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Topic: Books with surprise endings

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Subject: Books with surprise endings
Date Posted: 10/18/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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I love books with unexpected endings.  Do you?

I just finished reading THE DOUBLE BLIND by Chris Bohjalian.  The conclusion was shocking!  I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.  I had to reread the last chapter too!  What a  haunting tale of delusion!  Has a book ever had this affect on you?  What books with surprise endings are your favorites?



Last Edited on: 10/18/10 3:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/18/2010 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
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That was the book that came to mind when I saw the title of your thread.  LOL

The Thirteenth Tale was another one that was twisty turny.  The end wasn't shocking like The Double Bind, but surprising nonetheless.

Date Posted: 10/18/2010 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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The ending of ATONEMENT by Ian McEwin also got me completely by surprise.

Date Posted: 10/18/2010 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Your post reminded me of something I heard long years ago.  It seems that, among the people leaving a movie theater after seeing "Romeo and Juliet", a very young female was overheard saying to her male companion "Who'd have ever thought it would turn out THAT WAY!"

Date Posted: 10/18/2010 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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LOL!  Bonnie, ROMEO AND JULIET would definitely go to the top of the list as a surprise ending (for those who see/read the play for the first time!)  

THE CRYING GAME comes to mind. as another  " who'd have ever thought it would turn out that way!"

Date Posted: 10/18/2010 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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When I was about 10 I read Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Of course now it's pretty well understood that she broke all the rules with that twist at the end, and that particular twist has become a cliche, but for 10-year-old me, it was a jaw dropper. 

ETA: Rebecca. Presumed Innocent.

There was a mystery by Anne Perry, and I can't recall which one it was now, with what I felt was a big unexpected reveal at the end. My husband said he saw it coming but I certainly did not. 



Last Edited on: 10/18/10 6:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
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The most recent one for me would be Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
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My Sister's Keeper.  I remember actually saying out loud, 'WHAT????!!"

Mary in KY

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2010
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The Double Bind blew me away. I went back and read quite a bit of the book, particularly the clinical notes.

 

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult also caught me off guard.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
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The Burning Court by John Dickson Carr.  Verrrry tricky.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
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Oooh....Forgot My Sister's Keeper!

And an oldie, but goodie........... The Other.   Ooooooo-eeeeeee-ooooooooo!

Date Posted: 10/20/2010 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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Marilyn, Is it called A BREACH OF PROMISE by Anne Perry?

Date Posted: 10/20/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
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Midwives by Chris Bohjalian kind of caught be by surprise.

The book I finished last night "Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox" had a very surprising, almost disturbing ending.  Seemed appropriate when it was all said and done though.

Date Posted: 10/20/2010 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Anna, I don't think so, although A Breach of Promise does have a twist. It might have been Paragon Walk. I no longer have any of her books but IIRC it was one of the early Pitt books. 

Several people have recommended The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox to me, but I've never read it. It does sound interesting, if unsettling. Is it well-written? ETA: Never mind, Mel, I see the thread. Thanks! 



Last Edited on: 10/20/10 6:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/21/2010 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2010
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The most surprising spine chilling end to a story for me is The Story Of My Disappearance by Paul Watkins.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I rememberd two more books with surprise endings.  THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry and COMPANY OF LIARS by Karen Maitland.

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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There is a sweet book titled Peeper by William Brinkley.  Great novel with no heavy anything but it keeps you reading.  and at the end comes the surprise.

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2008
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I didn't anticipate the ending of "Fall On My Knees" - now, I found that one dark and disturbing tale.

Date Posted: 10/27/2010 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2006
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Definitely SHUTTER ISLAND!!

Date Posted: 10/27/2010 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2010
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Not exactly sure "surprise" is the right word, but I never knew what happened at the end of "Her Fearful Symmetry."  If anyone can explain, I'd appreciate!

Date Posted: 10/29/2010 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
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Anita, that was the strangest book.  I made some of my friends read so we could talk about it.  I still think about it.

Date Posted: 11/6/2010 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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Was anyone surprised with the ending of LIFE OF PI?

Date Posted: 11/6/2010 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
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Anna - Life of Pi made me mad!

Date Posted: 11/6/2010 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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Me too!!

Date Posted: 12/19/2010 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
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The last book I read with a really surprising ending was The Dead Room by Heather Graham. I really didn't care for the ending at all. It just didn't fit. But then I like books that have a happily ever after.

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