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Post Info TOPIC: Like or dislike a fiction book's indefinite final ending ?


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Date: Feb 18 4:51 PM, 2017
RE: Like or dislike a fiction book's indefinite final ending ?
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Ross Poldark wrote:

Because WG most likely left the ending of the Ward Lock Warleggan also the end of Bella to the reader's imagination to decide the likely outcome or outcomes for themselves, two or three recent posts on here as well as many fans who wrote to WG over the following twenty years after Warleggan was published in 1953, revealed it had left many of them wanting for more until The Black Moon was published.

Consequently an indefinite ending such as in the two books above is something that in theory one could either like, accept, be left uncomfortably undecided somewhere in the middle or dislike.

1. Which of these four options do you prefer in Warleggan ?

2. Which of these four options do you prefer in Bella ?

3. Which of these four options do you prefer with any other named favourite or popular author(s) of fiction ?


 I feel differently about the ending of Warleggan and that of Bella. Having finished reading Warleggan I didn't have to wait to read The Black Moon so perhaps it was easier to like the ending. It seemed that Ross and Demelza had built sufficient foundations for a solid reconciliation given time but it still left me wanting to read on to find out what actually happened.

The situation in Bella is very different with no possibility of any more books. The state of Ross and Demelza's relationship was not being addressed by either of them so the future was completely unknown. I almost wished I had not read the book at all. I dislike this ending. Given that WG had decided this would definitely be the last Poldark book I think it was unfair on his readers.



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Date: Feb 7 4:13 PM, 2017
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Hollyhock wrote:

Similar to Poldark fans, many To Kill a Mockingbird fans wondered for years about what happened to pivotal characters like Scout. However, in the case of Harper Lee's half-century later sequel, it sounds like readers should have been satisfied with the ending because of the failure of characters to live up to expectations. 


Except the so-called sequel is the book Harper Lee originally wrote. The publisher bought it and asked her to rewrite it, building a book from the childhood flashbacks. That became "To Kill a Mockingbird," the mid-20th century's Great American Novel. A copy of "Go Set a Watchman," her original book, languished in her safe-deposit box until it was found by her new lawyer in 2011. (The lawyer said she knew the manuscript of Lee's book was in the box, but she apparently didn't know the history of the production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" until she attended a Lee family event, where she found out about the original book.)

I have had the book since it came out and have been able to read only the first chapter. I just don't want to read bigotry coming out of the mouth of my favorite literary character. It's May 9th only somehow worse. Yet I know I must do it eventually.



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Date: Feb 7 2:31 PM, 2017
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SusanneMcCarthy wrote:

Dark Mare, I love your ending for Gone With the Wind - it's right in keeping with the characters. Scarlett would never just give up - and Rhett would have been bored rigid without her around to spice up his life!


 Thanks!



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Date: Feb 4 2:05 AM, 2017
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My answer is a definite No, I don't like inconclusive endings. Hence, I take it as a sign of an exceptional author who can give me uncertainty that I can accept.

Like Dark Mare, Warleggan is a non-issue because it was never The End. It is quite a while since I read Bella and I think it was only once. I remember feeling vaguely dissatisfied but I can't remember if that was due exactly to the ending, or the overall quality of the book.

I think GWTW has exactly the right ending because it suits the personalities of the characters. We wouldn't have wanted Rhett to meekly submit, and we know that Scarlett would continue to fight, despite being knocked down to her lowest point.



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Date: Jan 31 5:53 PM, 2017
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All right Tina...

 



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Ais....biggrin



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Date: Jan 31 3:39 PM, 2017
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Incidentally, Hollyhock, I believe Ross and Demelza were comfortable in the corners of the carriage, because it's easier to brace oneself against all the jolting in a corner position.  They hadn't fallen out, but just thinking their own thoughts and probably pondering their future, just like us.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Ah, be that as it may, Mrs Gimlett, that's exactly what we over here in my corner of the dissatisfied camp are grumbling about. We didn't want to have uncertainty or even comfortable co-existence as the final image of our favorite couple. That would be more suitable for George and spouse. No, no matter how impractical, we needed to see some cuddling to have our anxieties soothed. Even if it meant that the aging Ross and Demelza had to cling to each other for dear life while being flung from floor to ceiling by the wildly lurching coach as they rode off into the sunset, or Truro, or whichever came first, that's what we wanted for the grand finale.  nod.gif

 

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Tuesday 31st of January 2017 07:00:58 PM



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 03:10:26 AM

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Date: Jan 30 7:54 PM, 2017
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Dark Mare, I have been ruminating about your reply to the question of the ending of Warleggan, and the 20 year gap to the Black Moon.

I cannot agree with you that Ross' personality changed.  Yes, he was more light-hearted in some ways, and his freer manner was surely just pure relief at having the burden of bankruptcy removed from his shoulders and becoming solvent, along with his reconciliation with Demelza.  Life was worth living again.  He was not a greedy man, but no-one could blame him for becoming more comfortable with himself because he had money in the bank. Most of us would be the same.

