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coffeenut's avatar

What type of ending do you like a book to have?

Asked by coffeenut (6171points) February 25th, 2011

When finishing a fictional book (that’s the second part of a series only 2 books so far you’ve been reading, what type of ending do you like…. First book had a success, worried, open ending

Happy, Sad, Ambiguous….

Cliffhanger, Open ended, Unexpected twist, Clear and definitive….And so on…

Do the Hero’s to win/lose…..

What would keep you reading the series ?

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17 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

An appropriate ending. Yes, I like happy endings—but not when they are forced or artificial. Titanic ends with the boat sinking for a reason.

tranquilsea's avatar

It depends on the book. I don’t like endings that are contrived. @SavoirFaire said it best appropriate endings.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Happy endings should only belong in a massage parlor.

ucme's avatar

An abrupt endi…...

TexasDude's avatar


I do enjoy bittersweet endings with some kind of extremely subtle, yet positive existential lesson attached.

zenvelo's avatar

If the story will continue, I like an ending where the protagonist has resolved the current situation, and may have learned something, but will remain true to his character moving forward.

But like @tranquilsea and @SavoirFaire , sometimes the best way to end a story is with finality.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What SavoirFaire said.

Soubresaut's avatar

I have to echo an appropriate ending is best, but I do tend to be partial to ones that are sad and/or open ended, because they keep me feeling and thinking.

It doesn’t have to be a sob fest, just ones that don’t end perfectly: I don’t like happily-ever-after because it just doesn’t happen, things aren’t over and perfect forever just because the book’s out of pages.
And to explain everything and have everything known at the end of the book has the same effect—end the story and take away all the mystery, the excitement if-when you read it again.

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

I like it when the ending takes its time to end…I really hate reading books that are great until the end…like if they’re in a rush to end it and when I’m done it leaves me confused and unsatisfied…I hate having that there-should-have-been-more feeling after finishing a good book….makes me sad having to waist all that time reading it in the first place.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s not the ending. It’s the quality of the writing and the development of the plot. If that is working, I’ll buy the next one. If not, no ending will make a difference. I’m not buying a formula. I’m buying a person in words.

Kardamom's avatar

If it’s part of a series, I like the main plot situations to be tied up fairly succinctly, but it’s fine to have some type of an unexpected cliffhanger or at least some type of situation to lead you to believe that “more is coming.” It doesn’t matter so much whether the ending is happy or sad, as much as that the ending makes sense. The ending can be a surprise, but it has to actually make logical sense with everything else that went before it, even if I didn’t see it coming, otherwise it seems like a cop-out. But, happy endings are much more enjoyable, I suppose. I guess bittersweet endings are good too, but a sad ending that comes out of nowhere, just for the shock value is bad.

What I hate is when books (or movies) just end and there’s no resolution, no idea about what actually happened or no idea about what could happen. I’ve noticed that a lot of foreign films that are pretty interesting all the way through, until the end, end by just stopping. I’m often left feeling gypped or thinking that I just wasted 2 hours of my life.

blueiiznh's avatar

I agree with @wundayatta.
As long as it flows and weaves and does not end abrubtly, it does not matter to me.
I have ready a few books that had amazing beginning, captured me, told it well, and then about the last ¼ of the book I felt like they were just trying to wrap it up quickly. I felt like screaming out, “noooooooooooooooooooooo, i need more great detail and it left me cold. It was so out of sync with the rest of the book.
Most notably for that was Michael Crichton’s Timeline. I recall feeling like it was about 300 pages too short and he started thinking about Movie Royalites.

flutherother's avatar

“And they all lived happily ever after”? No, like life I think the ending of a story should be a little melancholy.

everephebe's avatar

I like endings that really suit the book.

Some stories I can’t stand because the protagonist survives, and others I can’t because they don’t. I like happy endings when it works, and sad when it really hits me.

I like endings where I’m left reeling from the last few pages or chapters. Where like a whole bunch of crazy shit goes down, and the last page my heart is pounding. I especially like this if there is a sequel. Not really a cliffhanger, but where you’re wondering about the aftermath and what’s next, and how the author will top that.

MilkyWay's avatar

an ending that teaches a lesson and is unforgettable, memorable. Something difinitive that will leave you thinking…

Bellatrix's avatar

An ending that ties up the loose ends and completes the story. I hate being left going…“so what happened to…?”

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