28 July, 2011

Happy Endings: Do You Enjoy Books That Don't Have Them?



Disney is famous for changing the endings to such stories as The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and so on, from making them happier for the main character to cutting out the nasty bits. It makes for a nice fairy tale where the princess gets carried off into the sunset by the prince . . . but what about those unhappy endings?

Take, for example, The Kite Runner. I love that book. But it doesn't end happily, and neither does A Thousand Splendid Suns, also by Khaled Hosseini. They're sad, violent at times (particularly A Thousand Splendid Suns), but well-written books, and the endings make sense. Of course it would have been nice if things hadn't happened and the situations had been resolved differently, but it would have resulted in a very different story, and not necessarily a better one.

Which brings us to my question(s):

Does a story have to end happily for you to enjoy it and, if not, what was the last sad book you read that you liked? Have you ever read a book where you thought a happier ending would have made it stronger overall? Do you avoid books with sad endings? Would you (or have you) considered writing a book that didn't have a happy ending?




-----The Golden Eagle

73 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It doesn't have to be happy-happy, but I do like resolutions. Really unhappy endings I avoid though. Read a book once where they were trying to save the earth and failed - everybody died. The end. I felt cheated.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

It really depends on how it's written, you know? I don't like it when the happy ending is so close, almost there, and then the author's like, "Just kidding! Carbomb!" or whatever, and its ruined. I know I could be legally shot for this, but I hate Tennessee Williams's plays.

David Powers King said...

Sad endings are a bummer, but happy endings can get tiresome. Ending a story with a sense of lose is a good happy medium. That's what I got from The Hero of Ages. Great book, not at all the way you'd think it would end.

Budd said...

The only books that come to mind that I liked with sad endings was Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and Where the Red Fern Grows. Two of my favorite books.

Sad endings have the ability to be very powerful and must be used in moderation. I think a lot of Stephen King novels don't end on up notes and it is almost expected at this point. loses something. Sometimes reading of a grand quest where the hero ultimately fails, you just close the book and think, what was the point.

Liz said...

I think I prefer happy endings. I can't think of any sad endings that I ultimately liked, but maybe something will occur to me later. I know a bad ending can piss me off, making me hate the entire story in retrospect, but that ending has got to be really very tragic.

Nancy Thompson said...

No, a book doesn't have to have a happy ending, but it does need to satisfy and wrap up loose ends.

I hate when you make it all the way through and the guy you think is the bad guy is put down only to discover someone else did it and there was never any clue to that anywhere before. I feel cheated. And that's the worst for me.

(BTW - I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, both brutally sad.

Emily Rose said...

I don't think a story has to have a happy ending, just an ending that is plausible, and well written.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

A satisfying ending doesn't necessarily have to be happy but it does have to involve the main characters getting what they want. It may not be what the reader wants for them, but it is perfect just the same. I am thinking of Tess of the Durbervilles by Thomas Hardy. That has what one might think is a sad and tragic ending but actually it works because the characters get what they really wanted in the longer scheme of things.

This is a great question!!

E.R. King said...

The only story ending that's been changed that shouldn't have been is the story of the Three Little Pigs. Those little porkers EAT the wolf at the end. They don't scare him away. They don't ask him to leave politely. And he certainly does not run away. THEY EAT HIM! As far as I'm concerned, that IS a happy ending. :)

Beth said...

I can recognize a book is well written if I'm not satisfied w/ the way it turned out, but it usually won't make my fave list unless the bitter ending is so artistic it's justified and couldn't happen any other way.

Stacy Henrie said...

I like happy endings the most, but I read Gone With the Wind this year. Though it doesn't end happily, I felt like it was an appropriate ending. The same with Elana Johnson's Posession.

Michael Offutt said...

I like books that have happy endings. Books that don't have them leave a bad taste in my mouth. Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho" is one of those books. So is "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. I think that books that don't have happy endings usually are really strong critics of contemporary America or life or have some powerful message that they deliver. This is fine in exchange of a happy ending (at least for me).

Jules said...

Don't mind either, for me it has to make sense. If it is sad because of the situation yet the heroine gets justice, well that makes sense to me. :)

BTW thanks for hanging with me in my working period.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

I agree with some of the other commentors. A satisfying ending doesn't always have to be ultra-happy. I do like a good, happy ending, but I don't think everything has to turn out great for this to happen. Something sad can happen and the character can end up just dealing with it, being able to move on.

