Tim Parks has an article on the NYRblog with an interesting take on the virtues or otherwise of not reading books to the end, including books one likes. I do usually finish books I like, but I found his discussion of plot interesting, including this:
Yet even in these novels where plot is the central pleasure on offer, the end rarely gratifies, and if we like the book and recommend it to others, it is rarely for the end. What matters is the conundrum of the plot, the forces put in play and the tensions between them. The Italians have a nice word here. They call plot trama, a word whose primary meaning is weft, woof or weave. It is the pattern of the weave that we most savor in a plot — Hamlet’s dilemma, perhaps, or the awesome unsustainability of Dorothea’s marriage to Casaubon — but not its solution. Indeed, the best we can hope from the end of a good plot is that it not ruin what came before. I would not mind a Hamlet that stopped before the carnival of carnage in the last scene, leaving us instead to mull over all the intriguing possibilities posed by the young prince’s return to Elsinore.
Hat tip to 3quarksdaily.