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30 Memorable Last Lines


“30 Memorable Last Lines” by Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright 2018 Joan Y. Edwards
As writers you’ve heard many times, “Have a good hook. Have an opening that hooks the reader into staying for the whole show. In other words, have an opener that gets readers to keep reading your book until the very end.

 

Today I’d like to focus on the last words of your book, the message you want to resonate in the hearts of your readers for a really long time. The one you want them to keep hearing over and over. I’ve put the spotlight on the last lines of books and a few movies. Film makers choose many books to make into movies.

 

You want your readers to define the closing a good one…a satisfactory conclusion. And even more than that, you want the last words of your book to resonate in the ears and hearts of your readers for their lifetime. You want them to be memorable. They will be memorable if they are meaningful to your readers.

 

I found many links online to what others believe are the most memorable last lines of books and movies. I shared them in the resources section below.

 

It seems difficult to fathom anyone being able to read every book or to see all movies. However, if you’re like me, you love to read and you love to watch good movies. You read the books or watch the movies that meet a need of yours. You have your opinions about the books you’ve read or movies you’ve seen. 

 

I believe that like the beginning of books, the closing of books can also hook readers. I listed stories I’ve read or would like to read because of the impact, the closing had on me.  Some are serious and others are humorous, but all are meaningful to me. These closing lines hooked me. 

 

Please share your favorite last lines of books or movies with me.

 

30 Memorable Last Lines

  1. “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)
  2. “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)
  3. “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)
  4. “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)
  5. “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)
  6. “P.S. Sorry I forgot to give you the mayonnaise.”
    –Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America (1967)
  7. “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)
  8. “We shall never be again as we were!” –Henry James, The Wings of the Dove (1902)
  9. “Tell me how free I am.” –Richard Powers, Prisoner’s Dilemma (1988)
  10. “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)
  11. “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  12. I taker her hand, squeezing it tightly, and we walk on. -Monika Schröder  My Brothers Shadow (2011)
  13. “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)
  14. “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)
  15. “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)
  16. “He heard the ring of steel against steel as a far door clanged shut. –Richard Wright, Native Son (1940)
  17. “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)
  18. 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.
  19. “I’m so glad to be at home again” – L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
  20. 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.
  21. “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
  22. E.T.: “I’ll be right here.” – Steven Spielberg, E.T. the Extraterrestrial
  23. Louis: “Looking good, Billy Ray!”
    Billy Ray: “Feeling good, Louis!” – 
    Timothy HarrisHerschel Weingrod,  Trading Places
  24. “But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction.” – E.B. White, Stuart Little (1934)
  25. “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” – Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind (1936)
  26. “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
  27. “A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR. I am haunted by humans.”- Markus Zusak, The Book Thief (2006)
  28. “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” –  J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 
  29. “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)
  30. “From here on in I rag nobody.” –Mark Harris, Bang the Drum Slowly (1956)

 

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