Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 02-10-2019, 09:38 AM
mbh is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 4,475
Another screenplay: Mulholland Falls, starring Nick Nolte.

SPOILER:
There is one character who:
is an army general (Boo! Hiss!)
is the head of a nuclear weapons lab (Boo! Hiss!)
is played by Jon Malkovich (Boo! Hiss!).

Not only is he NOT the killer, he is arguably the least corrupt government official in the entire movie. (Considerably less corrupt than Nolte's character.)

And the more stereotypes you hold about the characters, and the actors playing them, the less likely you are to spot the real killer.
  #52  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:26 AM
Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,783
In Portnoy's Complaint, it was obvious that Portnoy was talking to a psychiatrist, right up to the twist ending.
  #53  
Old 02-13-2019, 07:23 AM
BrotherCadfael is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 10,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Not in a book, but a screenplay. I love Peter Stone's screenplay for Charade* It's practically a textbook on How To Do Exposition. One of my favorite bits is something I hadn't noticed until I'd seen the film several times.
One of my favorites, often called, "The best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made."
  #54  
Old 02-13-2019, 11:35 AM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 44,072
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
One of my favorites, often called, "The best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made."
At the end of the Mad magazine parody, director Stanley Donen pulls off a mask and is revealed to be "Alfred Hatchplot"
__________________
Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #55  
Old 02-14-2019, 09:11 AM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 54,016
From TV" *knock, knock, knock* Amy *knock, knock, knock* Amy *knock, knock, knock* Amy

Will you marry me? (Fade to black). Did NOT see that one coming.

And when Bev tells Roseanne that she is selling her share of the restaurant:

You'll never find a buyer in this market!
Oh, it wasn't hard

(Camera focuses on Leon, eating the sandwich).
  #56  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:05 PM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 54,016
Bumping to mention Ed McBain's Lightning

Woman has a stalker. The police can do nothing about it until he sees the detective leaving her apartment, gets infuriated that she's seeing other men, breaks in and beats the hell out of her. She survives and is rushed to the hospital. Stalker goes to the hospital, waits in the men's room until midnight and goes to the woman's hospital room, determined to finished killing her. She's apparently sleeping, with only her hair showing above the bed covers. Stalker goes over to the side of the bed.

And out of the bed pops Detective Bert Kling, who says "Surprise!" and punches the guy out.

Maybe the guy should have noticed both the woman he was stalking and the detective he saw had short blond hair.
  #57  
Old 06-04-2019, 01:31 PM
Johanna's Avatar
Johanna is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 13,304
Speaking of Stephen King: the Dark Tower series. The entire thing as a whole, the octology comprising eight (or is it nine?) novels. At the end of the very last one, the gunslinger whose fantastic saga over eight books and several worlds finally
SPOILER:
attains the object of the quest, the Dark Tower itself, and walks into and up it. Right there SK tells the reader, welp, I guess that's it, he finally got there and we're done, OK! when the reader can clearly see there are several more pages to go. At that point SK says he'll reveal what happened to Roland in the Tower, but you really don't want to read it, don't say I didn't warn you!
SPOILER:
It cycles back to the opening sentence of "The man in black fled through the desert and the gunslinger followed"
Thanks a lot, Stephen King, you incredible dickhead.

Last edited by Johanna; 06-04-2019 at 01:34 PM.
  #58  
Old 06-04-2019, 03:42 PM
divemaster's Avatar
divemaster is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Gainesville, VA
Posts: 3,509
But that was the perfect ending to the saga. I didn't need the disclaimer, but IMO there was no better way to end it. Certainly better than "oh, it's a giant spider that we can defeat by a kiddie gang-bang." A low, bar, to be sure, but the ending to the Dark Tower is perfection personified.
  #59  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:29 PM
Blank Slate's Avatar
Blank Slate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,237
Ka is a wheel.
  #60  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:46 PM
ricksummon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Columbus, OH, USA
Posts: 991
Despoilers of the Golden Empire, by Randall Garrett. This one has a twist ending to beat them all; so much so that the author spends an entire chapter afterwards justifying it to the reader.
__________________
"Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position."
"Yes, but that isn't just saying 'No, it isn't!'"
"Yes, it is!"
"No, it isn't!"
  #61  
Old 06-04-2019, 06:03 PM
Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 22,013
This isn't exactly a big emotional wallop, but a clever little nudge: One of P. G. Wodehouse's Ukridge short stories has the main character, a work-shy but indefatigable grifter and schemer named Ukridge, falling in love with a girl called Mabel, whom he unfortunately alienates by various forms of misconduct such as stealing her father's top-hat.

