before saying anything that might spoil the read, i would recommend this book.
*WARNING! POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOLLOW! *
i won't even go into the specifics of the last line(s). you've either read it or you haven't. but i must say that i'm glad not only that i didn't know the info before reading the book but that i also wasn't even aware that there was any surprise ending or whatever you want to call it.
so at least in this case, i'm glad i hadn't read too much about the book. if i know there's some surprise coming up, i sometimes cannot keep my eyes from going further down, so i physically have to cover up all lines below what i'm reading.
at least i don't usually read the last page of books. of course 'pick-up' would've still been worthwhile if i had known there was some surprise at the end going in. i would never have guessed what it was. when i got to it, i had to read the lines again immediately, tho reading the whole book again now will be another thing.
as has been said, i don't know how much the ending actually changes the story. what it does it make the reader think about things in general, like assumptions, things not specifically said/written.
i also wonder how realistic the book is to have it never come up before the end. of course that's done on purpose by willeford, but in a way it lessens the realistic nature (if it's realistic even without the end's changes) as i think it would come up sometime if not quite often. when was the book first published? i thought it said '66 but then maybe i read 50's somewhere.
the cover of the black lizard edition by kirwan which i read was also cool, as it did not give away, at least to me, the surprise, but when you go back after after reading, it also didn't hide or lie.
as for the whole book, i was also surprised by the turn it took, the fact that helen was gone before the end of the book, rather than that being the end. the 2 main characters are pretty interesting, if pathetic (well helen mainly, whereas harry was hard to figure out, more complicated, tho maybe harder to believe too.)
i enjoyed the art 'talk' as well as the psych hospital parts. i'll definitely continue reading willeford. i've got the last (official) hoke to read, along with most everything else except 'burnt orange' to either read or finish reading.
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