“Memorable Last Lines” by Joan Y. Edwards
30 Memorable Last Lines
- “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” –George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)
- “It was a fine cry—loud and long—but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.” –Toni Morrison, Sula (1973)
- “But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and civilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.” –Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
- “Maybe I will go to Paris. Who knows? But I’ll sure as hell never go back to Texas again.” –James Crumley, The Final Country (2001)
- “Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days. –Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
- “P.S. Sorry I forgot to give you the mayonnaise.”
–Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America (1967)
- “Columbus too thought he was a flop, probably, when they sent him back in chains. Which didn’t prove there was no America.” –Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March (1953)
- “We shall never be again as we were!” –Henry James, The Wings of the Dove (1902)
- “Tell me how free I am.” –Richard Powers, Prisoner’s Dilemma (1988)
- “But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.” – A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (1928)
- “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
- I taker her hand, squeezing it tightly, and we walk on. -Monika Schröder My Brothers Shadow (2011)
- “But I knew that Catherine had kissed me because she trusted me, and that made me happy then but now I am sad because by the time my eyes close each night I suspect that as usual I have been fooling myself, that she, too, is in her grave.” –William T. Vollmann, You Bright and Risen Angels (1987)
- “Vaya con Dios, my darklin’, and remember: vote early and vote often, don’t take any wooden nickels, and”—by now I was rolling about helplessly on the spare room floor, scrunched up around my throbbing pain and bawling like a baby— “always leave ’em laughin’ as you say good-bye!” –Robert Coover, The Public Burning (1977)
- “I never saw any of them again—except the cops. No way has yet been invented to say goodbye to them. –Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye (1953)
- “He heard the ring of steel against steel as a far door clanged shut. –Richard Wright, Native Son (1940)
- “I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the valley of Panjsher on my lips. I ran.” – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner (2003)
- Jerry: “But don’t you understand, Osgood? Oh… I’m a man!”
Osgood Fielding: “Well, nobody’s perfect.” – Some Like It Hot Film adapted by director Billy Wilder and comedy writer, I.A.L. Diamond from Fanfare of Love, a story by Michael Logan.
- “I’m so glad to be at home again” – L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
- Jim: “Where you headed, cowboy?”
Bart: “Nowhere special.”
Jim: “Nowhere special? I always wanted to go there.”
Bart: “Come on.” -Mel Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Andrew Bergman’s story and draft, Blazing Saddles.
- “But the miracle of it all is, when push comes to shove, we can be just as tough as hickory. It mostly burns at first. After a while it starts to feel better.” -Joyce Moyer Hostetter, Blue
- E.T.: “I’ll be right here.” – Steven Spielberg, E.T. the Extraterrestrial
- Louis: “Looking good, Billy Ray!”
Billy Ray: “Feeling good, Louis!” – Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod, Trading Places
- “But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction.” – E.B. White, Stuart Little (1934)
- “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” – Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind (1936)
- “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
- “A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR. I am haunted by humans.”- Markus Zusak, The Book Thief (2006)
- “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- “But that is the beginning of a new story—the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended.” –Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866; trans. Constance Garnett)
- “From here on in I rag nobody.” –Mark Harris, Bang the Drum Slowly (1956)
- American Book Review. “100 Best Last Lines from Novels:”
- Crazy Cat. “QUIZ: Can you name the children’s books by last line?”
- Emily Temple. “Famous Last Words: Our 20 Favorite Final Lines in Literature:”
- Filmsite.com. “Great Last Lines (links to different decades):” http://www.filmsite.org/greatlastlines9.html
- Hollywood.com. “Best Last Lines in Movies:” http://www.hollywood.com/movies/best-last-lines-in-movies-60223212/#/
- Huffington Post. “Amazing Last Lines from Literature That Will Make You Want to Read the Whole book:” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/07/last-line-book_n_4733190.html
- Jessica Soffer. Publishers Weekly. “The 10 Best Book Endings:” https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/56760-the-10-best-book-endings.html
- Jonathan Russell Clark. “The Art of the Final Sentence:” https://themillions.com/2015/02/the-art-of-the-final-sentence.html
- Lauren Passell. Barnes and Noble.com. “The Best Last Lines in Literature:” https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/the-best-last-lines-in-literature/
- Martin Chilton. “The 30 Best Closing Lines in Films:” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2016/04/28/the-best-closing-lines-in-films/
- Pajiba.com. The 70 Greatest Last Film Lines of the Modern Era:” http://www.pajiba.com/guides/the-70-greatest-last-film-lines-of-the-modern-era.php
- Robert McCrum. “10 Best Closing Lines in Books” https://www.theguardian.com/culture/gallery/2012/jul/29/10-best-closing-lines-books
- Shortlist.com. “50 Best Final Lines in Movies:”
- Stylist.co.uk.”The Best 100 Closing Lines from Books:” https://www.stylist.co.uk/books/the-best-100-closing-lines-from-books/123681
Posts I did on First Lines
- Joan Y. Edwards. “First Lines from Non-Fiction Best Sellers” https://www.joanyedwards.com/first-lines-from-non-fiction-best-sellers/
- Joan Y. Edwards. “Memorable First Lines” https://www.joanyedwards.com/memorable-first-lines/
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