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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday hosts a weekly meme with a question about books. Here is this week's:

Jackie says, “I love books with complicated plots and unexpected endings. What is your favourite book with a fantastic twist at the end?”
So, today’s question is in two parts.
1. Do YOU like books with complicated plots and unexpected endings?
2. What book with a surprise ending is your favorite? Or your least favorite?
My favorite recently was The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald. It took a long while to get into this book which I wouldn't normally have done except that it was for my book club. But once the mystery really gets going, it held me enraptured. And since there's a mystery you know there's going to be a surprise of some sort at the end.

Also Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. The horrible thing is that the surprising ending is actually true - this novel is based on real-life events. A novelist making this up out of whole cloth might have been accused of being melodramatic or using a heavy-handed plot device, but it is a fact that this happened. I don't want to give it away of course, but I was very glad I didn't know more about Frank Lloyd Wright's life before I read it.

For my least favorite, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I hadn't been liking the book, but when I got to the end I just wanted to fling it across the room (unfortunately I was on an airplane so that was impossible). The ending felt very amateur, rang false, and seemed to be tacked on purely for shock value. I don't appreciate being manipulated solely for the author's amusement, not for the furtherance of character or storytelling. A more sophisticated author should have been able to achieve the same level of shock without stooping to something so sophomoric that it would have been laughed out of my college creative writing class.

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

I adore complex books that keep me on my toes and keep my attention sharp. I have not read The God of Small Things, however, I did enjoy the other two. My answers are here: http://www.rundpinne.com/2010/01/booking-through-thursday-complicated.html

farmlanebooks said...

Great answer! I haven't heard of Loving Frank, but you make it sound very intriguing. I've added it to the wishlist. Thank you for the recommendation!