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We’re about to embark on a rollercoaster ride through the perplexing world of literary endings. Brace yourselves for plot twists that left us scratching our heads and conclusions that made us wonder if we accidentally skipped a chapter. Get ready to cringe, laugh, and maybe even shed a tear as we unveil the 15 Worst Endings in Literary History!
“The Giver” by Lois Lowry
Ever read a book and felt like the last chapter vanished into thin air? Welcome to “The Giver,” where Jonas embarks on a thrilling journey only to leave us hanging with an ending that’s more abrupt than a slam of the door.
“The Lady or the Tiger?” by Frank R. Stockton
In this classic short story, Stockton challenges readers to decide the fate of a young man facing two mysterious doors. But beware – the author refuses to provide closure, leaving us with a frustrating cliffhanger that feels like literary robbery.
“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold
Just when you thought you had a grip on the emotional rollercoaster of Susie Salmon’s afterlife journey, Sebold throws a curveball by suggesting it might all be a dream. A dream? Seriously? This ending left us questioning reality more than a sci-fi flick.
“The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James
James takes ambiguity to a whole new level in this psychological thriller. The conclusion leaves readers in a perplexed haze, pondering whether the ghosts were real or just a figment of the governess’s imagination. Spoiler alert: We’re still not sure.
“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
Holden Caulfield’s quirky journey through New York City ends with him in a mental institution. But wait, what about that red hat? Salinger’s cryptic ending has sparked endless debates, leaving us wondering if we missed a memo on decoding teenage angst.
“Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer
Team Edward or Team Jacob? Meyer made us choose sides, only to wrap up the epic love story with an ambiguous, open-ended conclusion. We wanted closure, not eternal love triangles!
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
Time travel can be tricky, and Niffenegger’s ending adds another layer of complexity. The novel concludes with an older version of Henry appearing mysteriously, leaving readers to decipher the timeline. Spoiler alert: We’re still scratching our heads.
“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
Flynn’s psychological thriller keeps us on the edge of our seats, only to crash and burn with an ending that’s as mind-boggling as the plot itself. Amy’s mastermind plan leaves us simultaneously impressed and utterly bewildered.
“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
After surviving the deadly Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta’s post-war life unfolds in a rather lackluster epilogue. Collins left us craving a more satisfying glimpse into the characters’ futures, making us feel like we were served a feast with no dessert.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson
Larsson’s gripping mystery builds to a crescendo, only to abruptly end with the disappearance of Lisbeth Salander. The unresolved fate of our beloved hacker leaves us with more questions than answers, making this conclusion a head-scratcher.
“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut
Billy Pilgrim becomes “unstuck in time,” but so do our brains when we reach the end of this novel. Vonnegut’s non-linear storytelling leads to a conclusion that has us questioning if time travel is worth the headache.
“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens
Pip goes through the wringer only for Dickens to drop the ball on character arcs. Miss Havisham’s redemption arc? Magwitch’s fate? Dickens leaves us hanging, wondering if the manuscript got lost in the mail.
“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy
In a post-apocalyptic world, McCarthy’s novel takes an abrupt turn to vagueness. The fate of the boy and his journey with his father leave us with more questions than a toddler on a road trip asking, “Are we there yet?”
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison
Morrison masterfully weaves a haunting tale, but the ending is as elusive as Beloved herself. Is Sethe free from the past or forever haunted? Morrison leaves us pondering the unresolved spirits long after closing the book.
“The Magus” by John Fowles
Fowles takes psychological suspense to the extreme only to drop a twist that feels like a cruel joke. As the story unravels, the twist becomes less a revelation and more a head-scratching, “Wait, what just happened?” moment.
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Victoria Cornell helps women adopt a positive mindset even when the struggles of motherhood feel overwhelming. On her sites, Motherhood Life Balance, Neon Moon and Bookworm Era she writes about ways to reduce stress with mindset, manifesting, goal planning, productivity, and more.