I finished a mystery novel last night (Deadheads by the guy I've been reading on and off--Reginald Hill. Who's great, btw) in which, at the end, the criminal who'd been murdering everybody WAS NOT CAUGHT. He got away! I was surprised to discover how angry I felt, putting it down. I mean, I know it's fiction. I know that Patrick Alderman doesn't exist; that he didn't really get away with anything. But, somehow, it infuriated me. Was it because of the character's skating free of justice, or because I felt tricked and used, somehow, by the writer? A lot of great writing is about defeating or surprising readerly expectations. But in this case, having my expectation so frustrated...it was not enjoyable at all.
I wonder if he got angry letters after the book came out. He must have. I'm angry still.
I heard "Slit Skirts" by Pete Townshend on the radio today. It took me back to high school, when I used to listen to two of his solo albums constantly. And how well the song holds up! Although now, now longer a teen-ager, I find its deep sadness and loneliness affects me in a way it never did in high school. But, I'm going to revisit those albums, I think. "Can't pretend that growing older never hurts."