Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Literary Betrayal

Perhaps it's my fault. I wasn't loving the book to begin with, so maybe I should have put it down. But I had read more than half of it, and the pace started to pick up with a good conflict, and I wanted to see how it would end. So on Sunday, tired after an evening of entertaining at my house, I curled up on the couch to finish the last hundred pages of My Name is Memory.

To my dismay, a few hours later, in spite of an amazing come-from-behind Eagles victory, I felt angry--betrayed by Ann Brashares. Why? Because she didn't resolve the main conflict of the book. Not only that, she used the last chapter to blatantly set up a sequel. Which is bullshit. I understand leaving room for a sequel, even making it obvious, but to ask someone to invest the time to read 300 pages, with no resolution--that's just rude.

Sometimes, as a reader, I get worried as a book nears the end and the conflict is still not resolved. Like, how is she going to do this in 30 pages, 20 pages, whatever. But almost always, the writer pulls it off to my satisfaction. If I wanted unresolved conflict, I would just observe real life. When I'm reading a book, I don't need a happy ending, but I need an ending.

Do you have any unsatisfying endings to report? Spare me future pain, readers.


Yvonne said...

John Grisham did this to me with The Associate. I got to the last page and was like "Seriously? That's it? WTF???" lol I feel your pain!

Mr. Ackerman said...

The Historian - a seemingly great tale of History geeks researching Vlad the Impaler while being hunted by Vampires. The ending left me upset about the fact I had invested a lot of personal time into reading the novel. I can't even remember the details but the feeling of confusion and emptiness linger on.