I remember thinking this topic was a bit awkward last time I did this challenge, because I don’t want to go giving away these plot twists or endings as it sort of ruins the story for any potential readers. And if it’s truly the most surprising plot twist I can think of, then surely it’s the one I don’t want to ruin?
I guess one ending I can kind of talk about without giving away what actually happens in it is Catch-22. For those of you who haven’t read this novel, it jumps around a lot chronologically and to great effect. As a result, the second last chapter, which is easily the most upsetting chapter, explains how something happens that you see the effects of right near the start of the novel (and it’s a testament to the writing that it can be so emotionally moving when you know how the particular event ends). After most of the novel being hilarious, and the last quarter being so upsetting it’s almost overwhelming, the book actually ends on a slightly positive and quite funny note. I won’t say what that note is, but it had me laughing moments after I had been crying my eyes out and I closed the book thinking “what on earth just happened”.
So I guess what I’ve just answered is how an ending can be surprising. So what are your thoughts? How can endings be surprising and memorable for you? And is a surprising ending always a good ending?