|Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 06:26 am: |
I'm running a contest for fake last lines of novels on my blog (http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2005/08/yeah-but-how-about-lousy-last-lines-of.h tml)
But how about last lines of real novels? What're the worst last lines of real novels that you've read? And I think it ups the ante if they are good novels but with bad endings. Just curious.
|Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 11:16 am: |
How about deliberately bad endings?
David Gerrold's DEATHBEAST seems to have been written entirely to sustain the joke at the end: "You killed it, you clean it."
|Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 11:44 am: |
LOL! Wow. That's amazing.
|Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 11:48 am: |
"So, if I were given long enough to accomplish my work, I should not fail, even if the effect were to make them resemble monsters, to describe men as occupying so considerable a place, compared with the restricted place which is reserved for them in space, a place on the contrary prolonged past measure, for simultaneously, like giants plunged into the years, they touch the distant epochs which they have lived, between which so many days have come to range themselves -- in Time."
Marcel Proust - IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME
Actually,having just read through it again a few times, it's possibly not as bad as it first sounds!
The last line of ULYSSES is a whole chapter!
The worst last line of a novel is probably that of GRAVITY'S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon, but I wouldn't know: I've never reached that far, despite trying several times - and I daren't look!
|Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 04:23 pm: |
"In the present case, it is as essential to surmount a consciousness of an unreal freedom and to recognise a dependence not perceived by our senses."
- War and Peace
Ole Man Cisco
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 12:24 am: |
Worst one I've run across lately -
"He no longer puts rum in his tea, he picks at his food, says barely two words all day long, and the contrast between his white side-whiskers and his crimson face no longer exists - the commodore has become pale!"
From "The Jinx" by Theophile Gautier.
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 04:32 am: |
There's something about the awfulness of the ending of 'War and Peace' which makes the rest of the novel all the more wonderful. You almost get the feeling that was what Tolstoy intended.
It's funny though, when you separate out these sentences (viz. the Gautier one above) they acquire a sort of poetry of their own.
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 06:14 am: |
That's awesome--the War and Peace. I'd forgotten. The Gautier's pretty bad, too.
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 10:51 am: |
I can't tell if most of these are bad lines or bad translations.
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 02:15 pm: |
One of my favorites, that looks like a bad ending out of context, but actually sums up the whole book perfectly and isn't an unfair revelation, is the end of Sterne's Tristam Shandy.
L..d! said my mother, what is all this story about?--
A Cock and a Bull, said Yorick--And one of the best of its kind, I ever heard.
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 02:22 pm: |
Oh... and methinks Mrs. Gaskell could have ended her industrial-revolution squalor classic, Mary Barton, just two lines earlier.
"All the compliment is to the earwigs,
you see, mother!"
"Dear Job Legh!" said Mary, softly and seriously.
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 06:06 pm: |
>>I can't tell if most of these are bad lines or bad translations.
In the case of WAR AND PEACE I think it's the translation. I read it in Russian and the last line, if I remember correctly, was, "And then the sun went supernova".
|Posted on Monday, August 08, 2005 - 01:39 pm: |
Graham Sleight reports that
The last sentence of Allan Folsom's thriller _The Day After Tomorrow_ is "The severed, deep-frozen head of Adolf Hitler."
|Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 12:41 pm: |
That is a spectacular last line. Worthy of an All-Star Zeppelin tale.
Of course, in a straightforward work of fiction, it may not be quite as delectable.