Best Last Lines

December 8, 2009 | 1

The American Book Review has a list (pdf) of the 100 best last lines from novels.  I can’t think of mine; I keep getting “last line” confused with “end.”  Thoughts?  (Thanks Shakesville).

is a contributing editor at The Millions and the author of The Golden State. You can read more of her writing at

One comment:

  1. I love this list; I give it to my students when we talk about revision. We spend a lot of time agonizing over the first line, and with reason–but that last line also needs to pack a punch. I don’t know how many of these I’d have been able to generate off the top of my head, but when I read them, I definitely recognize them–and get that little chill down my spine.

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