Worst Book Endings (spoilers, natch)

Michael Crichton’s Timeline was very good in its detailing how 20th century time travelers would have a hard time adapting to medieval England. It was a fun story and intriguing until they got back to present day but…

I’m not using the spoiler tag since the subject states we got spoilers here so there…nyah…

…if you ask me, the “kids” in effect killing the head “bad guy” was waaaaaaaaaaaay over the top and out of character for a group that was made up of mainly decent people. I was like “what the hell did they just do???” It left me feeling empty. I’d have preferred if they just punched him in the face, or maybe sent his rolodex or Jaguar back in time, but jeez.

Chrichton has a problem with endings it seems. Congo’s ending came just as things started happening (which took forever, btw) But I can’t help waiting for his next books. When is that anyway?

In regards to Hannibal, I have to agree with some of the others - what happens to Clarisse is absolutely not believeable and ruins the character. It’s no wonder Jodie Foster wouldn’t return to play the part if she read the book in addition to the movie script. However, what I think happened is this (and it seems fairly obvious to me):

Harris fell in love with his anti-hero. He created this refined monster that in the end, he admired and wanted to save. He couldn’t give Hannibal up to the authorities or to death; he liked him too much. So he gave Hannibal everything he’d wanted. And it makes for a really icky ending, because Clarisse wouldn’t have done what she did. It’s not in keeping with the rest of her character, regardless of how many drugs she’s fed.

I thought it sucked. But the brain eating was cool.

I think Clarisse would have done what she did.
If you look back Clarisse was always somewhat sympathetic to Lector,even saying he wouldn’t come after her.
And don’t forget the reason she went to Mason’s estate was to save Lector from the torture she knew he would receive.

She was disillusioned with the FBI,and her career with them was basically over.
She was obviously at a low period in her life,and along comes a chance to life a life of culture and wealth with someone she was attracted to.
Just because he has killed some people and done some distasteful things would be a small consideration in my opinion.

You have no problem cavorting with butcherers of innocents and cannibals as long as they’re high class cannibals?

OK, don’t come around my house. I’d shoot you out of fear for my very life.

I was speaking from Clairesse’s perspective :smiley:
And i don’t remember Lector killing a bunch of innocents,a corrupt cop that would allow a man to be torured as long as he got millions,a sadistic child molestor,some hit men sent to kill him.

The sequel to Rosemary’s Baby pissed me off more than Hannibal, I think.

It actually wasn’t that bad until the ending. Then he pulled the “it was just a dream” crap, which even negated the first book! It ended with Guy and Rosemary looking at the apartment and deciding not to buy it!

Man, I was pissed.


Interestingly, Mr. Hamilton’s opus was the first thing that sprang to my mind when I saw the OP.

I agree Horseflesh, that the ending did indeed suck for the reason you mention, though for me there was insult added to injury. One of the reasons I’ve always read SciFi has been for the limitless exploration and the desire to see what is over the next hill, (or beyond the next star, etc); something that I feel is an intrinsic part of human nature. The “reconfiguring” at the end of The Naked God completely negated that, and (for me) not only detracted from an otherwise brilliant searies of books, but also ruined the entire fictional universe.

American Gods by Neil gaiman. There was this big buildup to a Battle Of The Gods and what happens…I’ll tell you what happens, DICK HAPPENS.

Nothing, no lightning bolts, no axes and swords flailing, nothin.

I’m happy I didn’t buy the damn thing but just read it in the bookstore over a 3 day period.

I do, but not just with the ending of that book but with the whole book as an ending to the series. Reading through it I just got the image of Harris sitting at his desk thinking, “You really want a sequel so much? Here’s your damn sequel.”

The last several books I’ve read have all had the suckiest endings that have ever sucked. Don’t make fun of me for reading them - I’ll readily admit they are all fast-food, read-on-the-airplane books, but still…

Talbot’s Oddessy: The incredibly clever, sneaky Russians turn into incredibly easy-to-fool dupes at just the right time. An impregnable fortress is impregnated…rather easily, by such pros as a teenager and a slutty spy’s trophy wife. Clueless slut kills the most evil character in the book…rather easily. The other mystery bad guy is…SURPRISE!! Exactly who you thought it would be.

Plum Island: After spending a hundred pages or so reading about a 5 level decontamination-type chamber, which was pretty unfascinating since apparently nothing has changed since The Andromeda Strain, it turns out that has nothing to do with the murders. Nope - they were murdered for…Captain Kidd’s treasure!! Main suspect throughout the book is…really the killer. Killer is eviscerated by the hero, who then smears killer’s guts all over his face, while he screams in shock and agony, and is left for dead in a Hurricane on an island without power. But…he lives!! Perhaps we can get Qadgop in here to confirm, but I’m pretty sure if you get a face wash with your own intestines, you’re not gonna pull through.

Those Kay Scarpetta ME books. I don’t even remember the titles, but damn - she has more bad luck than Andy Sipowicz. If I were her cop buddy, I’d get the hell away from her as fast as possible before I got randomly murdered.

Along Came another well-financed, incredibly intelligent serial-kidnapping-murdering freakshow. Sounds like a job for Alex Cross, African-American badass. How shall James Patterson jerk me around? Let me count the ways. “The Mastermind” is really thisguy. No, he was framed by this guy. No, he’s just a crazy man devoted to the real Mastermind, who…isn’t really the real Mastermind either. Who is he? A main character who has randomly been designated as this evil weirdo. You finally learn who he really is…on the last page. Sorry, I will not be blackmailed into buying the next one.
Now I’m reading Seabiscuit. At least if the ending sucks, it will have really happened. :slight_smile:

Ok, I was getting scared there for a minute. That really freaked me out.

Thomas Wolfe’s A Man in Full I enjoyed for hundreds of pages. I thought it might be an all time top twentyfive, “Desert Island” type book for me (IMO it was that good)…

…and then the end came and I was so disappointed. It was almost as if, as a poster said earlier about a different book, his editors said “Get this in NOW” or that Wolfe had circa 450 pgs & wasn’t sure how to end it — & so just ended it in a page or two…

When I saw the thread title that was the one that really jumped to mind. It was a preposterous “cheat” on what had been a fine book.

I’ll reiterate Max’s comment:Crichton has serious trouble with endings. Congo is one of his major sins.
Spoilers follow, but you wouldn’t still be reading this thread if you were worried, would you?

The Andromeda Strain is another. After 200 pages of scientists trying to combat an incredibly dangerous virus, we get two pages explaining that it’s not a threat.
Sphere is another with a rather sudden ending. It may fit the story, but it’s as anticlimatic as all heck.

A couple friends and I actually use “crichton” as a verb to mean “to come to a sudden end.”

The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. It all builds up to Roark’s courtroom speech in his defense, and the speech is frankly unconvincing (and Rand was preaching to the choir in my case back when I read it).

Wait, wait, you forgot Crichton’s Airframe. The plane crashed because the pilot let his son fly it!