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Jeruba's avatar

What's the last novel you read that had a terrific ending?

Asked by Jeruba (41889 points ) August 14th, 2012

It was satisfying. It was logical. It well repaid your investment in reading the book.

It also packed a punch or a surprise or a twist or simply wrapped things up in a way that felt just right.

What was the book? Please include a link, if possible, along with the title and author. It would be nice to mention the genre as well.

(Please note, this is a question about book-length fiction.)

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11 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I just finished Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore. (link) Not only did it make me laugh out loud at times, as Christopher Moore’s work does for me, but it also kept me turning the pages with anticipation. I honestly didn’t know what was going to be thrown at me next as a reader.

The ending was not as expected. I was genuinely pleased that I didn’t have it all figured out from the first sentence or paragraph. I was pleasantly surprised.

I believe the genre is humor and a bit of mystery, too.

I highly recommend it.

I also recommend his other book Fool if you’re a fan of Shakespeare, and Lamb if you’re interested in a fun look at the life of Jesus Christ.

muppetish's avatar

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (link). This is a children’s fantasy (more along the lines of Lewis Carroll than C.S. Lewis) with a lovely female protagonist (better than Lyra from His Dark Materials and different enough from Alice for me to find her intriguing.) Valente has taken fairyland, swirled it around with other mythologies, and presented it as this delightful universe that is easy to get lost in.

It was one of those books that I didn’t want to end. Then it ended and I was so happy with the way that it came together that I was okay with it ending.

The sequal will be released in October. Don’t read anything about it because it gives something special away about the first book.

Haleth's avatar

By Chance by Martin Corrick. The genre is realistic fiction or literary fiction, but it’s written with a bit of whimsy and mystery that sort of reminds me of magical realism. Most of the book is a character study of the shy, thoughtful protagonist. It alternates between his his quiet married life in the past and a trip to a distant island in the present. And then- wham. You learn a secret from the character’s past that seems to come out of nowhere, and to go completely against character, but also seems pretty much inevitable. I loved this book.

The Paper Men by William Golding also has an ending that makes a lot of sense. It’s basically about these two insufferable men making each other miserable and chasing each other all over Europe, but somehow I enjoyed it? The ending was sudden and shocking, but logical.

In Bruges is a movie, but it’s also a pretty striking example of an ending that just… works. It’s sort of a blend between comedy and tragedy. One thing that tickles me about this movie is that every little detail is important later on, even things that seem totally insignificant. Not in an annoying, Lost conspiracy theory kind of way, but in a satisfying way that shows the writers did their homework. The whole thing has this dry, dark sort of humor to it, and at the end everything perfectly comes together. As a warning, this movie has violence, a ton of swearing (link obviously NSFW), drug use, and just about everything else that earns a movie an R rating. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the storytelling is just so awesome that this is one of my favorites.

Earthgirl's avatar

I loved In Lucia’s Eyes by Arthur Japin. Lucia is a formidable character. As Casanova’s first and perhaps only true love she comes off as every bit his match in wit and wiles.. I loved the setting, the plot development, and the great dialog. There are a few surprises and an ending that maybe is a bit surprising but feels totally right. There’s a great NPR interview with the author I wanted to link you to but it has too many spoilers. The less you read reviews, the better off you are. Wouldn’t want to ruin any of the surprises.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky; I had to reread the ending as I’d forgotten there was an afterward so the finale snuck up on me quite suddenly and most displeasingly. Once I did though, I found it satisfying and apt particularly in light of how easily the story could have veered for encompassing sappiness.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve just read The Golden Compass Trilogy and the third and final book is one of the best books I have ever read. Sure, it’s considered YA fiction, but the trilogy is anything but childish—in theme or creativity.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

1984 had an ending that actually affected me and made me feel something for the character. The ending was just badass but heartbreaking at the same time. I love George Orwell. He’s realistic and is not afraid of giving the reader a real ending instead of filling our heads with something that wasn’t likely to happen.

TexasDude's avatar

Alan Moore’s Watchmen

I finally picked up a copy and decided to read it, and the whole thing is just as mind-boggling and detailed as I expected it to be. And the ending was very gratifying.

Symbeline's avatar

Probably Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting. The ending isn’t all that climatic, but the protagonist uses one of his ’‘friend’s’’ extreme potential for psychotic behavior to essentially burn his bridges, so he can never, ever return to the place that got him into his drug blasted life. (he ripped him off) He’s sick of it, and this is the only solution he could find, although it’s done very indirectly to what I explained. They let you know in the book that somewhere, it was intentional, even if used as justification by the protagonist.
Can’t say very much without ruining it, but chances are, you know what I’m talking about if you saw the movie…although both the movie and the book’s endings are the same, they both go off with something different in mind though.

Kind of sucks because I wanted to find out more…but there’s actually a sequel…except the sequel bases itself more off the movie than the book which spawned it, so that kind of sucks.

wiki link

Just finished reading it this weekend, for the millionth time.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

The very last novel I read was Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger, but I wasn’t really satisfied with how it ended.

The last book I read that I was satisfied by is Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, a delightful children’s book (but the kind any child of any age would enjoy) about an orphan, Nobody (Bod) Owens, who is raised in a graveyard by its resident ghosts. The book ends with Bod reachind adulthood, so it ends at a logical point. Hard to say more without ruining the plot, but this is true for most books. I definitely recommend it though.

@Haleth, Loved “In Bruges”! It’s a movie, so doesn’t really fit here, but it’s definitely worth watching (and made me want to visit Bruges). I somehow missed hearing about it when it was first released, then stumbled across it a few years back at the local video store. Glad I picked it up.

augustlan's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale I loved The Graveyard Book. The ending was really satisfying, too.

Recently, I really enjoyed Stephen King’s 11/22/63. Part of the ending didn’t thrill me (it felt a bit rushed and overly dramatic), but the rest of the ending after that bit was very good. Bittersweet.

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