I worked in newspapers for many years and spent much of that time dealing with news  stories.

This is by way of making the point that I did not spend my career doing one of the many other jobs on a paper.

I didn’t write the gardening column, or act as an agony uncle or write the astrology column.

Mostly news, not exclusively but mostly.

For that reason I was freed from the obligation of writing endings. News stories do not have endings they just splutter to a stop when the facts run out.

As a reporter you are not expected to draw some deep philosophical conclusion from a news story.

Somebody else might do that, a leader writer or a feature writer following up on the story  but no one cares what a reporter thinks about the story they just want the reporter to tell them what happened and maybe why.

Really a news story starts at the end anyway.

Five people died today when a bomb exploded in a crowded open-air market.

That is the final consequence of someone’s action with its dreadful result evident and the start of the story.

Everything in the story builds back to that moment.

So, when I read fiction I pay particular attention to endings because I like to see how I is done.

Novelists can do all kinds of marvellous things to execute that final bowing out.

Here are few famous favourites.

But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”
George Eliot reflecting on her Middlemarch heroine, Dorothea

“But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.”
Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn.

So we beat back, boats against the current borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done, it is a far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
Charles Dickens, The Tale of Two Cities.

“And the ashes blew towards us with the salt in the wind from the sea.”
Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca.

“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters.”
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It.

“The knife came down missing him by inches, and he took off.”
Joseph Heller, Catch 22.

“I pray that you grow up to be a brave man in a brave country. I will pray you find a way to be useful.

 I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.”
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.

And so I will also bow out, as I started, with Raymond Chandler.

“I never saw any of them again – except the cops. No way has yet been invented to say good-bye to them.”
The Long Goodbye.

These are just a few I like but please do share your own favourites with us, we would be delighted to see them