TOP TEN: Book Endings


Endings of books are crucial. Once you turn the last page, read the last sentence, close the covers: it's over. And, regardless of whether the ending is heartwarming or heartbreaking, it has to be memorable. These are ten I won't be forgetting anytime soon:

[No spoilers are mentioned below]
BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
Tragic, thought-provoking and mind-numbingly brilliant, the ending of Brave New World is so fitting. A truly fantastic ending.

ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan
It has been a while since I read Atonement, but I still remember the ending having a profound effect on me. After the entire novel being focussed on Briony's atonement, the ending is so apt.

TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
This ending is complete perfection – I adored it! Lily Briscoe's satisfaction with herself makes it a satisfying ending for me too.

CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
An enigmatic ending for a simply perplexing novel. I just want to know what happens next!

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
Beautiful, simply beautiful. 

MR PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloan
As I wrote in my review, "it's a novel reminiscent of the tinkering bell at a bookshop door: full of hope and promise" – and the ending echoes this more than anything. Heartwarming. 

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K. Rowling
[Words cannot explain the meaning "All was well" holds]

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro
The ending of Never Let Me Go is… indescribable, pretty much. The final passage is one of my favourites from literature, regardless of how heartrendingly painful it is to read. And, no matter how impossible you know it is, every time you reread the passage you always hope for the same implausible event to happen.

EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has an ending I simply can't do justice to. The best ending. If anyone has read the book, you'll understand what I mean.

NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR by George Orwell
The last sentence killed me. I wanted to cry and throw the book at the wall and scream… but oh it was the perfect ending for the perfect dystopian tale.
Did you enjoy any of these endings? Do you have any favourite endings?

14 comments:

  1. The ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is just perfect. I know it's not to everyone's taste but "All was well" is a phrase that will always mean a great deal to me.
    I've seen the film of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - it's one of my favourite films and the ending was brilliant. I'm hoping the film stayed true to the book and that they have the same ending :)

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    1. I haven't seen the film of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close but I'm interested to see how they'd interpret the last few pages… to me, the last few pages were more of an experience – if that makes sense?? :)

      And yes, totally agree about Harry Potter. :')

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  2. My favourite books are one here. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, Harry Potter (well yeah. The ending is explainable enough. I remember finishing the book off with a sigh and then hugging it close to my chest. Who knew these books were going to change my life?), The Book Theif and Catch-22. Oh God. These books are amazing.

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  3. The ending of The Book Thief is beautiful! I won't be forgetting that one. :)

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  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Likewise The Book Thief. As for 1984 and Brave New World .... EXCUSE ME WHILST I GO AND SOB IN A CORNER! Those books. MY HEART ....

    Um, I can't *quite* remember how Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ended. Obviously it didn't make much of an impact on me!!

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    1. Aww it made such an impression on me! Remember the last few pages (the flip book thingy???)!

      And yes I know, all those books are PERFECTION! :)

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  5. Ruby! This is such a sweet post! Whilst I've only read two of these books- The Book Thief and Deathly Hallows -your descriptions of every ending makes me want to pick up ALL THE BOOKS! Thanks for writing this, and I LOVE YOUR NEW BLOG DESIGN. It suits your blog SO MUCH!

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    1. THANK YOU I'M GLAD YOU THINK SO! And yes, read ALL THE BOOKS. :))

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    2. Another great ending is the ending to the Divergent series, the ending is one that some people may not like but in my opinion I think it reflects real life more than other fiction book endings. If you have not read the series I would highly recommend you do :)

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    3. I started the series but never finished… I did read a spoiler for the ending though aha. :)

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    4. Aha you could always finish despite knowing the ending :)

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  6. I have to read so many of these VERY. SOON! Actually, other than Deathly Hallows (which I've read) and To The Lighthouse, all of these are either on my TBR or wishlist.

    Yay! x

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