The tale closes with the (temporarily) broken-hearted Ukridge telling the first-person narrator, a longtime and long-suffering friend of his, that he should use these tragic events as the plot for one of the short stories that he writes:
Quote:
"And, as regards a title, I should call it 'His Lost Romance,' or something like that. Or would you suggest simply something terse and telling, like 'Fate' or 'Destiny'?"

"I'll think of a title," I said.
Which reminds the reader that the title of the story is in fact
SPOILER:
"A Bit of Luck for Mabel".
  #62  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:15 PM
The_Peyote_Coyote is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 3,190
Roderick Femm: If you liked those Christies, you might want to read Ellery Queen's The Greek Coffin Mystery.

SPOILER:
An assistant DA is the murderer.


Also, Frederic Brown's Martians, Go Home! has a delightful twist at the end.
  #63  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:40 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,039
The brilliant late 20th century thriller writer, Ross Thomas, was very good at this. Try the first chapter of his Edgar-Award winning 1985 novel Briarpatch, which ends with “Someone just blew away the landlady.”

The hen read the rest of the novel. Genius stuff.

Disclaimer: The five Ross Thomas novel which followed Briarpatch were edited by me. He was possibly the most fascinating human being I ever worked with.
__________________
Uke

Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 06-04-2019 at 08:45 PM.
  #64  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:07 PM
Roderick Femm's Avatar
Roderick Femm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: On the cusp, also in SF
Posts: 7,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Peyote_Coyote View Post
Roderick Femm: If you liked those Christies, you might want to read Ellery Queen's The Greek Coffin Mystery.

SPOILER:
An assistant DA is the murderer.


Also, Frederic Brown's Martians, Go Home! has a delightful twist at the end.
As someone noted above, Christie is copied a lot. However, in this case, it is fair to note that this EQ novel was published 6 years before the AC novel.
  #65  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:26 PM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 44,072
Fredric Brown was noted for tricks he pulled on the reader, especially in his mysteries. Get hold of the collection Carnival of Crime.

My favorite is the story where the victim of the crime is the reader. It's "Don't Look Behind You," originally published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine for May 1947. It appears in Carnival of Crime, in several "Alfred Hitchcock" story anthologies, and elsewhere.




https://books.google.com/books?id=G7...der%22&f=false
__________________
Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #66  
Old 06-06-2019, 10:44 AM
ianzin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Near London, UK.
Posts: 4,203
One of the very finest examples I know is in 'Walking On Glass' by Iain Banks. The book contains three separate narrative strands, one of which is a fairly standard Boy Meets Girl story. Graham meets Sara, really likes her, is hoping that maybe things will get romantic. This story contains a twist that kicks like a mule, particularly if you happen to be male and can identify with young Graham. The way Banks lays the trap and then springs the surprise is hugely impressive.

I'm not going to provide a spoiler because the twist is just too good to give away. Also, because it wouldn't work. Just giving it away here in a line or two wouldn't convey any of the majesty, the subtle brilliance with which the 'trick' is pulled off in the book. You have to experience it for yourself. Sorry.
__________________
Ianzin
Hour Youth Income Ache Sad If Ran Stow Watch Oath Ink
  #67  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:34 PM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 54,016
Bob Randall's The Fan. The book, not the movie. The sequence of events is mind blowing
  #68  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:48 PM
AHunter3 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
Posts: 20,259
N K Jemisin's The Fifth Season. Her chapters rotate between a handful of main characters, each of whom has an ongoing story arc. The main main character's tale is written in the 2nd person. ("He stares at you. You keep walking...")

There's a thread in common linking these characters.

SPOILER:

They are the same person at different stages of her life
  #69  
Old 06-06-2019, 03:32 PM
The Stafford Cripps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianzin View Post
One of the very finest examples I know is in 'Walking On Glass' by Iain Banks. The book contains three separate narrative strands, one of which is a fairly standard Boy Meets Girl story. Graham meets Sara, really likes her, is hoping that maybe things will get romantic. This story contains a twist that kicks like a mule, particularly if you happen to be male and can identify with young Graham. The way Banks lays the trap and then springs the surprise is hugely impressive.
Aw, she's pretending she isn't stuck in the window. How sweet...

I actually thought you were going to cite "What happens when the immovable object meets the unstoppable force?" It would work here as well.

