Friday, November 09, 2007
If there is one writers trick that I hate, it is the incomplete ending. No, that is not the right word, ambiguous endings are fine, endings that do not end or wrap things up I can tolerate, even though they make my heart bleed. At least they can have a sense of rightness and make up a good book. I am talking about the endings that call into question the rest of the story, that play with subjectivity. Those of you who have read 'Life of Pi' will know what I mean. It's a low down dirty trick and I don't appreciate it. And come on, we're reading fiction, it is subjective, but more than that it is untrue. Have the decency to decide what ending you are going to write, for goodness sake. The 'this is a fictionalised account of fictional events' line is a little ludicrous. The worst excesses of post-modernism, and too clever for its own good. I love alot of post-modern fiction, don't get me wrong, but not if it plays this trick on me. No. I like narrative, but I will put up with alot of subversion of narrative conventions. Different viewpoints, fractured time, telling a story backwards, everything. These can be enjoyable to the novel reader. But I do not appreciate being told that I've been lied to at the end of a book. It's unbearable. People who do this should be shot. No mercy.