I sometimes ponder the conundrum of reading a really good book, on recommendation, while knowing that the last fifty or one hundred pages are a disappointment. Is it worth my time and energy to invest in a plot that will ultimately let me down?
I had already started reading Ordinary People when a friend told me that she really liked it, except for the end. I was to far into the book to give up because of one bad (or kind of bad) review. However, I ended up feeling the same way.
I finished Ordinary People two nights ago. I was love, love, loving the book right up until the very end. Then things just got weird. The story made sense, but there was such a huge turn in the plot that it felt awkward to read. It was almost as if the end of the book was forced. As if the author, working under a strict deadline, just put words down on paper and lucky for her it made sense, but not that much sense.
I think that I would still recommend the book to a friend, I liked it enough to put my name behind it, whatever that is worth. But this brings me back to the idea at the beginning; how much time is too much time to invest in a mediocre book. Or, a book that is really good but just happens to have a bad ending. And when is it not okay to recommend a book to a friend. If the last fifty pages are bad, should one not recommend it? If the last one hundred pages are bad, should it not be recommended? Or should it go by percent? If the last five, ten, or fifteen percent of a book sucks, than you should do your friend the favor of not passing on the recommendation.
Or, maybe you should always recommend (or at least talk about) books with your friends. And through the course of discussion you can give your friend the full detail on the book (without a spoiler, of course) and you can let your friend make the decision of to read or not to read.
In other news … I have started Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and it is amazing.