Famous Last Words

Everyone talks about first lines from books a lot. And it makes sense, it’s the first thing you read within the book. But I want to talk about last lines. I used to have a habit of reading the last line from a book before I started reading it. It was risky, but I always loved seeing how the story got to that particular line. I don’t do that any more, but I still think last lines are important. It’s the last thing we get before we leave a story.

I put together a list of different types of endings. The last line from some of the books on my shelves. A couple were too short so I added more than just the last sentence. I tried not to pick anything too spoilery, but I also made it so you don’t have to see which books they come from if you don’t want to.

To see which book these last lines are from, just click an arrow on the book image beside each quote to reveal the book cover. If you want to read the last lines without potentially spoiling anything, you can leave the image as is. Or make a game out of it and see if you can guess any.

Tale as old as time

one of the books you’ve had the longest

I am a fry cook. I lead an unusual life, here in my pico mundo, my little world. I am at peace.

Happy ending

a book that sounds like it’s going to end well

This is the happiest day of my life.

All good things must come to an end

last line from a favorite

Right now there was money to be made.

Saw that one coming

an obvious ending

‘Off with his head.’

The end of an era

last line of a series

We dream of carving our dragon.

An end with a new beginning

an ending that sets up the next book’s beginning

The lights drew down into the darkness, and then they were gone for good, and the rain swept in like a wall above the surface of the sea.

How far they’ve come

a self-published ending

The wyvern leapt into the sky, and the two travelers left the edge of the world behind.

How does it end?

an ending you haven’t read yet

Thirty-seven years before the comet returns. The vision has to be false. I’ll never survive that long. Will I?

What’s your favorite last line?