Everything Was Going Along Swimmingly and Then…

Day 11 – A book that disappointed you

Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid didn’t woo the prince and was turned into sea foam. The Brothers Grimm’s Wicked Queen (Snow White’s stepmother) was punished for trying to kill Snow White by being forced to dance in shoes made of hot iron until she died.

Disney endings. Also known as endings that make me want to feed the book to the repugnant editor who forced the author to “happy up” the ending of an otherwise splendid novel. And by “feed” I mean cram it sideways down his throat.

Whoa! Kind of a hot button issue with me, it would seem. Essentially, the moral of the story here is that I have several answers to this question (not all of them fall into the Disney endings category): The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (now a major motion picture from Walden Media…ironically, given the unexpected direction this entry has taken, Walden Media sans Disney) by C.S. Lewis (hands down, worst book of the series), and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky…

Eaaaaaaaasyyyyyyy, there, Turbo! Don’t go getting your feathers all a ruffle. I loved Perks…except for the totally unnecessary and VERY forced ending. Here’s the thing….in an attempt to outline what “the thing” is without giving anything away…. Something really horrible happened to Charlie, Charlie suppressed it, Charlie remembered it in horrible flood of a waking nightmare, Charlie figured out after remembering he was going to be okay….

The last two letters where everyone reemerged and came to visit him and life was good and sunny and warm and happy and Disney-fied…. That’s where the urge to feed the book to the editor came in. I could practically hear him, “Good stuff you’ve got here, Stephen, but you know what would make it even better? If you wrap it all up at the end and tie a big sparkly red bow on it. No, no, that’s really how I think you. Should. End. It. Get my drift?”

I really hate being able to hear the editor’s voice in my head while I’m reading.


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