Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Six famous novels that don’t have an ending

Jeff Somers is the author of the Avery Cates series, The Ustari Cycle, Lifers, and Chum (among many other books) and numerous short stories.

At the B&N Reads blog he tagged six novels "that have been published and praised despite the fact that they’re clearly unfinished," including:
The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon

Pynchon unfolds The Crying of Lot 49 like a detective novel. Along the way, Oedipa Maas goes from determined to worrying about her sanity, from intensely interested in the mystery to being almost exhausted by it. Just as she seems about to give up, a final clue draws her to the titular auction, and readers might be forgiven for assuming at least some resolution to the mystery would be on offer, but instead, the book ends just as the auction begins. To paraphrase Willy Wonka, we get nothing. Now, Pynchon’s probably the genius here, but wouldn’t it be fun to imagine that he also tried to write a novel in one month, and just typed out “The End” when the deadline hit?
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Crying of Lot 49 is among the Barnes & Noble Review's six top books on surveillance and John Mullan's ten best secret societies in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue