I am a fan of happy endings. Guilty, Your Honour. I like when a character I have laughed and lived and suffered through a story with makes it in the end and the respective book / movie /series leaves him where xe lives a happy life, surrounded by friends and family.
When I was younger I got so annoyed by bad endings I first checked the final pages of the book to see if the main characters were still mentioned lacking the words ‘gravestone’ or ‘deceased’. It did not necessarily mean that even they died I would not read the book. I just wanted to be prepared.
I have many friends that stare at me with shock when I tell them I still now and then do that – but at least it saves me from reading 500 pages just to find out the funny, witty guy I temporarily fell in love with on page 16 leaves me on page 498, two pages before the end.
I think the trickiest book about a dead main character was ‘Last Orders’ by Graham Swift. There are no surprises on that protagonist: he is dead right from the start because this is what the story is based on, on his friends and family trying to fulfill his last wish and pour his ashes into the sea together – it would be hard to do that if he was still alive.^^
As far as I remember I read the book within two days and when it came to an ending expected right from the start I thought I would be prepared, but I could not help the tears streaming down my cheeks.
A mate’s story (she has written it years ago and so far it has not been finished) involved her male protagonist’s death. She told me how she imagined the female main character holding him during and after his last minutes on earth when a certain song would preface the end credits. For about 20 years I was unable to listen to said tune without instantly being reminded of that story and I figuratively kicked someone’s derriere for about the same time for it used to be one of my favorite songs.
Call me stupid, call me stubborn or incurably romantic, but I think life is hard enough and so aside from two short stories all of my main characters have made it so far and yes, I do like it that way.
How about you guys? Do you like it dramatic, romantic, happy, sad? Feel free to let me know. 😉