Top 10 Famous Books That Never Completed

Books and novels have always been a great pastime. Literature is useful for entertainment, education and expression of art. For these reasons, many books have become famous over the years. In many cases, famous books only become so because they were authored by famous authors, while some are simply famous because they tell a very good story. Regardless, for the average book lover, there is nothing more unsatisfactory than famous books never ending their tale. Famous books that never completed their stories are numerous. More often than not, the authors of such widely anticipated famous books become deceased before completing the books’ story or some just stop the novels for some other reason. Whatever the reason, we have compiled in this article, the top ten famous books that never completed their tales.

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10. The Original of Laura – Vladimir Nabokov

The Original of Laura: (Dying Is Fun) A Novel in Fragments (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Although the famous Russian author Vladimir Nabokov left express instructions that any of his books that he could not finish should be destroyed, his final book before his demise in 1977, “The Original of Laura”, was not destroyed but published in 2009 getting wide acclaim and becoming one of the most famous books published by a deceased author.

9. The Pale King – David Foster Wallace

The Pale King

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In 2008, at the age of 46, famous writer David Foster Wallace was reported to have committed suicide. Before his death, however, Wallace was in the process of writing “The Pale King”. The book was released in 2011 after a great deal of editing. Although widely regarded as one of the Famous books that never completed its story, critics and experts alike agree that the editing done prior to the release brought the popular book to a suitable close.

8. The First Man – Albert Camus

The First Man (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Albert Camus died in a car crash before he was able to complete his last novel, “The First Man”. The author’s daughter was, however, able to transcribe her father’s notes and manuscripts and release the book for publishing in 1994.

7. Poodle Springs – Raymond Chandler (and Robert B Parker)

Raymond Chandler: Poodle Springs (Dramatised)

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Of the Famous books that never completed their stories listed in this article, only “Poodle Springs” was co-authored. Raymond Chandler died in 1959 before he could complete the book prompting Robert B. Parker to take up its completion and publish it under co-authorship. The book once released went straight up to be considered as one of the most famous books in its genre.

6. The Ivory Tower – Henry James

The Ivory Tower (New York Review Books Classics)

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One of the foremost authors of 19th Century American literature, Henry James is a famous and widely acclaimed author in his own right. Due to his great success in writing, his “Ivory Tower” makes our list of famous books never ending their tale. The book was left uncompleted on the demise of Henry James in 1916 bit was published the year after.

5. The Love of the Last Tycoon – F Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald: The Love of the Last Tycoon: A Western (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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Fitzgerald undoubtedly got the inspiration for his last book (as claimed by many) from the life a Hollywood movie mogul Irving Thalberg. After the author died in 1940, the book, left unfinished, was edited and published by Henry James’ friend Edmund Wilson a year later.

4. The Mysterious Stranger – Mark Twain

The Mysterious Stranger

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Mark Twain became popular for his novels of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, although the author has other equally notable novels in his illustrious résumé. Like other notable authors on this list of famous books never ending their stories, this books made a lot of impact when released.

3. The Garden of Eden – Ernest Hemingway

The Garden of Eden

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“The Garden of Eden” although written for 15 years was never completed before Hemingway died. The book, all 800 pages of it was not published until 1986; 40 years after the author was deceased. The book is a tragic drama that is both captivating and exceedingly enjoyable.

2. Weir of Hermiston – Robert Louis Stevenson

Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson - Delphi Classics (Illustrated) (Delphi Parts Edition (Robert Louis Stevenson) Book 11)

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The widely acclaimed author of “Treasure Island” was in the process of writing what was considered by many as his masterpiece before he died. The novel “Weir of Hermiston” is a novel belonging to the epic genre and it focuses on the 19th century Napoleonic Wars. at the beginning of the 19th Century. The book is number two on our list of famous books never ending their tale.

1. The Mystery of Edwin Drood – Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist

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On our list of famous books never ending their tale, this one makes number one. Although the book was neither completed nor officially published, it still forms one of the most discussed books around. In his usual style, Charles Dickens focuses on social nuances of the old English era. The book is centered on the mysterious disappearance of the main character Drood which was never resolved despite the efforts of many authors, editors and experts.

After perusing our list of famous books that never completed their stories, we invite you to go for any one or all of this famous books and enjoy the legacy some of the greatest authors left behind.

Post Author: SparkInList Staff

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