Fat Books & Thin Women

30 Day Book Meme, Day 27
August 28, 2011, 9:04 pm
Filed under: 30 Day Book Meme | Tags: , , , ,

The most surprising plot twist or ending:

I’d like you to all have an image of me spending hours a day struggling to think of what to write on this blog, so let me start by saying: man, I really struggled over this one. As I went about my day (killing mice, doing dishes, walking to the store with my host sister, coloring with my host sister, doing laundry, talking with my host sister about baklava [Bajram {best holiday ever, end of Ramadan, lots of coffee and baklava and “sugar money”} is the day after tomorrow], making falafel [falafel mix, whatever I want to think now that I live in a country without falafel, will never come close to real falafel {which I’m too lazy to attempt to make}], moving mouse traps, discussing potential Bajram outfits with my sister [just picture her going through my closet saying, “no, no, no”]) the question of my favorite plot twist was ever on my mind.

I couldn’t think of a thing, not a single answer. Do I read novels with “plot twists”? Am I ever surprised at the end of a book? Have I been surprised by the end of the novel since I was twelve-years-old reading a Nancy Drew mystery, or can I just write about a disappointing ending and return to Harry Potter to discuss the lame close to the series?

There are books with stunning ends. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Nabokov’s Ada, to name just a few that have been on my mind recently. None of them have surprised me, though, and I can’t think of a book I’ve read that closes with a plot twist. This isn’t a bad thing; I think it says something positive about the books I’ve been reading (Dennis Lehane! Dennis Lehane! Dennis Lehane!) and the quality of the writing, because if you’re shocked by a plot twist at the end of a novel it’s probably more a sign that the author didn’t do his job when it came to characterization and not-ridiculous plotting. I swear, I can recall reading books and being surprised by the end – but there’s a reason I can’t remember what novels these were, because I’m always disappointed when the end is something so nuts that I had no chance of predicting it. Sometimes, it’s the feeling of being let down and realizing that the world you’ve been immersed in was nothing but the author toying with you for three hundred pages. What’s the fun of reading a novel, then learning it was a dream? What would be the fun in Harry Potter if we learned at the end that Harry had turned to the dark side? Do you ever want to read a mystery in which the least likely suspect turns out to have committed the crime, for the simple reason that he or she was the only character no reader could pin as the killer?

Dennis Lehane’s Gone, Baby, Gone has a pretty good twist, though the movie has probably crushed the “surprise” out of it for most of the American reading public. Can you forgive me for offering an answer after all that moaning about how I couldn’t give an answer?

30 Day Book Meme:
Day 01 – The best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than three times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favorite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people have read
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favorite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time

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I completely get your point, and I hate it when authors try to bend facts just to surprise readers. The most surprising book I’ve ever read has to be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over the fact that Scabbers turned out to be Peter Pettigrew. :)

Comment by yourmovedarlyn

yeah, i wouldn’t even consider that the sort of surprise i mean. i kind of remember being startled when i first read it, but then you go back and rowling has done so much build-up work…scabbers in the newspaper photo of ron and his family, learning about harry’s father and his group of friends, about the animagus (which is something you can follow back even to the first book, when mcgonagall first appears as the cat).

Comment by Ellen Rhudy

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