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Topic: good books with bad endings

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Subject: good books with bad endings
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2009
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Your two favorite books with bad endings. Mine are "The Giver" and "the Story of Edgar Sawtelle". Repeated books are all right as I want to see which book gets nominated the most. In my opinion if a book is really good and it has a bad ending it becomes an average book. Thanks Kenney

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,546
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I absolutely hated the ending of Stephen King's IT. Loved the story until he revealed who/what the evildoer actually was.  I think I might have slapped SK silly if he'd been in the area when I read. LOL! 

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
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The ending of Karin Slaughter's Beyond Reach (2007) upset many of us on these boards. I"m certain that there is still a long line of readers who would gladly pay for the privilege of smacking her. WHAT was she thinking?

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2007
Posts: 2,648
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I absolutely hated the ending of Stephen King's IT. Loved the story until he revealed who/what the evildoer actually was.

 

I was aggravated at the ending of this book. Alot of his stories are good right up until the ending, then they just fall apart into nonsense.

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2009
Posts: 62
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I vote for The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  I hated the ending so much I gave the book away and never want to see it again!  It's sad, too, because I liked the book right up until the ending.

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I think that a lot of Jodi Picoult's books have bad endings.  But, I keep on reading them anyway.  "Harvesting the Heart" was the only one that I read that had a good ending.



Last Edited on: 4/22/09 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/22/2009 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 181
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Anything by John Grisham.....he captivates us with his multi-faceted story and characters, then wham, in just a few paragraphs he ties up all the loose ends in really implausible ways.  It's like all of a sudden he decides, "I'm tired of this book and need to end it".  How his editor and publisher tolerated this i don't know.  I still, however, occasionally pick up a new one, usually 12-18 months after the last one.  I guess time makes us forget and hope is eternal.  Just started The Appeal and so far the storyline is too much like A Civil Action, years ago by Harr. 

I leave for Italy tomorrow:  it will not be making the trip with me, we'll see if I can get back into it when I return.

Trish



Last Edited on: 4/23/09 12:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/24/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2008
Posts: 26,635
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I'm with you lucky.  I hate when a book is going along with a great story and characters and then-----done.  I stopped

reading Grisham for that reason too.

I was also disappointed in Nora Roberts Pagan Stone trilogy.  I really enjoyed the first two, couldn't wait til I got the third.

It was great til the end and then it seemed to wrap up very quickly.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2006
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I agree with the naysayers about Edgar Sawtelle. It was so well written and a wonderful story but the ending was horrible. I had been warned that it was Hamlet in disguise but I really didn't think it would end so badly. I sent my copy away ASAP and never want to see it again. I am so bad that when I come across it in bookstores I turn it over so I don't have to look at the cover.

Date Posted: 4/26/2009 5:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,782
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This one's easy: there's a book nobody's ever heard of which starts off extremely similar to The Name of the Rose -- monks at a medieval monastery are disappearing and a young novice is called on to find out why. For the first 50 or so pages, it's a terrific story -- well-drawn characters, an intruiging mystery, unusual atmosphere.

Unfortunately, for reasons I've never been able to fathom, the book ends precisely one page after you're really, really getting into it. If you look in the dictionary under "abrupt" there's a photo, I'm absolutely certain, of the cover of this novel.

The New York Times absolutely loved it, naming it a Notable Book of the Year in 1984.

If you want to torture yourself, and/or if you choose not to believe me, and/or you know you're much smarter than I am and have been looking for a way to mop the floor with my precocious face, I recommend -- nay, I dare you to read -- Flying to Nowhere by John Fuller.



Last Edited on: 4/26/09 5:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/26/2009 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 137
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The book that popped in my mind is the same as several others have already posted.  Even though I read it many, many years ago, I still recall the disappointment vividly that I had when I finished Stephen King's 'It'.  The revelation of the creature that was doing all the evil in the small town over all those years was a real let down!

Date Posted: 4/27/2009 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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I hated the ending to "The Bad Place" by Dean Koontz. It was such a good book until the last chapter. I feel that way about a lot of his books which is why I have given up on him.
Date Posted: 4/28/2009 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2009
Posts: 250
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I only have one, but oh my goodness it was the most disappointing ending of any book I can remember for a while! 

John's Grisham's The Associate.  I was so excited to read the book, and the ending was awful.  My husband felt the same way.

