book printed without an ending.
     
  10. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Every Steven King book I've read, The Tommyknockers especially.
     
  11. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    Well, to be fair, I thought the ending to Twilight was amazing. Considering the poor, shoddy writing, alongside the destruction to mythical figures and flat, two-dimensional characters that are neither human or relatable, I thought the ending to the book was fantastic since it did, in fact, end. If a horrible read, simply ends, that's enough for me, but I'm a simple man at heart.

    I know they're out there, but I honestly haven't run into any horrible endings to books yet. However, I watch a decent amount of Japanese anime, and nearly every ending to every show I've watched is absolutely horrible. No catharsis. So many unanswered questions (not that big of a deal) that don't even bother to pose an opened ending (read: poorly thought out). There's a good number of shows out there that do end well, but the vast majority? Nay, say I.
     
  12. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Ellen Hopkins. She's absolute trash, in my opinion, but occasionally a novel of hers is good-ish. A prime example of her awful endings is in Impulse, where it builds up to something that could turn out better than her usual drivel, and then just ends crappily.
     
  13. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Against my better judgment, I read a Dean Koontz novel recently, it was called Relentless. It was actually a decent read for the most part (by which I mean it was a perfect beach-read: fast-paced and not too taxing).

    WARNING SPOILER ALERT: But then... Then the end happened. A teleporting dog and some magical salt-shakers, Dean? What, really, Dean? Really?
     
  14. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    I've read reviews of the ending to the Dark Tower series (a 30 year endeavor, mind you), and so, learned how that entire series concludes, and let me tell you, I would probably go into a state of perpetual shock if I actually read it (I'm still debating on whether to do so or not; a) now that I know the ending, I know what I'm setting myself up for, and b) now that I know the ending, I know what... I'm... setting myself up for...?). On the flipside, I've read 5 of the 7, and half way through the 6th as it is. Why stop now? I guess..
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Sort of agree, sort of don't.

    Stephen King never has been very good with endings, and you can almost see in his writing how he thinks: that his endings come when he thinks he needs to rap up the first draft up.

    Salem's Lot ending was OK (though that was a book that got better as it went on), The Shining, and Misery wasn't bad (but I like the ending the film gave much better) however, some of the worst endings I've ever read have also came from Stephen King's work. No one can tell me Cell was anything more than a pile of trash.

    The Dark Tower was King trying to be clever and have a Möbius Strip.
     
  16. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Dark Towers ending is perfect really. Roland deserved no better.

    The last few books were, extremely disappointing (forget the ending) compared to the early four books..
     
  17. kazine
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    kazine New Member

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    The Lovely Bones. There was no real ending to that, from what I could tell :s.
     
  18. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    Really? I haven't read it yet, but I've heard incredible things about it.

    That's a shame.
     
  19. Leah Woods
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    Leah Woods Active Member

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    The first book that comes to my mind is My sister's keeper. Firstly, it took me a while to finish it, because I'd get irritated after every ten pages of unrelated story and to get that kind of ending... Well, let's say I was pretty much pissed off. Somehow I lived through the revelation that the whole time Anna was doing it for a sister, and in the end Anna to die.

    The other book that comes to my mind was Lost Symbol. For me that much of a build-up was supposed to lead to a discovery of life on Mars, not that we could be gods ourselves or whatever the explanation it was.

    And I'm sure I'm missing some book, but can't figure out which one :D
     
  20. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dumb luck and pretty much a scientific impossibility. Yes, that was annoying.
     
  21. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, I thought it was a tidy ending. It wasn't how I wanted it to end, but it was a tidy ending.
     
  22. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was going to suggest Peter Ackroyd's Hawksmoor. Although I heard an interview with Ackroyd in which he went on about how Hawksmoor was a completely original concept that had never been done before. Which irritated me, because it was pretty much the same concept as Alan Garner's Red Shift.
     
  23. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Don't worry, the Lovely Bones is a great book.

    Can't think of anything specific, but I hate the type of ending where you think something's going to be horrible and dangerous or a major unleash of some kind, but then it turns out it was a big 'ole misunderstanding and everyone's just friends after all. *Barf*
     
  24. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Matched only by the "Then they woke up, and it was all a dream" ending. Lewis Carroll gets away with it; few others do.
     
  25. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    Not even him. His work, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass do, but that's mainly because of their subject matter. Since then, books that try to pull off dream endings are usually incredibly realistic, so a dream ending is not only unrealistic (since the subject matter isn't bizarre enough to warrant a dream ending), but it's seen as a cheap cop-out to being uncreative.
     

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