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Bookends / Literature

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We can't exactly call them book-ends if they don't appear in books, now can we?
Note that some Book Ends can be a spoiler, so beware.

  • The second volume of Accel World begins with Yuniko "Scarlet Rain" Kozuki tricking Haruyuki "Silver Crow" Arita's mother into thinking that she's his relative in order to get into his home and recruit him to help her save a friend. At the end of the volume, Yuniko pulls the same trick on Mrs. Arita, this time convincing her that she's a coworker's child, to let him know how things turned out with her friend.
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  • The The Acts of Caine book Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Woodring Stover has the "A tale is told of twin boys born to different mothers" passage appear right after the book begins (after the ending quotes) and right before it ends (second-to-last page).
  • The Adventures of Caterpillar Jones opens with C.J. meeting Sammy and vowing to become an Adventurer, and ends with two other young caterpillars affirming he is one.
  • The Eighth Doctor Adventures story Alien Bodies begins with the Third Doctor on a distant, peaceful, deserted planet, burying Laika, the Russian dog who became the first living creature to leave Earth's atmosphere and who died in the attempt. The book ends with the Eighth Doctor carrying out a wake on the same planet for himself.
  • Alternate Routes: In the first chapter, Vickery is working one of the psychic hotspots by the side of the freeway when Santiago arrives to tell him Castine has come looking for him. In the epilogue, Vickery is in another of the hotspots when Santiago arrives to tell him Castine has come looking for him.
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  • American Psycho begins and ends with the color red and the protagonist reading a sign.
  • The third book of Traci Harding's The Ancient Future Trilogy, ends with Noah/Selwyn reading out the first line of the first book.
  • The first and last chapters of Book 1 of An Outcast in Another World end with Rob's shirt having been destroyed. In a less humorous example, the last chapter of Book 1 and first chapter of Book 2 exhibit funerals for those lost, complete with personalized eulogies.
  • Artemis Fowl:
    • After the main character dies and is resurrected, he struggles to recognize Holly, so the final book ends with the opening line of the first as she starts to tell him the whole story.
    • Before that, we have a Call-Back to Artemis and Holly's first meeting.
    • The first book is about fairies laying a siege on the Fowl Manor with humans guarding it. The last book is about the main group laying a siege on Fowl Manor with fairies guarding it.
  • Isaac Asimov:
  • In the Aunt Dimity series:
    • Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea opens with Lori fielding balls while her sons play cricket (since she can do little else in the game). At the end of the book, Lori speaks of rejoining her sons in their backyard play, but says she can bowl a wicket clean nine times out of ten.
    • Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon opens on a boring committee meeting, where the villagers are planning for another summer of events, which promise to be just like last year's (and the year before that...). The book closes with Lori and her neighbours actually looking forward to the next committee meeting, since their fun-yet-hectic renaissance summer is over and Guy Fawkes Day is fast approaching.
  • "Bad Monkey" by Carl Hiaasen. All what remains of a boat accident victim is his right arm. The "victim" is a criminal who sawed off his own arm to fake his death. This being a Hiaasen novel, the plan goes belly up and Hilarity Ensues. The story ends with the baddie getting murdered for real, and after the sharks had lunch, only his left arm remains.
  • Baltimore, a novel by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden uses a tense for this: the beginning and ending sections are both written in present tense, versus the rest being written in past tense.
  • Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales: The ending segment of "Snow White" is a near-exact copy of the opening with Snow White's mother: Snow White marries the prince, but the people shun her for her dark skin color, and the prince, upon ascending the throne, falls out of love with her. Snow White gives birth to a child who is the spitting image of her, and loves her dearly despite the king and the kingdom viewing her as a curse. Then, Snow White falls ill. Where it differs is the conclusion: instead of dying from her illness, Snow White is taken by the dwarfs, who nurse her back to health, and she returns to the kingdom stronger than ever, ready to raise and protect her child.
  • Beyond the Western Sea begins "Just before dawn — that moment when time itself seems to stand still, when the whole world teeters on the edge of possibilities. . ." and ends with "She felt herself teetering on the edge of possibilities."
  • The Bible begins and ends with the Tree of Life.
  • Glen Cook's The Black Company is a series of ten novels with a total of five narrators between them. That said, a single narrator tells the stories of the first four books...then comes back for the tenth and final novel, the responsibilities that kept him from narrating the others finally discharged.
  • The Black Spider begins and ends with the grandfather telling a story during his family's gathering.
  • Black Vein Prophecy begins with the Amnesiac Hero, Maior, waking up in a mausoleum, unaware of his surroundings and where he is; his subsequent Quest for Identity have him learning his true heritage as the son of the evil warlock Benzieval, and how he was cursed to forget his true identity by his father before he was entombed alive two centuries ago; and when he confronts the spirit of Benzieval once more, Maior wakes up in the bedroom of his former home, once more unaware of his surroundings and where he is.
  • In A Book Of Common Prayer, the opening line is "I will be her witness." The closing line is "I have not been the witness I wanted to be."
  • The Book of Swords trilogy begins and ends with the god Vulcan searching the mountains for fire.
  • Brothers of the Snake
    • Both the first and the last story have their finales on Baal Solock, and both have Priad refusing to take part in post-battle festives to his honor.
    • The last story begins and ends with a successful trench dive, albeit done by two different people.
  • At the beginning of Buddenbrooks, the family talks about another merchant who was ruined recently. Guess what happens to the family Buddenbrook at the end.
  • Captive Prince:
    • The first book begins in the slave baths of Akielos where Damen is betrayed by his brother and Made a Slave. The last book ends in the same baths, where Damen confronts his brother and reclaims his throne.
    • The events of the plot are kicked off by Damen killing Laurent's brother at Delpha. They are ultimately concluded by Laurent killing Damen's brother in Ios.
  • The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump begins with the narrator receiving a call from his boss in the middle of the night (and the boss blaming time zones). It ends with the narrator deliberately calling the boss at the same hour.
  • "Clockpunk and the Vitalizer" has superweapon The Bull in the heroes' hold as it was in the beginning, albeit not in Cooley.
  • The British publication of A Clockwork Orange begins and ends with almost exactly the same passages, only with different names for the people in his gang. Several chapters, including the first and last, also start with the phrase, "So, what's it going to be then, eh?"
  • The Confederation of Valor book The Heart of Valor by Tanya Huff has scenes at the beginning and ending that are introduced almost exactly the same way: the main character, a Marine, is on a balcony in a space station looking down at the new recruits.
  • The last stanza of E. E. Cummings' "anyone lived in a pretty how town" echoes lines from the first two.
    spring summer autumn winter
    he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

