The End of Literature®

Warning: These questions and answers may give away some information about the ending. Spoilers ahead. Don’t read on unless you’re okay with that.


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SR: I, myself, don’t feel I can give this a true ‘noir’ classification. It’s noir in the way the term gets thrown around to describe anything dark, but I’m not convinced it has a truly dark ending. I felt the end was bittersweet, and that there was a hope for the future in what happened to Billy. Was that your intent? Did you have that ending in mind all along? You certainly laid the foundation with the early reference to the road being the page…

GS: As I say above, I think noir for me has been shorthand for the tropes and stylistics of classic detective fiction by, for example, Chandler. If I find myself picturing Bogart and Bacall, then for me it’s noir.

SR: Let’s imagine a different outcome, somehow. Billy escapes for a while. Will he go insane, like Vince, or will he end up detained or executed?

GS: But Billy does escape.

SR: Was he really being offered a job? Or was it a trap?

GS: Great question. It really speaks to the nature of the species of evil at play in the book. The answer is – it doesn’t matter. As far as Murphy is concerned, by the end of the day Billy will either work for him or be dead. Either way, he has done his job. He has fulfilled his function.

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