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Books with a Twist

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This week’s question: Do you like books with complicated plots and unexpected endings? What book with a surprise ending is your favorite? Or your least favorite?

I enjoy books with multiple layers of meanings, complicated plots, subsidiary branches that accentuate the main story, twists, and unexpected endings. All of these elements are not prerequisite to make a great book. In Beloved, the past is told in flashbacks, stories, and plain narratives. Many of the passages are written in fragments and pieces that leave the impression of a frayed mind. Probing unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, Beloved transforms history into a story so original and yet so close to the root of suffering. The book nourishes a complicated plot but the ending is not surprising. Many twists and turns, convolutions, and suspense fuel the mystery of Rebecca. Daphane du Maurier furnishes one of the best unexpected endings in my reading. Also highly suspenseful, The Woman in White nourishes a surprised ending except that Wilkie Collins adroitly creates “blindspots” in everyone involved so that one is often led to court suspicion that is wrong for the sake of diverting himself from other suspicion that is right. The one ending that I didn’t see it coming was Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. The worst, or the most disappointing rather, unexpected ending is Bel Canto, which was before the time of the blog and I never reviewed it.

10 Responses

  1. Oh — you are SO eloquent! You said what I feel, but using such beautiful examples: Beloved, Rebecca, and The Woman in White!

    This is why I LOVE your blog 🙂

  2. oh i cant even think of any surprise endings right now…though I know I love them. I’m halfway through The Woman in White, and am Interested in reading both Bel Canto and Gentlemen and Players soon, so I’m excited that the endings are a little different from expected. Thanks for the unintentional heads-up!


    • I think Woman in White is more convoluted than surprised, because I figured out the twist about halfway through the book. Watch out for the big surprise of Gentlemen and Players! 🙂

  3. Rebecca *will* be read this year. It’s been languishing in the TBR but I’m intrigued by the ending now. The beginning is more infamous.

    I love Beloved. I also love how Morrison captures the voices so accurately that once you begin to get used to the strange punctuation, you realise how well it works.

    • I bet once you start reading Rebecca, it would be a languishing read! I’m looking to reading A Mercy, which has been sitting on the pile. 🙂

  4. Eloquent indeed.

    Though I love unexpected turns, I don’t like complicated plots. I have a hard time coping up with what’s happening in the book if it’s too complicated.

  5. I wish I could go back and read Rebecca again for the first time. I can still remember being deliciously shocked by how things came together. Although I enjoy the book every time I reread it, I can never get that wonderful moment of being surprised back again!

    • I totally agree with you! It’s one thing to re-read a favorite book and it’s another to enjoy that first sensation when it takes a surprising turn.

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