Books with twisted endings, or mind-blowing ones, if you will, are a delight and a frustration reason for every bookworm out there. There is no book or movie review that won’t warn visitors that a certain summary contains spoilers, because as far as readers and movie fans are concerned, hearing the juicy details and receiving spoilers is something completely unacceptable.
How would it be to be engaged in a suspense novel or a hard boiled thriller and start the book with the last page? A book ending is something to live for, in many cases, and apparently we all love mysteries in a certain amount. Or do we really? Wanting to know if spoiling the end of a story is a deal breaker for people or if it ruins their mojo and their fun, the Department of Psychology within California University conducted a few years back a study showing that we actually want to know how stories end, because, experts say, it’s not all about the plot, but about how much we enjoy a very well told story.
And knowing how it ends makes things more bearable and comfortable, an evidence that is supported by the fact that we keep on reading even mystery novels and see thriller movies again and again, even in we know everything about their final outcome. Of course, there will always be debates regarding if wanting to know the end of a story before actually finishing it or not, but for the sake of the argument, let’s look together at ten of the best books with twisted endings that blessed the literary world and, hoping that the spoils are not too bad, see how surprising and breathtaking they really were.
10 Best Books With Twisted Endings
1. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
Any book list, every surprisingly-ended books list will tell you the same thing: Ender’s Game had such a last-minute twisted grand finale, that it not only surprised the main character himself, but left in awe a whole world. Some people are said to have finished the book and immediately started reading it again, having in mind the new information that was disclosed only during the last pages of the novel.
What seemed to be yet another battle simulation within the Command School turns out to be a real life and death war against the Buggers, a war Ender wins without knowing it and without being prepared for the consequences. With the movie release date coming up fast, those who didn’t read the book should, and don’t mind the spoiler. No matter what people say, no matter how much information you have on the story and its outcome, the ending will still be shocking and painful.
You can buy this novel and see the movie trailer HERE
2. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
The biggest, most famous, the most brilliant and engaging mystery writers of them all, Agatha Christie invented the books with twisted endings and mind blowing plot switches. This particular novel, although it has quite a competition from other two – specifically The Murder of Roger Akroyd and Murder on the Orient Express by the same author – has the unique feature of having all the main characters murdered at the end, while the real killer was allegedly one of the first victims to leave the scene.
This novel, the world’s bestselling mystery, is any policier lover’s Holy Grail, as no writer before her and not many after managed to leave a reader in such shock, that screams of pain, joy and frustration can be still heard from the ones that started only recently to taste the mastery of Christie’s writings.
Get your adrenaline fix by reading this book. You can purchase it from and don’t forget you can also see the movie adaptation, one, just click away to buy from HERE
3. Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk
If this book didn’t have a twisted ending, no book ever had. Chuck Palahniuk is a master of transgressive fiction, while Fight Club (thanks to the movie too, let’s be honest about it), put the man on the map of literary gods of all times. While this novel is in a quite tight competition with another one of his, Rant, it certainly blew the minds of people everywhere, as its plot twist and its ending were brilliant.
Far from being the type of “guess who’s the killer, ha, ha, I got you!” maneuver we are used to in suspense novels, Fight Club‘s general outcome is surprising and even heart-breaking for some. What bothers you the most is that you actually don’t know, and when you find out, it’s too late. Disturbing to the core, as message and philosophy, the book ending rises to the expectation, while the film’s ending well… that’s another debate subject, not of a lesser importance when listing Fight Club among the best movies in the world.
This is one of the best examples of controversial movie adaptations of books, and if you want to decide for yourself, it’s better to take a deep analysis on both. The book is available for purchaseand the movie HERE
4. The Long Walk, by Stephen King
A very underrated piece in the King’s collection of masterpieces and a work published under alias, The Long Walk is a frightening dystopia that keeps the reader in a state of mind blowing suspense, fear, horror and expectation, only to end… frustrating, to say the least.
It is that kind of open ending where although you may imagine that everything is possible, King suggests that things are bad anyway, no matter your hopes, dreams and expectations. It’s the kind of book one reads four times in order to get the message and for many people, the message is either completely confusing or downright unhappy. For the list of books with twisted endings, this one can also win the prize for confusing, frustrating and brilliant.
This book deserves all your attention, as it precedes whole The Hunger Games dystopian universe and society and is one of the best novels written by King. You can purchase it from and decide for yourself.
