On Books and Happy Endings

I mentioned a few entries back that I had been reading “The Spectacular Now”. Well, last night, I got to finish it and boy, was I disappointed.

While I was reading the last paragraph of a certain chapter, I flipped over to the next page thinking that there was still a few more pages left to it. It didn’t seem finished, at least for me. But guess what? It’s one of those open – ended stories where the writer messes up the readers’ minds by entrusting with them (in this case, me) the task of concocting my own brew of the ending.

I was weirded out by the story’s conclusion so I searched for reviews of the book. I thought that maybe, I just didn’t get it. Maybe, there was this cryptic theme throughout the book that just wasn’t able to penetrate my thick skull or something. But it turns out that a lot praised the author for his “realistic” ending. And I’m like, what the fuck, man?!

There ought to be this rule, you know, that open – enders and tragic endings should not be equated with realistic endings. That’s borderline sadism! The world’s depressing enough. Opening a book to find a means of salvation, only to be burgeoned by the ugly reality of heart ache and of alcoholism, is not really my idea of stress relief. But to be honest, I like the way the writer described the emotions of the characters. I like the way he singled out the different meanings of a mere ‘yes’, and the manner with which he painted confrontations really vividly in my head.

But Sutter’s vision of himself really disturbed me. His parents were separated because his mother wanted a future his father wasn’t able to provide. As you can see, the latter was the happy – go – lucky type, and I quote from the book, that he’s the kind who wants “to live in the now”. Unfortunately, Sutter had been thinking that he was bound to suffer the same fate as his father so he goes ahead and breaks up with Aimee to ‘save her’.

That’s bull shit. People can change. I know we can. There just needs to be enough people to believe in that remote possibility. But it’s definitely feasible; more feasible than time travelling, at least.


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