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Have You Ever Got This Mad About A Book’s Ending?

Look, I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m passionate about college football. At times, even unreasonably so.

And I think my wife would agree that my love of college football has become more balanced with age. My life doesn’t revolve around whether or not Georgia wins a game on Saturday. Thank God.

Now, I want you to watch this video featuring a mentally unbalanced Tennessee fan whose emotional well-being appears to depend on a Tennessee win. I promise I’m going somewhere with this…just humor me.

But please note: This video is not safe for work, unless your employer enjoys loud, repeated use of the F Word and the GD word. If that’s the case, you have permission to skip to the copy below the video.

Now, can you imagine getting THAT upset over a book’s ending?

Let’s take Gone With The Wind for example.

Imagine sitting in the comfort of your bedroom sipping on a hot cup of hazelnut coffee whilst reading the following closing lines of Gone With The Wind. You’ve read one thousand pages, waiting on this one moment, a glorious ending to Margaret Mitchell’s classic:

With the spirit of her people who would not know defeat, even when it stared them in the face, she raised her chin. She could get Rhett back. She knew she could. There had never been a man she couldn’t get, once she set her mind upon him.

“I’ll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.”

[Turns page.]

Hmm. That’ can’t be it.

[Turns page back.]

No.

[Flips through pages frantically.]

No. No. No!

[Stands up. Drops book.]

Please, no. This can’t be it. Please, no!

[Picks book back up.]

Rhett! No! You can’t do this, Rhett!

[Flips through pages again.]

This cannot be happening, Rhett! You just can’t walk out on her like that!

[Drops book again. Picks book back up. Throws book into Twilight-themed bedspread.]

Scarlett! Chase him! Run, girl! Run! Don’t let him get away like that!

[Lies prostrate on Twilight-themed bedspread. Moans.]

NOOOO! You were meant to be together!!! NOOOOO! You cannot do this!!!!!! I hate you, Rhett!!!!! I hate you!!!!!

[Drops onto ground. Pounds head on floor.]

I can’t do it! It cannot end this way. For the love…

[Crawls into fetal position.]

cannot…do….it. Rhett…no….Rhett….no.

[Crawls under Twilight-themed bed spread.]

I hate my life.

[sniffs]

Hate…life.

*******

Ever got that mad about a book’s ending? Let’s hope not.

I’ve read my fair share of endings that made me unhappy. But I’ve yet to get angry enough to throw the book into my beloved Twilight-themed bedspread.

You’ve never done that….have you?

(Image: Mysi/Flickr)

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. I never got passed the part in the video where The Visor crosses the field. I suspect you understand why. #FightOn

    Like

    October 22, 2012
  2. It’s strange isn’t it. Readers just don’t go crazy over endings (even Gone With The Wind’s crazy ending). I guess a sports fan thinks they have some kind of control over the outcome… but us readers have none. And besides if you write as well, there’s a tiresome rule which says never kill your characters off… so that you’ve always got the chance to write a sequel. PS – ha ha re the Twilight-themed bed linen, made me laugh out loud. Nicola

    Like

    October 22, 2012
    • I’m looking for some matching Twilight-themed drapes.

      Like

      October 23, 2012
  3. K.P. Dawson #

    I’ve gotten mad about the ways books end, but to me that seems like a good thing. If I’m invested enough to have that kind of reaction at the end of the book, then the author was clearly doing their job.

    Like

    October 22, 2012
  4. Mayra #

    Actually, yes! I read a book called “My Grandmother’s Lover” (in Spanish) and I got so mad at the ending. It ends in media res, on what I thought was a pivotal plot point. I honestly thought my copy was missing a few pages. Alas, it wasn’t.

    Like

    October 22, 2012
  5. I just read a book that totally lost me with its last chapter. The entire book up to that point was not stark realism, exactly, but it was consistently realistic in terms of things not always working out for the character. And then this thing happens, which should be a sad, resigned, near-tragic consequence of her actions, and then the book jumps ahead ten years to say, “But she just worked really hard and totally didn’t let that stand in her way! Yay for success!”

    Like

    October 22, 2012
  6. I’ve definitely gotten mad enough at a book to swear out loud and toss it (lightly) across the room and walk around in a huff for a few hours. But I’ve never gotten as riled up as sports fans do, unless it was about Carolina Basketball of course 😀

    Like

    October 22, 2012
    • Carolina blue is one of my favorite colors.

      Like

      October 23, 2012
  7. Um, yes. I just FLIPPED OUT over the ending of The Passage by Justin Cronin. THAT IS NOT HOW YOU END A BOOK, BUD. If I had read this book when it first came out…and if I’d had to wait those two years for the next book…I would have been soooo much more angry.

    Like

    October 23, 2012
  8. Meredith #

    I’ve also thrown books across the room because I was mad about the ending. Unless they were library books, in which case I just called my mom and told her (angrily) about how much I didn’t like the ending. Throwing the book is more satisfying in the moment, but I think that talking to my mom about it is more effective in the long run.

    Like

    October 24, 2012

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