Last edited by The Stafford Cripps; 06-06-2019 at 03:35 PM.
  #70  
Old 06-06-2019, 03:45 PM
Stephe96 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Gardner MA USA
Posts: 2,496
I could’ve sworn I mentioned this in this thread but apparently not.

The most virtuosic yet manipulative literary trick ever is in “The Athenian Murders” by Jose Carlos Somoza. To even hint at the nature of the trick would give the game away.
__________________
Which is crazier? To the hear the
Voice of God when it's really only
thunder? Or to hear only thunder
when it's really the Voice of God?
  #71  
Old 06-06-2019, 04:20 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,329
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Fredric Brown was noted for tricks he pulled on the reader, especially in his mysteries. Get hold of the collection Carnival of Crime.

My favorite is the story where the victim of the crime is the reader. It's "Don't Look Behind You," originally published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine for May 1947. It appears in Carnival of Crime, in several "Alfred Hitchcock" story anthologies, and elsewhere.
I love that one.

Have you ever read "Instructions" by Bob Leman? That one packs a wallop.
  #72  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:17 PM
The_Peyote_Coyote is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 3,190
Andy L, yes I have. I've got that issue of "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction." It's hilarious. Leman did some good work back in the 80's.

Last edited by The_Peyote_Coyote; 06-06-2019 at 06:17 PM.
  #73  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:39 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,329
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Peyote_Coyote View Post
Andy L, yes I have. I've got that issue of "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction." It's hilarious. Leman did some good work back in the 80's.
Heh. I've got just the same issue. Leman's "Loob" also puts the reader through the wringer.
  #74  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:46 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,464
I loved "Instructions" because of the pure virtuosity of the POV.
  #75  
Old 06-07-2019, 09:42 AM
Johanna's Avatar
Johanna is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 13,304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blank Slate View Post
Ka is a wheel.
Do you say so, sai?
  #76  
Old 06-07-2019, 12:54 PM
Wallet is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephe96 View Post
I could’ve sworn I mentioned this in this thread but apparently not.

The most virtuosic yet manipulative literary trick ever is in “The Athenian Murders” by Jose Carlos Somoza. To even hint at the nature of the trick would give the game away.
I just finished reading this book, based upon *your* recommendation in this thread:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=855682 ("Looking for complex and/or smart detective fiction")

It truly was an entangled, deep, and thought-provoking story.
Thanks for your excellent recommendation :-)
  #77  
Old 06-07-2019, 01:03 PM
Lamoral's Avatar
Lamoral is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenario
Posts: 2,596
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
Thanks. It wasn't hard.

I found Portnoy's Complaint to be one of the most overrated and annoying books ever.
I agree, it's horrible. Maybe at the time, people were not accustomed to books, or movies, or shows, or anything, that showed the inner depravity and perversions of a really fucked-up protagonist, and so it created a huge stir and skyrocketed Roth to the top of the A-list. But today it just reads like a rant that might be posted in a forum for sex addicts.
  #78  
Old 06-07-2019, 01:45 PM
Stephe96 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Gardner MA USA
Posts: 2,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallet View Post
I just finished reading this book, based upon *your* recommendation in this thread:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=855682 ("Looking for complex and/or smart detective fiction")

It truly was an entangled, deep, and thought-provoking story.
Thanks for your excellent recommendation :-)
Glad you liked it. See what I mean about a “literary trick?”
__________________
Which is crazier? To the hear the
Voice of God when it's really only
thunder? Or to hear only thunder
when it's really the Voice of God?
  #79  
Old 06-12-2019, 03:21 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,487
Another Ellery Queen with a great twist is Cat of Many Tails. A serial killer has struck multiple times, with a wide variety of victims: men, women, rich, poor, middle-aged, young, etc. In every case, the victim (despite publicity) let the murderer into their home. Ellery Queen figures out what the victims have in common...
SPOILER:
They were delivered by the same doctor. He confesses to the crimes.


And then...
SPOILER:
Judge insists on appointing him a lawyer, who discovers the doctor was working at the hospital every single night a murder took place. His wife, who couldn't have children of her own (and her husband wouldn't let her adopt) was the killer. She committed suicide (and so did he) before the police could stop them.
  #80  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:43 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,464
Queen (or rather, Theodore Sturgeon) pulled off another virtuoso twist in The Player on the Other Side, where someone is blackmailed into murder. The identity of the blackmailer is a complete surprise, even though the clues are all there.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 06-12-2019 at 08:43 PM.
  #81  
Old 06-13-2019, 12:52 AM
Clark K is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Illinois
Posts: 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
If you're talking movies, #1 has to be The Chief's "Thank you." If you haven't read the book, those two words are definitely a jaw dropper.
Huh? Care to share a title with the uninformed among us?
  #82  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:58 AM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 54,016
Okay, but you really should watch the movie. It deserved all them Oscars.

