Just say no to epilogues.

Last night I stayed up especially late to finish the last book in the Divergent trilogy, Allegiant (by Veronica Roth).  In case you didn’t know this about me, I’m smitten with young adult books – especially those that are set in dystopic times. I think I’ll put this trilogy up among some of my favourites.

I’ve been following the series for a couple years now, so when the latest book came out, I (of course) had to reread the previous two in order to fully enjoy the final one. There’s something about reading a series of books multiple times and in quick succession. This time around I took some time to enjoy the storytelling process of Roth, and I loved watching how her characters (and her writing style!) evolved and strengthened as each book progressed.

By the end of Allegiant, I thought she had come up with a pretty close to perfect ending. UNTIL I TURNED THE PAGE AND SAW THE EPILOGUE.

Why? oh why? do authors feel the need to write epilogues? I don’t think I’ve ever read one that added anything useful to the storyline. I think back to the end of Crime and Punishment — which was a terrific ending! And then there was the insipid followup to the story in the attached epilogue. Yuck.

Then there was the cheesy Harry Potter epilogue tagged on at the end of THAT series. Also unnecessary.

I was talking to Jerry about my disdain for epilogues today, and he said something interesting — he said that maybe authors write these epilogues in order to continue their control of their characters after the ending of the story. It’s a control move!

Maybe that’s why I hate them so much — I’m okay with not knowing everything that happens after “the end.” In fact, I think I enjoy it more when there’s a little uncertainty, and I’m left having to fill in the gaps myself.

Have you ever read an epilogue worth reading? I’m open to suggestions! But I may be a bit of a hard sell.

One comment on “Just say no to epilogues.

  1. I love epilogues. To me, this is the part where we get to enjoy the happy ending. We went through all the conflict with the characters, why wouldn’t we want to enjoy their happy ending? (Don’t get me started with sad endings. I hate those. I bet you like them. lol) I especially like it when they put them in quest video games. I’ve only seen it once, but they should do it more often. Let us run around the game with people thanking us, and letting us by things at stores for free, everyone telling us that we are their heroes… Yes, it’s all about the happy ending for me. But that shouldn’t surprise you.

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