One example of this is A LITTLE PRINCESS. Disney like to cheat us out of a major learning experience for the MC, where Sarah Crew loses her father. In the Disney version they didn't kill him off at all, which would be fine with a story of their own making, it makes me tear up. But I like the original ending better, where Sarah really does lose her father, but her father's best friend makes things right, or at least better, by saving her from her hellish life. Together they do great things that

I don't think Sarah would have done otherwise had she not seen the darker reality of popper-poor life. There was some really great character growth there. So, in cases like that, I don't need an ultra-happy ending. Just a realistic one =)

Michael Di Gesu said...

It's always nice to have an ending end happily, however LIFE is full of unhappy endings. So a book could be amazing with an unhappy ending.

I just read the first draft of a friend's book and it didn't have a happy ending and this is an MG book. But it was an AMAZING story.

Javid Suleymanli said...

I love drama. And I always like sad endings. Most of the great novels of all time are sad ending novels. Happy endings are good for kids that's why Disney always does it :) However, there are a lot of famous, great happy ending novels. :)

Sarah said...

I love a satisfying ending. It doesn't matter if it's happy or not, it just has to work.

Sananora said...

I go for happier ending books and if a story doesn't end on a lighter night I usually avoid it.

I can enjoy books with sad endings and think they can be powerful but they all too often leave an unsettled feeling inside. If they don't end happy they usually end leaving something out.

As a writer I find myself writing sadder books than I would like to read (though I am changing that).

I can't think of any books that I liked that ended sad.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

I like books that don't end happily. To me, more than anything, I want the ending to feel "right," and that isn't always happy.

I do think I see an overall reader preference for happy endings, though.

Old Kitty said...

I love philosphical endings - like that of Small Gods by Terry Pratchett! I really don't mind what the endings are so long as the preceding story was lovely and the ending made sense! Books with sad endings I loved? Oh yes, Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth Possession by AS Byatt, Remains of the Day by K Ishiguro, End of an Affair, Graham Greene.. no - they all had to end the way they did - beautifully and bitterly and oh so sadly!! LOL!

I wish I could write convincing sad endings - I kind of like the thought of making some stranger cry (like I did after reading above books!!)for all the right reasons! LOL! take care
x

M Pax said...

I like being left with some sort of hope ... a good cry is great -- like Gone w/ the Wind ... but Scarlett leaves us with her hope in tact.

Loved the ending in Tale of Two Cities, which wasn't exactly happy either.

Nicki T. said...

I only like a really sad ending if the character was doomed from the start, because I think it's kind of pointless to have a character who's sick with a deadly disease who, through some sudden discovery, survives. I don't mind a sad ending, but the story has to wrap up nicely, otherwise I find it somewhat annoying.

I actually prefer an ending where the charcter doesn't get everything they wanted. Or at least, they don't walk away unscarred. My characters never walk away with something without paying a price for it first.

Christine Fonseca said...

Great post - I don't need a happy ending. Like at all. What I need - an AUTHENTIC ending. Don't end it sad just to because you think it has to...and not invent a happy ending for the same reason. Your characters know the story that is being told - trust them to know the ending and write that. :D

Marsha Sigman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marsha Sigman said...

It doesn't have to be happy but it does have to be well written and make sense.

Someone mentioned Stephen King, whom I love with stalkerish passion, and his genre is horror. It's a given that you should not be attached to those characters.

But he also wrote The Green Mile, great ending-not happy but great, Shawshank Redemption, and The Talisman which is one of the best books ever written. If more peeps knew about that one, Travelin' Jack would be the new Harry Potter.

Had to delete previous post, could not handle my own typos.lol

Mel Fowler said...

I think that if a book is well written a happy ending is not always necessary.

If you read The FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. It doesn't really have a 'happy ending' and my sister said that she hated the way that it ended. But I did because it ended in a way where something was fulfilled. Read it and see.

Janet Johnson said...

I will be honest, I do prefer happy endings. That said, I don't think they are appropriate for all stories, and a forced happy ending is never a good thing.

So I can respect not happy endings. But I still prefer to read the kind of book that has them.

What I really love is a happy ending that isn't the happy ending I expected.

Oh, and I did appreciate Kite Runner. I can't say I enjoyed the book, because it was such an emotionally hard read, but an amazing book, nevertheless.

Rusty Webb said...