5. Atonement, by Ian McEwan
Granted, one of the most mind-blowing books ever written, with an ending that alone deserved an Oscar Award. You don’t see it coming even if your trip to the end was paved in clues and details. You just don’t see it coming. When you actually find out what Briony had done to Cecilia and Robbie, you need quite some time to wrap your mind around the whole story, the concepts, the plot and the clues you may or may have not picked up while you went forward, but to this day, any reader that finished the novel will tell you with a stomach flip that the outcome was not only unpredictable, but utterly felt like a punch in the guts.
The book is something to be ready for, as subject and message, but its ending pays every second of time spent reading it. And if you’re in for an Oscar awarded movie with great acting and beautiful screenplay writing, you can also see the film adaptation from 2007.
Buy the book and also purchase the movie HERE for developing your own perspective on the subject.
6. The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick
If you give it a little thought, all Dick’s books and short stories are twisted, shocking, surprising, with endings that oscillate between infuriating the reader or leaving him in a complete state of WTF. Really, Dick is the master storyteller and playing with alternate states of consciousness, suggesting multiple realities, getting his characters in situations where the reality is broken by imagination, paranoia or disturbing events with no sense whatsoever, made readers everywhere in the world have a chill on their spine even from the starting point of reading one of his novels, not to mention that the twisted writer also managed to change the face of Hollywood and ignite a true revolution in the Sci-Fi genre.
As for The Man In The High Castle, things are just a little bit more complicated. You read a book where everything is possible, as travel to parallel realities is possible, only to have a bad case of jaw dropping at the end, when you do realize that everything that happened might have happened in a lie, while true reality lies elsewhere. Few writers can shake your grounds like Dick can.
7. Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane
Perhaps everybody saw the movie and, even if some hated it, while others loved it, it certainly added some popularity points to Leonardo Di Caprio who acts in a godly manner if you ask the experts. So say the movie was good and the ending blew you off. Now read the book!
Few movies were actually better than the books they’ve been adapted from and Shutter Island falls into the majority, so whether you saw the movie or not, the book ending will make your mind twist, spin and cry in desperation. In some cases, people went back to reading certain excerpts in order to get clues and small details together so they can predict the ending. It is heart-breaking and twisted and for any book lover, something not to be skipped.
You can get your own copies of the book and the movie HERE
8. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
Another movie adaptation we all probably saw already and what a movie! But then again, what a book! Trying to review it, one reader once said that going through it page by page and line by line he almost had a nervous breakdown, as the writer kept people on the edge until the last sentence.
In the world of books with twisted endings, this one is almost intolerable, given the pace, plot and the structure of the whole novel, and when the outcome finally reveals itself, one doesn’t quite know if it’s time to breathe, throw away the book and run away screaming or start invoking the gods of literature, as you may have read many mystery novels and many suspense thrillers and many sci-fi sagas, but this one really takes you out by the collar and punches you in the face.
You can understand what Graham Greene is talking about by reading the book, available , while you can see brilliant performances and an equally thrilling book adaptation to film, available HERE
9. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
One book that shook the world was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and if you take a sneak peek over the many reviews it received you will notice a common conclusion drawn by all of the readers: the ending is surprising.
Maybe not entirely shocking or frustrating, but the way Larsson managed to concoct the plot and the whole story, it definitely left the readers with an “Oh my God!” feeling after closing the book. “Totally unexpected” as some of the readers rated the ending may seem an understatement considering the whole message and atmosphere of the book, while the 2011 movie adaptation wasn’t bad either.
No matter if you saw the movie, you can purchase the book and decide which one you love best!
10. Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks
The late regretted Mr. Banks was a man of a striking imagination and an icon to the Sci-Fi literature. Leaving us with true masterpieces, he also left us with a daring story, that of Cheradenine Zakalwe, a soldier of peace and a man of many secrets, with a personal history that the author tries to convince us of being real and deep.
Well, the story is real and the characters quite convincing, but as you follow the two parallel stories of Cheradenine and his cousin Elethiomel, a conflict – prone and quite insane character, you arrive to find out that nothing is what it seems and not even the characters are who they say to be. Impersonation, guilt-trips and a science-fiction story that remained in history, Use of Weapons is mind-blowing, while its outcome is twisted and then some.
You can buy to read this incredible book , but take into account that it is a part of a series, so you should start your journey into Bank’s universe HERE.
What other books with twisted endings have you read? Which is your favorite? Do you have your own list of book endings that blew your mind?