Though this does not happen very often, there have been a few occasions in which the ending of the book can significantly change my entire impression of the book and can in some cases quite literally make or break the book. In my own reading experience, a book that I had in fact found to be quite brilliant and thoroughly engaging can be brought down in esteem by a poor ending, as well as a book of which has been average or mediocre can be brought up by the perfect ending.
Some examples of which immediately spring into my mind in which the ending of the book has played a very key role in influencing my overall impression the book and has in fact altered my opinion about the book.
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair: This is a book that from the first sentence had my hooked, and I thought it was brilliant, and completely captivating, and I never wanted to put it down whenever I began reading it. Easily I had it down as a 5 star book, but than in the last few chapters it lost something and the book was lowered a big in my esteem. It seems to me towards the end of the book it did become a bit too political/propaganda and lost the vividness of the story which I was enjoying so much. And though overall I do think it was still a great book and I loved reading it, the ending of it did drop it down to a 4 star rating for me.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez: This book did go outside of what I normally would read, but because I enjoyed 100 Years of Solitude so much I was intrigued to read it. Now I do not deny the skill, talent and beauty of the writing of the book, but that does not change the fact that quite honestly the majority of it was rather boring to read. It moved at a snail's pace, and virtually nothing really happens throughout the book. There were some elements which I did enjoy and the prose was poetic and lyrical, but still it was a struggle to actually read through, and yet the very last paragraph of this book was such a work of beauty that it pulled everything else together, and made the book truly worth reading.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón: Overall I really enjoyed this book, and I thought it was well written and the story was interesting, but there was this reoccurring unrequited love theme in the background of the story, and while I was really enjoying the mystery and suspense aspect I found that all the lamenting and whining of the main characters adventures and misadventures of love were a bit obnoxious and hampered my enjoyment of the story overall. I was in fact all set to write a review critiquing this aspect of the story when the last paragraph of the book really brought everything together in his astounding way that was almost like a sort of epiphany in the book. It opened this sort of doorway which really resonated. In fact I think I may have bumped this book up from 4 stars to 5 because of the ending.
The World Enough and Time by Robert Penn Warren: I Found the majority of reading this book to have been an excoriating experiencing. In fact it is quite amazing that I somehow managed to finish it at all, but there were moments in which I did find certain aspects of the story interesting, and there was one character which I did enjoy so I stuck with it. But overall this book moved and a snails pace and was predominately more boring than not, yet I found that truly the ending of the book was the most enjoyable(and not just because it meant the book was over ). I have to say in spite of my various contemplations of considering giving up on the book, though the ending might not have been enough to make me think the book as a whole as brilliant, it was enough to make me feel that in spite of all my difficulties and struggles, it was not a waste of time. The ending of this book did make it feel as if the reading of the rest to get to that point was worthwhile.
Have you had any experiences in which the end of the book has dramatically affected or changed your overall reading experience or impressions of a book. Has a books ending redeemed a book for your, or completely ruined a book?