I do like happy endings, but I certainly enjoy books with bittersweet endings as well. I guess I enjoy any book if I feel like the ending feels honest to the story being told. I used to love watching Star Trek but used to get a bit frustrated with the show's need to reset everything by episodes end. Sometimes very improbable things had to happen to make it all work out.

Christine Rains said...

Happy endings are good if they're well written, but I do love a dark and tragic ending too. I've written ones that don't have the Happily Ever After (HEA) ending. The ending will always have to be a satisfying ending, though, whether it be happy or sad.

Lynda R Young said...

I don't think every book needs to have a happy ending. Sometimes a sad ending is the right ending.

Misha said...

Is it weird that I actually prefer books which don't have a happy ending? Haha
I do like happy endings, but it's not necessary for me. Most of my favorite books don't have one. Like you, I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Trisha said...

Nope, stories don't have to have the HEA. Sometimes though, I get tired of being depressed by the stories I read/see on TV. So yeah...I like a predominance of happy. Especially if the story was mostly awful. I want there to be some light.

Duncan D. Horne said...

I absolutely love books with unhappy endings. It's different to the plethora of books which somehow work out nicely at the end, but also more accurate in portraying life on earth - things don't always work out!

Duncan In Kuantan

Rek said...

When stories base themselves on real life events or personal experiences get fictionalised ..the ending can't always be happy for all...
I recently read a book "Grace" by Richard Paul Evans : about an abused teen who runs away and finds shelter and friendship in a teenage classmate from a happy home, only to be discovered and die back home...you want the happy ending but the now grown up narrator lost his friend and first love eventually and it makes perfect sense in a troubled world with fewer happy endings.
When I was younger I hated sad romantic endings specially worthy, unrequited love but life experiences have thought me to swallow sad ends in books and movies too.

Jen Daiker said...

I love a good book. Plain and simple. I think sad endings can be even better than happy endings. The emotional connection you maintain from beginning to end is what keeps me going.

We may all want to live happily ever after but in real life we know it doesn't happen that way. So why should it end that way in books as well?

I believe if the book is fantastic the ending won't matter.

Samantha Sotto said...

Endings don't have to be happy for me to like a book. Abrupt, rushed endings, however, can spoil a book for me.

Arlee Bird said...

I like a book to have a realistic ending. Happy is nice, but if it's all too neat and sappy I might feel good in the short term, but probably forget it after a while unless the writing was incredible.

Come to think of it all of the books I've read lately had fairly happy endings.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

For me a story has to end authentically, or I don't feel the journey was worthwhile. It can be happy, funny, sad, whatever. But it has to ring true.

Ben said...

Oh hell no. I don't like a happy ending, but I DO have a thing for main characters that survive. I'm all about the concept of Pyrrhic Victory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhic_victory

Mark Noce said...

Really great point! I find that the endings in my favorite stories are often a mix of both joy and sorrow, much like the end of life. But yes, who doesn't love happy endings:)

Laila Knight said...

Like my movies, all my books must have happy endings...always. They depress me if they don't. I grow too involved with the character and want to see them happy. :)

Brian said...

Stories need an appropriate ending, and that isn't necessarily always a happy one! Speaking of happy, have a happy weekend!

Peggy Eddleman said...

I don't have to have a happy ending so much as I need a satisfying ending. Like Mockingjay-- it wasn't a "happy" ending, but I did like it. It fit. It was satisfying. Tragedies? Yeah... those I chuck across the room.

Sangu said...

I love happy endings - as long as they make sense and aren't unrealistically perfect. But I've enjoyed many a not-happy ending too (I love Khaled Hosseini). I think the only ones I don't like are the mind numbingly depressing - little hope, bleak resolution - and the ones where the end seems so completely unnecessary (Cold Mountain. GAH.)

Krispy said...

A book doesn't have to have a happy ending for me to like it. I actually think that sad endings can be more powerful. I think they stay with you longer. My favorite movie and my favorite Shakespearean play are both tragedies.

Of course, I don't want the book to be a total bummer. The sad ending works if it's appropriate to the book, but sad books do take more out of me. So I do gravitate towards books where I have a reasonable expectation for an ending on the happier side of things. :)

I also like bittersweet endings. The ending of the Last Unicorn is bittersweet, but I think it's the perfect way to end the tale.

Charles Gramlich said...

As I've gotten older I enjoy happy endings much more. I used to generally dislike them.

Gracie said...

I think that endings are really tricky. The ending has to fit the story -and sometimes that means a not-so-happy ending. It has to make sense.