You also say he was more class conscious.  I think he always was aware of the differences between the miners and the minor gentry of the area; he just didn't observe them that often.  When he talks about Demelza maybe regretting her brothers' close proximity, I think he was really saying that he didn't want them around cadging favours, because it would cause upset amongst the locals.  Not that he was ungenerous, but she did have 4 other brothers who might well have turned up on the doorstep too.

Speaking as one who did have to wait, but only a mere 10 years,  for the Black Moon, I was quite happy with the ending of Warleggan.  The last few sentences were sufficient to convince me that all would be well between Ross and Demelza.  I wanted to know what happened to Dwight and Caroline, because their future was much less certain.  So when TBM finally arrived, I was very happy.  After that, of course, the next two books followed fairly swiftly, but TAT had a more conclusive ending than others in the series.  Then another wait...

I don't think that fans writing to WG was the deciding factor for his return to 'Nampara' after so long a gap.  It seems more likely, (from his memoirs)  that in the back of his mind he was subconsciously preparing for another sequence of books and suddenly found he had to return to them.  He says, he was curious about what happened after Christmas 1793!  As he stated elsewhere, the story seemed to grow organically and he was just holding the tiller, wondering what would unfold. How wonderful to create stories of that quality without really trying...  Or was he just being modest?

The end of Bella presents a different problem in a way.  Given WGs  age, we knew that would be the very last book.  He obviously didn't want to kill off the main characters, so deliberately left several things hanging, for us to dream about as we wish.

Incidentally, Hollyhock, I believe Ross and Demelza were comfortable in the corners of the carriage, because it's easier to brace oneself against all the jolting in a corner position.  They hadn't fallen out, but just thinking their own thoughts and probably pondering their future, just like us.



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Date: Jan 30 7:12 PM, 2017
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 Ross wrote:

Because WG most likely left the ending of the Ward Lock Warleggan also the end of Bella to the reader's imagination to decide the likely outcome or outcomes for themselves, two or three recent posts on here as well as many fans who wrote to WG over the following twenty years after Warleggan was published in 1953, revealed it had left many of them wanting for more until The Black Moon was published.

Consequently an indefinite ending such as in the two books above is something that in theory one could either like, accept, be left uncomfortably undecided somewhere in the middle or dislike.

1. Which of these four options do you prefer in Warleggan ?

2. Which of these four options do you prefer in Bella ?

3. Which of these four options do you prefer with any other named favourite or popular author(s) of fiction ?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Warleggan

In novels with romantic storylines, the romantic in me prefers the clearly stated "and they lived happily ever after ending." But in the case of Warleggan, I was satisfied with the ending because for me the happily-ever-after was a given. Although I would have liked more details about that Christmas Eve reunion, I was certain that R&D would have the passionate reconciliation that was later described in TBM.

Similar to Poldark fans, many To Kill a Mockingbird fans wondered for years about what happened to pivotal characters like Scout. However, in the case of Harper Lee's half-century later sequel, it sounds like readers should have been satisfied with the ending because of the failure of characters to live up to expectations. 

Bella

Compared to Warleggan, I found the ending of Bella, and therefore the end of the saga, too inconclusive.  For the most part I liked the book and didn't at all mind the vague endings of some of the bizarre storylines. I sometimes think that WG must has been watching too many late night B movies, or perhaps reading Poe (e.g., Murders in the Rue Morgue), when he dreamed up Butto and the psychopathic Paul Kellow. Instead of reading about Butto, Kellow, and some of Bella's wilder escapades, I would have preferred to learn more about characters like Meliora and Sophia, Katie and Music, and the remarkable Lord Edward.

But mainly, it was the uncertainty of Ross and Demelza's newly traumatized relationship that I found unsatisfactory. The final image of them as a couple was too speculative. Bella wakes from her nap in the coach on the way back to Cornwall and sees "with relief her mother and father in their respective corners." This sounds combative, as if they had retreated to their corners to lick their wounds before resuming battle. Or, as if they wanted to get as far away from each other as space would allow. It left me wondering if they would ever again attain the "total submersion in each other" that Demelza had destroyed and so longed for in the ATAfter literally suffering with Ross and Demelza through all their trials and tribulations, I needed my happy ever aftersmile

Popular author

Finally, one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, imbues his characters with such vivid personalities, emotions, and sympathetic traits (e.g., Anansi Boys, The Ocean at the End of the Lane), that they become real acquaintances and one wonders about their after-book lives. However, I find his books conclusive enough that I accept the endings and don't hound him for sequelssmile 

 

Ross, thanks for the homework. wink

 

 

 



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Date: Jan 29 3:44 PM, 2017
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Dark Mare, I love your ending for Gone With the Wind - it's right in keeping with the characters. Scarlett would never just give up - and Rhett would have been bored rigid without her around to spice up his life!



