Sunday, 15 March 2009

Enough to make you cry ...




Tim bravely admitted in an earlier post that the ending of the Time Traveler’s Wife made him cry. “Endings that make you cry” is too interesting a topic to hide away in “comments”, so I thought I’d ask you for your favourite weepy ending. I’m happy to offer up Margery William’s The Velveteen Rabbit for mine. Not that I actually cried, of course – I was just sniffing because I had a cold or something …

9 comments:

Ryan David Jahn said...

The only book whose ending I can recall making me cry is BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS, which, I know, is not exactly famous for being a book that requires kleenex.

Something about it, though...

Frances said...

Jude the Obscure. Definitely. I wept for half an hour after finishing it (although I was about 17 at the time, so maybe that had something to do with it).

Faye L. Booth said...

Am I a soulless harridan if I admit that I don't cry at or during books or films? I'm a bit of a stereotypical (note - stereotypical!) bloke in regards to emotions, and however much I like someone's characters, I usually have enough emotional distance to prevent me from crying.

There is, however, an exception to this rule, but instead of making me look like a soulless harridan, this clause makes me sound completely egotistical. I have sobbed my heart out at the end of a book, to the point of near-hysterics...but I wasn't reading it. I'm afraid I was writing it. It's only happened once so far, and it wasn't during Mirrors or Trades, but my belief is that it was killing off a character I was very attached to that removed that element of emotional distance. I don't cry every time one of my characters dies - just the once, so far.

David Isaak said...

Endings usually don't get me, but sometimes middles do. The only ending that really nailed me was William Goldman's "The Princess Bride," and not because it is sad, but because it so perfectly capped off the story while staying inside the facetious fairy-tale tone of the book. ("Because life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all.")

Oh, and Joyce's short story "The Dead," but once again it was the perfection as much as the sadness.

I'm with Ryan on Vonnegut, who often affects me deeply somewhere during his books, and also with Faye--my own writing plays havoc with my emotions. But, as someone (Frost?) observed, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader."

Eliza Graham said...

Recently I have felt lump-in-throat-ish over the ending of Brideshead Revisited (though I'm sure Waugh would be appalled at the thought of snivelling females reading his words), and the ending of Tess of the d'Urbevilles in the TV series (and in the book, too, for that matter).

Bloody Thomas Hardy. He knows how to make a Sunday evening end with a swing.

Aliya Whiteley said...

I cry at lots of book endings. Just recently I blubbed through the final pages of Pullman's The Amber Spyglass, Bruce Chatwin's On The Black Hill, and Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire. (Men doing manly things for honour is a sure-fire blub-fest for me.)

I don't know if I believe in the cathartic weep, but there is something uplifting about Goodbye Mog. It's impossible not to rethink your stance on life after death as Mog's ghost helps a new kitten get used to the family before departing for cat heaven. I'm crying while I'm typing this.

Tim Stretton said...

Hmm, I might have had a speck of dust in the eye at the end of The Amber Spyglass, too, Aliya...

Matt Curran said...

I think age is turning me into a wuss. I was like stone in my younger years, now I blub at endings such as The Shawshank Redemption, or ET.

In books, I've blubbed at the end of the Last of the Amazons by Steven Pressfield (and almost blubbed reading Gates of Fire so I advise Ms Whiteley should read the former with a box of kleenex handy).

I expected to blub at the end of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but ended up just feeling angry.
That's expectation for you...

Frances said...

Oh - and Oscar Wilde's Selfish Giant. It gets me every time.