1 December 2018 Susannah

Do people insist on telling you the ending?

Bellingshausen Base, Antarctica.

I was intrigued to read recently of a stabbing in Antarctica, the first such attack ever recorded on that continent. And it was all because of books. The event occurred at a remote Russian research station, Bellingshausen Base on St George’s Island, pictured above, where the scientists had lots of time for reading.

Evidently, one man kept insisting on telling his colleague the ending of the books he’d just started and, in rage and frustration, the poor reader plunged a knife into the other man (not fatally, I hasten to add). He now has plenty of reading time in prison, where it is to be hoped no one will dare to tell him how a book from the prison library ends. I must admit that the stabber has my sympathy. Few things are so annoying as to have the story ruined for you by someone who cannot resist informing you how the tale concludes.

Or perhaps you are one of those readers who likes to know how things finish before beginning the book? One of my friends always takes a peek at the final pages to make sure all ends happily, as she detests sad books. She swears her enjoyment of the novel is not spoiled by doing this. I much prefer the anticipation and thrill of reading through the pages before I know the conclusion. Do you have ‘friends’ who insist on telling you the ending? Would you also be tempted to snatch up a knife? If you were the judge, how long a sentence would you give that frustrated reader in Antarctica?

Do you get annoyed when people tell you the plot of books you are reading? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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Featured image credit- Bellingshausen Base, Antarctica, by Akulovz – CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46342637

Comments (4)

  1. Brian Doyle

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people come and sit beside me on the train when there are plenty of unoccupied seats,they can see I’m reading a book and yet talk talk on their phone or ramp up the sound as they play mindless war games games. Why would you do such a thing when there are plenty of unoccupied seats available,feeling murderous I have to get up and move, if I had been the Judge I would have sent that serial offender to Siberia and sent the stabber to a library with a single person reading room, as far as I’m concerned it’s a crime to tell anyone the ending to anything their reading or watching

  2. Kate Zimmerman

    Oh Susannah I went all goose bumpy when I saw your words Orangerie in Paris and Monet’s Water Lillies. This is one of my favourite places in Paris as well. It still makes me very emotional. I shall look forward to reading this book . Kate

  3. Shirley LaPlanche

    Susannah I hope this isn’t a repeat but it seems my first comment didn’t go.

    I have walked slowly and sat for a long time in this room. I believe Monet wouldn’t do the paintings until there was an appropriate place for them. It’s a magical place, like being in a pond with the water and lilies gently moving around you.

  4. Marsha

    After moving to Australia, I started reading works of Australian authors. At a family lunch, I mentioned how much I was enjoying the classic, Seven Little Australians. My mother-in-law said, “ but so sad when . . . “—and revealed the book’s key incident. I was devastated, and although I finished the book, i wasn’t able to lose myself in the story. The more immersed we are in a book, the more irritating it is to be told the ending.

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