Top 10 Closing Lines

10. ‘One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, ‘Poo-tee-weet?”

Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut

9. ‘Time to go.’

Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood

8. ‘Write to me quickly to tell me that he has come back…’

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Expurey

7. ‘As I began my homeward journey, I thought of my old friend Chang Tzu, who, waking suddenly, wondered whether he had dreamt that he was a butterfly or whether a butterfly was now dreaming that it was Chang Tzu.’

Under Fishbone Clouds, Sam Meekings

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6. ‘But now it’s time to let me go.’

The Crimson Petal and the White, Michel Faber

5. ‘And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own and because I solved the mystery of Who Killed Wellington? and because I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.’

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon

4. ‘But whatever happens, wherever the scene is laid, somebody, somewhere, will quietly set out – somebody has already set out, somebody still rather far away is buying a ticket, is boarding a bus, a ship, a plane, has landed, is walking towards a million photographers, and presently he will ring at my door – a bigger, more respectable, more competent Gradus.’

Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov

3.  ‘Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?’

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

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2. ‘And so, exulting as the moonlit rocks fled by him, exulting as the tears streamed over his face – with his eyes fixed excitedly upon the blurred horizon – and the battering of the hoof-beats loud in his ears, Titus rode out of his world.’

Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake

1. ‘But once you’ve climbed out of this fleshy tomb, where is there left for you to go?’

Beijing Coma, Ma Jian

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4 thoughts on “Top 10 Closing Lines

  1. my fav:
    So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.

  2. This is a really wonderful list :). I find myself, when I come to the final pages of a book, pretending that each sentence is the final one, and imagining the kind of weight that a line could be given if only blank space came after each.

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