The Good, The Bad, and The Ambiguous

This morning I saw an ad for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. It shows her and Bill at a diner, just chit-chatting over a meal, the camera cutting to other diners (none of whom look in the least like Secret Service agents) and the action going on. Hillary tells Bill she has the perfect song to play for him. Just as she's about to select it from the playlist, the screen cuts to black.

This is, of course, a play on the recent controversial final episode of The Sopranos. I thought it was rather clever, and is sure to be a hit with the folks in New Jersey.

The writers of the show chose to let the viewers decide for themselves whether those menacing folks hanging around the diner were there to commit murder. As for Hillary's quest to become the first female U.S. President, nobody knows how that's going to turn out.

Many viewers absolutely hated this ending. I didn't watch the show, but I heard about all the ruckus, and it made me think that this type of ambiguous ending wouldn't be very popular in a book, either. I think readers want (and I also feel they're entitled to) closure, of least of the existing conflicts. Sure, a sequel can be written, but I think these are best if they introduce a new set of problems rather than a continuation of the same old same old.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I recently read a novel that didn't wrap up "happily ever after". In fact, I felt cheated at the end. While the story did address the main problem for the characters, it didn't resolve whether or not they were able to overcome, just the hope that they would.

I personally won't buy another book by the author (I thought the writing was awful) but in a way I thought it was a unique choice. I don't know if the author is going to pursue a sequel, but I think it was brave - and a bit dicey - to leave the readers hanging.

PatriciaW said...

Loved THE SOPRANOS. Hated the finale. Wanted closure. Needed closure, especially after waiting so long for it.

Oh well. Perhaps there'll be a movie one day.

Definitely like my major conflicts resolved. I enjoy, however, when an author threads a minor conflict through several books in a series until it finally becomes a major conflict in the final book.

bettye griffin said...

Good points all, Donna and Pat! Thanks for sharing.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

A novel that doesn't have the proper closure is a novel that get chucked against the wall... :-)


bettye griffin said...

Well said, Gwyneth!