There was this certain book I remember reading in middle school, a book that was of my own choice rather than assigned reading. I don’t recall the title nor the author of the book, but I distinctly remember the ending of the story.
The gist of the book was a fox versus a hunter. The fox was the main character, a clever animal, always managing to outwit the hunter to stay alive. The fox was the character you were supposed to root for. Yet, the last page of the story merely consisted of the hunter finally shooting and killing the fox, saying something to the effect that “the game was over.”
Middle-school me stared in disbelief at the book, upset at the ending. I had expected the hunter to somehow meet his demise, perhaps not be killed off but to stop his relentless pursuit of the fox and its family, or at least for the fox to finally get away and get its happy ending.
On one hand, the ending was unexpected, perhaps trying to teach some sort of lesson about mortality and the tragedies of life. On the other hand, I had been set up to expect a happy ending from the rest of the novel, and I hated it.
I’ve read other books where the ending wasn’t what I expected, wasn’t how I wanted the books to end, but they were satisfactory and made sense. I may not have agreed with them, but they made sense. I luckily haven’t read a book that had an ending that made me so upset since that middle school book, and I’m curious if I read the book now if it would make more sense.
Have you read any books that were great up until the ending? Any book you wanted to throw across the room in frustration?