But happy endings can still leave you wanting more, if you like the characters in the book enough to want to stay with them longer. Even if everything is resolved nicely.

That 20 Something Virgin. said...

a bunch of my favorite books have sad endings - gone with the wind (loses the love of her life), the hunchback of notre dame (almost everyone dies a violent death), hamlet (again, everybody dies. this seems to be a theme with shakespeare).

but as long as it goes along with the story, i like either type of ending.

laughingwolf said...

i care not for 'happy' endings, just 'satisfying' ones... too many are not!

Carol Kilgore said...

A book doesn't have to end happily for me to like it, but it does need a satisfying ending. One that fits the story and characters.

Happy Weekend!

Josh Hoyt said...

Happy endings are necessary for me. I don't like the movies with the unhappy endings although I think that some can pull it off I just haven't seen it done yet :)

Donna Hole said...

Happy endings are subjective, IMO. I need a satisfactory ending, not necessarily a happy one.

Take the movie K-Pax. It actually has a sad ending, b/c you don't really know if Croat actually left the planet, and that is why the body is comatose; or if he curled into himself mentally when his predicted time came without event. The movie leaves lots of questions.

Sorta sad; but satisfying for the answers it leaves to my own interpretation. It also allows for a subjective happy ending for the psyciatrist, b/c meeting Croat, getting involved with his fantasy, changed the doc's life - so that was a sort of happy ending.

As for happy endings just to have one - nah, hot a fan.

......dhole

Alleged Author said...

I agree with Donna. The ending doesn't have to be happy, but I do need a satisfactory ending.

The Golden Eagle said...

Alex: I agree, there has to be some kind of resolution. Otherwise it just feels unfinished.

I've read books like that where almost all the characters died--I don't think I've been as unfortunate to read a book where everyone died, though.

Bethany: Ugh, I don't like those, either. :(

I've never seen one of his plays, but I assume people die?

David: True . . . if an ending's too "perfect" for the characters then it can be equally unsatisfying.

Never heard of the book before, but it sounds good!

Budd: I love Where the Red Fern Grows--although it is rather sad.

I've come across authors like that, too. It takes a lot away from the plot if it's predictable.

If the hero learned something then that gives it some kind of meaning, but I agree, if they fail it doesn't feel as meaningful.

Liz: True--really bad endings can be frustrating. That's the way I felt after watching Rigoletto a couple weeks ago. The jerk gets off with it, the girl dies, the father loses even more.

Nancy: I agree! It should come together in the end.

I sort of like it when things turn out unexpectedly; though if there are absolutely no clues, then it can feel like a plot twist just for the sake of one. Not fun.

Emily: Definitely!

Karen: I've never read Tess of the Durbervilles, but true, it is nice to have an ending where the characters get what they want.

E. R.: LOL. Yeah, the wolf deserves it for going after them like that!

Beth: Agreed. The better it's written, the more acceptable a sad ending can be.

Stacy: I didn't really like Gone With the Wind, but true, it is a fitting ending to the whole saga. :P

I want to read Possession!

Michael: Interesting point--books with sad endings do sometimes have a message they're trying to get through. (One that I can think of would be Feed by M. T. Anderson. A good book, but sad, and a bit critical of culture.)

Jules: I agree. If the heroine comes out on top, then hurray. :)

I hope things calm down and you get a chance to breathe sometime--it sounds like you've been hard at work!

Karthryn: Good point. Something sad can happen, but it doesn't necessarily detract from the overall picture.

I've never read A Little Princess, though I see it referenced a lot--another Disney change? Figures. :P

It does sound like it would be different if her father had died.

Michael: Certainly.

An MG book with a sad ending? There aren't many of those--it sounds like an interesting story!

Javid: I think we all read for a bit of drama we can't get in everyday life. :)

True; kids' books often end in happier ways than some adult books, though not always.

Yup!

Sarah: I agree. If it's happy and doesn't make sense (*cough*Breaking Dawn*cough*) then it's a lot less satisfying.

The Golden Eagle said...

Sananora: True, they can leave the reader feeling unsettled. Most of the time I don't mind that, so long as the ending is solidly written.

Same here. Sometimes I'm surprised by what comes out into my WIP.

Jennifer: Me, too. But that's probably because a lot of people read for escapism--it isn't quite as fun if the characters don't live happily ever after. :P Though if the ending fits, then that's preferred over a feeling that things were too happy . . .

