Unlike the end of a bad year, in most cases you don't get to see the end of a bad book — you stop reading it much before the final line. But a good book, nine cases out of ten, has a good ending, in many cases, even better than the start. Here are the final passages of ten books from 2010. See if you can match them with the right books. The answers are provided below... obviously in the end.
1. They had walked and walked and walked and there with their flesh seeming to fall off at the touch of the air like acid, Burfi too wanted — not to sink down into the ashes of sleep — but the food of life.
2. 'You should eat your supper,' said Martha. But when they turned back to the table the bread was all gone, and the wine-jar was empty.
3. She slips between the bigger, taller onlookers, unnoticed...
...and adjusts her headscarf, the better to hide her burn. She places her cool palms on Jacob's fever-glazed face. Jacob sees himself, when he was young, in her narrow eyes. Her lips touch the place between his eyebrows. A well-waxed paper door slides open.
4. Fishing is still elemental in the most elemental sense of the word — an activity composed of water and air and light and space, all arranged in precarious balance around a central idea of a man in a boat, waiting for a bite.
5. 'Do you want to bend a spoon with your mind, Adi?' ‘Yes,' the boy said. ‘OK, then listen to me carefully,' Ayyan said, ‘but this is the last time. The very last time we do something like this. OK?' They looked at each other for a moment. And how they laughed.
6. Her sense of incompletion, of a thing not finished that might never have begun, becomes his sense. He never really knew Treslove either. And that too strikes him as a reason for lamentation. There are no limits to Finkler's mourning.
7. How much longer will foreigners who fail to understand Afghanistan and its culture make decisions for the Afghan nation? How much longer will the Afghan people wait and endure? Only God knows. Once again I pray for peace. Once again I pray for Afghanistan, my home.
8.It was a good room. I would stay there for years. I wrote many stories there. Some published, many unpublished. But I wrote and kept myself alive.
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9.Could she locate the moment she went dead inside? Does she remember the year it took to become that way? The fades, the dissolves, the rewritten scenes, all the things you wipe away — I now want to explain these things to her but I know I never will, the most important one being: I never liked anyone and I'm afraid of people.
10. As Beard rose to greet her, he felt in his heart an unfamiliar, swelling sensation, but he doubted as he opened his arms to her that anyone would ever believe him now if he tried to pass it off as love.