Wednesday, June 3, 2020


“I think you deserve to find everything out,” she said,
and I practically ripped the page to turn it,
the final major revelations finally at hand,
with only twenty pages in the final chapter
of the final book in the series to go,
the identity of the killer to be revealed,
the hero’s father named,
the nature of the doomsday weapon
everyone had been hunting,
the reason the hero couldn’t remember his own wedding.
I turned the page,
then I blinked.
And I stared at a blank page,
followed by another,
followed by another,
all the way to the end of the book.
No more dialogue,
no more exposition,
no more plot,
no climax,
no denouement.
The novel,
which I had purchased in hardback
on its first day of publication,
was now devoid of ideas,
empty of symbols,
barren of words.
I threw the book across the room in disgust
and took to the internet,
where I intended to lodge a sternly worded complaint
with the publisher and the bookstore chain
and seek a refund.
I soon discovered that I was not alone,
that millions of readers were similarly outraged,
that the book simply stopped
on the same page, with the same line
for every single copy.
“I think you deserve to find everything out,” she said,
and that was it.
The printing press released a statement
that they had made no error,
that this was the way the author had intended the book to end.
“What a load of bullshit!” the author’s fans cried,
and they cursed her on social media,
millions upon millions of angry people,
betrayed by an artist,
their time investment all for naught.
The author’s husband then made a statement,
explaining that she had been suffering
from a terrible and obscure degenerative disease,
which had a long unpronounceable name,
and she was now in a coma,
from which she was never expected to emerge.
That, apparently, was the “everything” she had wanted
to tell her readers,
that she was running out of time
and would not be able to finish the book.
So the angry people now felt very guilty and sorrowful
and posted loving tributes to the author
and declared the ending “haunting” and “brilliant.”
I didn’t want to say anything publicly,
but I thought it was still a load of bullshit.

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