Old Kitty: I love what I've read of Terry Pratchett--will have to find that book. :) And the others you mentioned, too!

It would be amazing to be able to make someone care that much about the story, wouldn't it?

M: I don't often cry when I read books, but the ones that do make me sniffle are some of the best.

Never read Tale of Two Cities.

Nicki: Books written about a character who's doomed can be interesting; particularly to see how the character deals with the situation.

Good point!

Christine: Thanks! :)

LOL. Yup, the characters often know what's best, don't they? And they usually command the poor person at the keyboard . . .

Marsha: I agree!

I saw The Talisman at the library, but I took out two other books by King--if I like those, I'll have to check out those.

I do that sometimes. :P

Mel: Nope, never read that book. I've heard mixed things about it. But your mention of the ending intrigues me.

Janet: Same here, most of the time . . . although I do find myself in the mood for a sadder ending every once in a while.

"Surprising, but inevitable"? :)

Have you read A Thousand Splendid Suns? Because if you hadn't, I wouldn't really recommend it if you didn't enjoy The Kite Runner. It's even more emotionally difficult.

Rusty: Same here!

I've never watched Star Trek (I want to sometime, though, just to find out what people are so enthusiastic about). That seems to be a general problem with series--they have to wrap things up by the end of the episode/entry/etc.

Christine: I've never written a story that ended sadly, except for a short story here and there.

Lynda: I agree!

Misha: No, I don't think it's weird. :)

They're amazing books, aren't they? And Khaled Hosseini is a great writer.

The Golden Eagle said...

Trisha: Good point. I often prefer an awful story to have a happy ending--at least I can say there was one redeeming quality to it! :P

Duncan: True! And being different in a world where there are so many written works can be a benefit.

Rek: Ah, I hadn't thought of nonfiction before. Many nonfiction books don't end happily!

I don't mind sad endings if they're realistic and honest about things.

Jen: Yup--if the book is awesome, then it doesn't matter as much if the ending is happy or sad. :)

Samantha: Good point! If things come along too quickly, crashing instead of flowing together, that can seriously detract from a book.

Lee: Writing makes a difference for me, too--if it's good, then I'll remember the book for a while afterwards, but if not, then it'll merge with the others. :P

The ones I've read recently have been a mix.

Elizabeth: Agreed!

Ben: Interesting--that would be something to play around with in a story!

How and why the characters survive is important; whether they're alive because of implausible, unlikely chance or if it's by tooth and nail.

Mark: Same with me; if everything doesn't end happily, that's okay, but it's nice when there's something positive at the end.

I like them too, when they fit right. :)

Laila: Then you may not want to read some of what I write . . . LOL. Sad things happen to them, though the endings not so much. :P

Brian: Nope, not always.

Thanks! You too, Brian.

Peggy: Me, too. If it's tragic for the sake of being tragic (opera, anyone?) then I don't like it.

I hadn't read the last two books in The Hunger Games Trilogy.

Sangu: I've never heard of Cold Mountain, but it sounds depressing. I don't like depressing endings. :P

Krispy: I agree! They can stay with the reader for longer, since they leave the characters in a darker situation.

It depends on my mood most of the time; if I'm feeling cheerful I'll want something with a happy-ish ending.

That is a sad one.

Charles: As long as they're realistic, they've pretty much always agreed with me.

The Golden Eagle said...

Gracie: Definitely--it has to make sense and fit the rest of the story.

Good point! I've wanted to curl up after some stories, even though the characters were happy in the end. :)

That 20 Something Virgin: I've never read The Hunchback of Notre Dame--I'm guessing Disney changed around that one, too? :P

Same here.

Laughingwolf: True. Some books are either sad for the sake of being sad, or unrealistically happy.

Carol: Certainly; if it fits the characters, then whatever it is doesn't matter much.

Thanks! I hope you're having a good one.

Josh: I don't really like movies with sad endings, either; if you find one with a sad ending that works, tell me what it is so I can go watch it. :)

Donna: Me, too.

I've never heard of K-Pax, but it sounds like a good movie! I'll have to check it out . . .

I enjoy stories that leave just the right questions behind. They tend to stay with me for longer.

Alleged: Agreed. :)

Jai Joshi said...

A story doesn't have to end happily for me to enjoy it, particularly if that happy ending is not realistic to the situation. There are some stories that are so tragic and disturbing that there's no way there can be happy ending.

Jai

Marlena Cassidy said...

