The other day I saw something awful

I was waiting for the subway when a young man sat down next to me. He had a bag from a bookstore and when he took out his purchase I had to peek.

The novel he took out was “The Kindly Ones” by Jonathan Littell. So far so good. It is even a novel I have wanted to browse through (it is very thick!). But then something shocking happened. The guy opens the book, but not in the traditional way on the first page, instead he flips to the LAST PAGE and starts reading!

Extenuating Circumstances?

I understand that some people (mainly students who have an assignment due soon) have this strategy. For me it is an incomprehensible strategy to start with the ending. I consider it cheating! Also, I could not take 912 pages (yep, that is how long Littell’s novel is) if I already know how the story will end. However, a friend of mine sometimes reads the end if the story is particularly gruesome, since knowing that there is a happy ending makes it less scary.

Do you ever read the ending first? And if so, why?


  1. Never. Ever.

    When the last Harry Potter book was released I met my best friend that morning for coffee – she had just picked up her copy at the local bookshop and as she sat down for coffee she opened the bag from the shop and immediately turned to the last page of the book. We have been friends forever and still are but I have never looked at her in quite the same way since that moment. How could she?

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    03 April 2011 5:22