Date Posted: 4/28/2009 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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I have two that I have read recently. The first was My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I was SO ANGRY about the way she ended the story. It went from a book I liked to one I passionately HATED!! The other was Who Do You Think You Are? by Alyse Myers. There are very few books that I have ranked at 1 star but both of these were. Great writers, terrible endings. I suppose I have now suggested a new writer for those of you who love Jodi Picoult.
Date Posted: 4/28/2009 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2009
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When I first read the title of this thread, I knew which book I would pick and lo and behold, I see that many of you agree with me about The Story of Edgar Sawtell. I was sucked in by Oprah! When will I learn? I have never been so disappointed with a books ending as I was with this one. It was if the author hadn't thought the whole story through and had to hastily come up with a way to end it. It was one of those books that I wish I could demand a refund for. It was a total waste of my money and my time. 

Date Posted: 4/28/2009 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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I was very upset about the ending of the Harry Potter series. The whole series were rich, engaging and just plain awesome. The epilogue was poorly written, short and not well thought out at all. Very disappointed.



Last Edited on: 4/28/09 11:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/30/2009 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 5,272
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 I was annoyed by the end of the Twilight series, in Breaking Dawn.  It was a complete letdown after all of the mounting tensions earlier in the story. 

Date Posted: 4/30/2009 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2009
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I didn't like the ending to the Harry Potter series.  The last book just ended flat.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 4:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
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"The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox." I really liked the writing style, even though at first I didn't think I would. It was almost going to be a keeper for me, but then the ending happened!

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,714
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The Shadow of the Wind. He built the whole "quest" to find out about the missing author and the meaning behind his book, and in the end rather than discovering the answers on his own, the protagonist simply gets an explanation from a disinterested third party. It was like the author suddenly realized he had written 300 pages and he didn't want to keep going so he just wrapped it up way too fast and easy. Also The Book of Air and Shadows, for very similar reasons.

I HATE "quest" stories where the object of the quest is either never found or turns out to be a wild good chase.

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 6:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 61
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Cold Mountain.  What's wrong with a happy ending?  Why can a book only be "great" if somebody you have grown to care about dies?

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,284
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I have read a few books that I really enjoyed up until the ending.  But, one of the most recent ones I read is Where You Once Belonged by Kent Haruf.  It was a really, really good book and I was so looking forward to the ending.  But, (now I won't give anything away here) after reading the last chapter it was almost as if the author got bored and just wanted to end the book too quickly and took such an easy way out.

I have read Haruf's other books (Plainsong and Eventide) which I really enjoyed.  This book had such potential and was a big dissappointment to me (IMO).

Subject: Cozy mysteries with bad endings
Date Posted: 5/7/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Any number of 'cozy' mysteries lately, in which the author apparently sensed the end of her allotted pages approaching, realized she hadn't included a plausible murderer, and hastily shoved one of the red herrings into that role, without providing much motivation for the character to have done the deed. Grrr.
Subject: SPOILER
Date Posted: 5/7/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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The nature of this thread is in itself a spoiler, but I just wanted to warn readers that I may have a spoiler or two in this post.

 

Agree:

  • Cold Mountain  - I love this book save the ending. I thought the ending was quite cruel to READERS
  • Harry Potter, book 7 - Yes, I agree the ending was a huge flatliner.  You can tell JK Rowling was just done.

Plus:

  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter  - Again, McCullers rewarded her readers by killing off the protagonist that we grew to love. CRUEL.
  • The Road - Just a stupid, meaningless ending, much like the entire book.

Awful, awful endings

 



Last Edited on: 5/7/09 2:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/7/2009 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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The Shadow of the Wind. He built the whole "quest" to find out about the missing author and the meaning behind his book, and in the end rather than discovering the answers on his own, the protagonist simply gets an explanation from a disinterested third party. It was like the author suddenly realized he had written 300 pages and he didn't want to keep going so he just wrapped it up way too fast and easy. Also The Book of Air and Shadows, for very similar reasons.

You know, I read both of those books last year and I don't even remember that much about them! I just remember lots of mystery and hints at dark secrets but I certainly don't remember what the secrets were. I couldn't tell you which book was which if you put a gun to my head, LOL.

I totally agree, books that play up this big quest that turns out to be nothing = very irritating. I thought The Historian had a similar problem, although I did really enjoy the travel and descriptions of European cities in that one.

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