All books need great hooks to draw their readers in, but a good ending is also critical. There’s nothing worse than investing the hours required to read 400 pages or so and then getting to the last page and thinking, “That’s it?”

My time is valuable!

Two of the books that I’ve read with outstanding endings are Life of Pi and The Time Traveler’s Wife. I read Pi almost a year ago and the ending still has me thinking. The TTW has an ending that is simply perfect. I almost put the book down about 100 pages into it, but kept plugging away and I’m so glad I did. The conclusion was definitely worth it.

A couple others I can think of are both by Thomas Hardy- Tess of the D’Ubervilles and Jude the Obscure,. Hardy’s style is to start out painfully slow, but once you’re past the halfway mark the action never stops. Both of those had shocking endings I still remember. I was even flabbergasted by Jude when forced to read it in high school so that’s pretty darned impressive. If an old white dude could write something to shock a jaded, hormonal teenager you know it’s good.

So, which book endings have made an impression on you?