Much is made about the first lines of books, but we get more pleasure out of last lines because, if they are good, they evoke the whole experience of reading the book. Good last lines give us a warm feeling like we have been somewhere, changed in the process of going or coming, and arrived at a new and highly satisfying place.
While the buzz is all about first lines, the Internet anthologist elves, have pulled together all sorts of ‘ten best’ and ‘hundred best’ last line lists. We offer you up some to ponder while we are on vacation for the next few weeks. When we get back, we will reveal the authors. If you don’t know the line and can’t guess where it came from, it is interesting to conjure up the book that might be attached to it.
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
"But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before."
"Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?"
“'Yes,' I said. 'Isn’t it pretty to think so?'"
"Might I trouble you then to be ready in half an hour, and we can stop at Marcini’s for a little dinner on the way?"
"Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper."
"Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him—and it was still hot."
"There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it."
“It begins like this: Barrabás came to us by sea…”