Now, the book is written from the Chief's perspective, and the reader knows from the beginning he's faking the deaf-mute bit. However, in the movie, he's just seen as a big "deaf-and-dumb" crazy man. When McMurphy hands him a stick of gum halfway through the film, the Chief says "Thank you." Jack Nicholson's jaw drops, and that's the beginning of the second half of the movie.

ETA: Watching the movie with someone who hasn't read the book always leads to a good jaw dropping at that point.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 06-13-2019 at 08:59 AM.
  #83  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:32 AM
MrAtoz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Okay, but you really should watch the movie. It deserved all them Oscars.

Now, the book is written from the Chief's perspective, and the reader knows from the beginning he's faking the deaf-mute bit. However, in the movie, he's just seen as a big "deaf-and-dumb" crazy man. When McMurphy hands him a stick of gum halfway through the film, the Chief says "Thank you." Jack Nicholson's jaw drops, and that's the beginning of the second half of the movie.

ETA: Watching the movie with someone who hasn't read the book always leads to a good jaw dropping at that point.
If I may, I believe Clark K's inquiry is because you never identified what book/movie you're talking about.

It's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
  #84  
Old 06-13-2019, 10:10 AM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,487
Another book with a major twist is Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. (Actually, it has two, but the first one is brilliant, feels completely fair, and doesn't seem like a "stunt" by the author.) One of the main characters, whose mother died at birth, has been physically abused by her father for years. She finally escapes by moving away. Toward the end of the book, she finds out
SPOILER:
that her "father" is actually her mother, who, after being raped, runs away and lives as a man.
  #85  
Old 06-13-2019, 11:24 AM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 31,263
An unjustly forgotten mystery author, Percival Wilde, wrote a series of books in a similar format. He's break the plot down into five section, each told first person - in very distinctive voices - about a murder and its investigation.

The twist is that one of the five always turns out to be the murderer, whose actions are given without lies but artfully concealed or made misleading.

Yeah, Christie did this once. But she couldn't write in five distinctive voices if Poirot had a gun to her had. Doing this repeatedly is mind-boggling.

Some titles to look for: Design for Murder; Mystery Week-End; Tinsley's Bones. I think Inquest is in the same style, but I haven't read it yet.
  #86  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:28 PM
Sauron is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 4,158
In Rage, one of Stephen King's books (under his pseudonym Richard Bachman), he writes about a high-school boy who kills a teacher and takes his class hostage. Prior to doing this, he visits his locker to retrieve the handgun he will use, and removes his combination lock (which he calls "Titus, the Helpful Padlock"), casually dropping it into his shirt pocket.

About 100 pages later, as the boy is on the verge of shooting one of his classmates, a police sniper -- who has been keeping the boy in his sights through a window for several minutes, unbeknownst to us -- shoots him in the chest. As best I can recall, one chapter ends with the boy telling us (the book is in first-person) "I was on the verge of shooting him, but they shot me first."

The next chapter, which is very short, explains the backstory on the sniper, and how he shot the boy exactly where he wanted to -- right in the chest, aiming for the heart.

And the line that has stayed with me for roughly 30 years now: Where it struck the hard steel of Titus, the Helpful Padlock.

I remember being dumbfounded by that realization, and immediately flipping back to the section where he removed the lock and re-reading it, and then going back to the shooting, and being amazed at how cleverly the whole thing was set up. When the previous chapter had ended, I thought the boy, the narrator, was dead, or at least severely wounded, and the book was going to end soon. Instead, he was okay (well, relatively), and we had another 100 pages or so to go.
__________________
Take a look at my book, The Man Rules! smashwords.com/books/view/336678. Dopers get a 40% discount with this coupon code: UQ25Y
Check out my blog! followthemanrules.blogspot.com
  #87  
Old 06-13-2019, 11:51 PM
Clark K is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Illinois
Posts: 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAtoz View Post
If I may, I believe Clark K's inquiry is because you never identified what book/movie you're talking about.

It's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Thank you!
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017