Knowing the End from the Beginning

The other day, I was listening to an interview on National Public Radio with Emma Donoghue, the author of Room. It’s a novel about a five-year-old whose entire life has been spent with his mother in a small room where his mother –a victim of kidnapping — has been kept since before he was conceived. The book sounds horrifying, fascinating, and tremendously well done.

I don’t know how the story ends. The interviewer was very careful not to give away anything about that. The reviews I looked up online after getting home were equally circumspect.

This is all quite admirable for those of you who think a book shouldn’t be ruined by knowing the ending beforehand. But I’m here to tell you that unless and until I know how that book ends, I won’t buy it. And I won’t start reading it.

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