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Date: Jan 29 3:06 PM, 2017
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Harking back to being left uncomfortably undecided somewhere in the middle at the end of WG's "Warleggan", I've just remembered Sudermann's story which originally inspired WG to write Poldark.

Interestingly, and to me by contrast satisfyingly is that he reveals the ending of the story in the very first sentence....

_____________

"It makes me think of a woman whom I met yesterday in the street who looked at me with deep gratitude because I didn't greet her. You might find that strange. I agree, therefore I must explain things to you in more detail as it is psychologically of interest."

_____________

It's the extract "who looked at me with deep gratitude because I didn't greet her" that when you get to the end of the story, you suddenly remember that the writer hadn't given her away when he realised that it was her real husband and children on the platform, and that the earlier male passenger was a secret lover quite unknown to her family.

A nice touch and for me preferable to being left uncomfortably undecided I think...



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Date: Jan 29 2:34 AM, 2017
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Ross Poldark wrote:

Because WG most likely left the ending of the Ward Lock Warleggan also the end of Bella to the reader's imagination to decide the likely outcome or outcomes for themselves, two or three recent posts on here as well as many fans who wrote to WG over the following twenty years after Warleggan was published in 1953, revealed it had left many of them wanting for more until The Black Moon was published.

Consequently an indefinite ending such as in the two books above is something that in theory one could either like, accept, be left uncomfortably undecided somewhere in the middle or dislike.

1. Which of these four options do you prefer in Warleggan ?

2. Which of these four options do you prefer in Bella ?

3. Which of these four options do you prefer with any other named favourite or popular author(s) of fiction ?


I'm like Demelza, nothing but a clear-cut issue is ever satisfactory to me. Winston Graham's "Poldark" novels are like needlepointed scenes, and in "Bella" especially, he left a big section of the backing exposed. So, to your questions:

1. I can't object to the ending of "Warleggan" because "The Black Moon" was written decades before I started reading these books. I don't know how I would have felt had I come to the end of "Warleggan" with no "Black Moon" to reach for next. Do I wish there hadn't been such a large time gap between the writing of the two books? Yes because Ross' personality changed during those years. Yes, he became more playful (pinching Demelza just out of view of her brothers), but he also became more class-conscious (The earlier Ross would never have expected Demelza to be uneasy about having her brothers living nearby because it might undermine her rise in society. He'd think she's relieved their father has died so he won't be visiting to try to save her soul.). 

2. Dislike. WG spent how many books building toward a final Ross-George showdown over Jeremy, Stephen and Demelza's roles in the stagecoach affair and then ended "Bella" without letting it play out. (I know I've been a broken record on this point.) Instead we get a Cornish version of the red Georgia clay scenes from "Gone With the Wind."

3. Speaking of "Gone With the Wind," I'll pick Margaret Mitchell and the way she ended her only novel. Did Rhett return? Did Scarlett return to Tara to plot her campaign to win him back? Did Ashley go north to work in his friend's bank in New York? Or did Scarlett take pity on Ashley and marry him to keep her promise to Melanie to watch out for him and their son Beau? My friends insist Scarlett gave up, pointing out than whenever she said, "I'll think about it tomorrow," she ultimately accepted defeat. Maybe, but I like to think she went to Tara, devised another smashing dress from the last of her mother's green drapes and marched on Charleston to get Rhett back. He found the whole thing hilarious and decided life with Scarlett was always more fun than life without her and returned to Atlanta. Scarlett created a generous trust fund for Beau, and she and Rhett put Ashley and Beau on a train to New York. As they returned to their carriage, she said, "Seriously, Rhett, how much trouble can he possibly get into in a bank in New York City?" Rhett just rolled his eyes.

Another thought on WG: I don't think endings were his strong suit judging from "Marnie" and the 12 "Poldark" books. I do wonder how much the convention that no one who commits a crime in a novel is supposed to get away with it colors his endings. There was something just false about the ending of "Marnie." Hitchcock had a better one in the movie.



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Date: Jan 28 7:02 PM, 2017
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Because WG most likely left the ending of the Ward Lock Warleggan also the end of Bella to the reader's imagination to decide the likely outcome or outcomes for themselves, two or three recent posts on here as well as many fans who wrote to WG over the following twenty years after Warleggan was published in 1953, revealed it had left many of them wanting for more until The Black Moon was published.

Consequently an indefinite ending such as in the two books above is something that in theory one could either like, accept, be left uncomfortably undecided somewhere in the middle or dislike.

1. Which of these four options do you prefer in Warleggan ?

2. Which of these four options do you prefer in Bella ?

3. Which of these four options do you prefer with any other named favourite or popular author(s) of fiction ?



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"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.

 

 

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