I don't mind sad endings. If it works with the story, then go for it. I think it adds a sort of realism to the story that could be lost if you tried to wrap it up in a nice, everything's tied up, happy ending. But if the story is heading towards a happy ending, no matter what's happened before, then maybe the happy ending is the right way to go.

I just follow what the story wants. It's when you try to go against the nature of the story that things go bad.

Beth said...

I don't mind either happy or sad endings, but the resolution has to make sense. A sad ending that fits is much more satisfying than a happy ending that feels tacked on.

Stephen Tremp said...

I have to admit I do like a happy ending. That's just me. Its a way to tie up a story. There are exceptions, like the movie Se7en with Kevin Spacey and Brad Pitt.

Shelley said...

I prefer the books with happy endings, though I understand not every story does have one. I'm open to ones that end a little sad. Just depends if it's a really good read. Great post and questions! :)

C. N. Nevets said...

@G'Eagle - This is a topic that stumps me. I think 75% of the time I disagree about whether an ending is happy or not. I'm not trying to be avant garde or anything. It's just amazing how often I come away from a book thinking, "What a happy ending," only to find out that the rest of the world things it's sad. Or vice versa. So I'm not sure how to answer!

The Golden Eagle said...

Jai: Doesn't have to be for me, either. Good point--there are so stories that a happy ending just wouldn't fit, regardless.

Marlena: Exactly!

Particularly if it feels unnatural to the characters.

Beth: I agree.

Stephen: I've never heard of Se7en (interesting title, though) but true, it is a way of marking that the story has ended.

Shelley: Yup! If it's a good read, then a sad ending will make sense--otherwise it just won't fit.

Thanks! :)

C. N.: I've come across cases like that, too; I read something once about The Kite Runner, and the person said they thought it was depressing--while I thought the story was sad, I didn't find much about it depressing. But hey, we all view things differently.

Medeia Sharif said...

One of my wips has an unhappy ending, so I'm not against it.

I've read a few books with unpleasant endings, and my enjoyment did not suffer. The books resolved the problem and were well-written, too.

Paul Tobin said...

I think it depends upon the story, take Bladerunner and the rubbish ending the studio made Scott add. You watch the film and are left unsatisfied by such a crass ending, it does not fit. The story will dictate the ending. We have to be brave and run with the negative ending, the ending that is not all neat ends tied and happy for the main characters. Life is not like that why should stories be/

Yvonne Osborne said...

A book doesn't have to end "happy" but it has to be satisfying. Most of my favorites are not so-called "happy". "House of Sand and Fog" and "The Voyage" immediately come to mind. The most unsatisfying novel I've ever read was "Atonement". I HATED that ending. Others loved the book, and it was beautifully written, but the ending ruined it for me. I would never avoid a book that might have a sad ending. After all.....how do we know ahead of time?

Thanks for joining my blog!

Madeleine said...

It does have to have a satisfying ending yes I agree, but not necessarily happy.

I'm looking forward to your novel films blogfest entry :O)

Angela Felsted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela Felsted said...

I really enjoyed The Book Thief, and I wouldn't say that had a happy ending.

But if an author has the capability to write a happy ending and drags me along in hopes of said ending, then makes it tragic for no apparent reason except to make me cry, I tend to feel jerked around.

The Golden Eagle said...

Medeia: Those are the best kinds of books. :)

Paul: Good point. Life doesn't always (or even often) end happily; and if a story is to be realistic, things can't end with everything going perfectly.

I've never seen Blade Runner. I have heard a lot about the movie, though.

Yvonne: True! It can be hard to tell at the beginning (although some books do indicate sad things have/will happen). I've never heard of those titles, but I'll have to look into them. :)

You're welcome! Thank you for following my blog.

Madeleine: It's up! Sorry for not posting it earlier; I usually get onto the computer to blog around 13:00 EST.

Angela: I don't like it when that happens, either. It feel like I've been cheated of a good ending.

Jen Chandler said...

A book doesn't have to end happy for me to love it. Books in particular that I can think of are Enchantress from the Stars by Engdahl, The Finovar Tapestry by Kay and His Dark Materials trilogy by Pullman. These are some of the greatest books I've ever read; not the happiest of endings but everything is resolved. Great writing, excellent characters and stories that will haunt me forever.

~Jen

catherinemjohnson said...

When I dare read them I'm a sucker for an unexpected thriller and they always end dramatically definitely not happily. My faves are The River and The House at Riverton.