Monday, July 30, 2012

Ten of the best closing lines of books

At the Observer, Robert McCrum came up with ten of the best closing lines of novels, including:
Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad

“The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky – seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.” Conrad’s merciless short novel opens on the Thames and ends there, too. The last line of Marlowe’s astounding confession is an admission of his complicity in the terrible events he has just described. It also executes a highly effective narrative diminuendo in an extraordinary fictional nightmare.
Read about another entry on the list.

Heart of Darkness also appears on Mark Malloch-Brown's lis of six favorite novels of empire, John Mullan's list of ten of the best fogs in literature, Tim Butcher's list of the top 10 books about Congo, Martin Meredith's list of ten books to read on Africa, Thomas Perry's best books list, and is #9 on the 100 best last lines from novels list.

--Marshal Zeringue