    Women and men(both little and small)
    cared for anyone not at all
    they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
    sun moon stars rain
    Women and men(both dong and ding)
    summer autumn winter spring
    reaped their sowing and went their came
    sun moon stars rain
  • Dandelion Wine opens with Doug Spaulding waking up and performing an esoteric ritual in time with the sunrise to usher in the start of summer vacation. The end of the book sees the same thing in reverse, with Doug performing a similar ritual in time with the sunset to cap off the end of summer vacation, before going to bed.
  • Danny, the Champion of the World: The first three chapters of the book describe Danny's home life, and his relationship with his very loving father, who was "without the slightest doubt, the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had". The rest of the book is all about their adventures poaching pheasants; and the final chapter of the book, titled "My Father", winds down from the great poaching adventure, when Danny's father suggests that instead of opening the filling station, they do more interesting things. The book ends with the line about his father being the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The first book opens with "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." The last book ends with those same words because the entire series is a "Groundhog Day" Loop (with a small twist).
  • The Da Vinci Code begins and ends with a dead body in the Louvre. The first time it's Jacques Saunière's. The second time it's the corpse of Mary Magdalene, whose tomb was hidden under the Louvre by the Priory of Sion.
  • DeadSix starts with Valentine stunned with a woman standing over him and thinking at first she's an angel. In his final boss-fight in Alliance of Shadows, against Katerina, the scene repeats with her in Ling's place, after nearly blowing him up with Mr. Perkins.
  • Death and The Joyful Woman by Ellis Peters both begins and ends with something significant happening to Dominic Felse on his way home from his weekly piano lessons.
  • The Deltora Quest series ended, with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, in which the description of Leif's reign uses most of the same wording as the description of King Adin's reign in the first chapter of the first book. The final chapter in the series is even called "Full Circle".
  • The Demonata book Bec begins and ends with the book's tagline "Screams in the dark". The first time is the titular character/narrator (who possesses perfect recall) recounting the tale of her birth. The last time is when she is being slowly eaten alive by numerous demons while trapped in a collapsed tunnel.
  • The Diamond Age begins and ends with the sounds of bells ringing from New Chusan.
  • Discworld
    • In Sourcery, the book starts with the sentence "There was a man and he had eight sons". Close to the end of the book, someone is telling a story that starts with the same sentence.
    • At the start of Going Postal, Moist, having been arrested and hanged for cheating and embezzlement, is baffled to find himself offered a government job by the Patrician. At the end, Reacher Gilt, having attempted a much larger con, is given a similar offer.
    • I Shall Wear Midnight begins and ends with Tiffany at the Scouring Fair, a year apart.
    • For the main (non-Young Adult) series as a whole, The Colour Of Magic starts it off with the tale of the Discworld's first tourist, while Raising Steam finishes it with the introduction of mass tourism via the newly-invented steam train.
  • The Divine Comedy: Inferno Canto 1 begins with Dante admitting that his hope in "Divine Love [that] first moved those things of beauty" is weaker than his fear of evil things. 99 cantos later, Paradiso ends with Dante realizing he doesn't care about his weakness or inability because his "desire and will were moved already—like a wheel revolving uniformly—by the Love that moves the sun and the other stars."
  • Doctor Sleep starts with an old AA saying: "FEAR stands for Fuck Everything And Run". The Epilogue starts with the other AA saying: "FEAR stands for Face Everything And Recover".
  • Don Quixote: At chapter I of the first part, Don Quixote spends four days thinking how to MeaningfulRename his horse, and another eight days how to rename himself, showing us that he is a Mad Dreamer. At the penultimate chapter of the second part, Don Quixote immediately thinks of the names he and his partners will adopt as shepherds, and Sanson Carrasco even say some names in a carelessly manner. Don Quixote laughed at the adaptation of the name, showing us that he now is Bored with Insanity.
  • The Dream Park novel The Barsoom Project opens with a battle scene from the first Fimbulwinter Game, in which a club-wielding Adventurer is killed out by the Terichik. At the end of the book, the second Fimbulwinter Game kicks off its own climactic battle with an identical scene using the same lines of narration, except that this time, it's Max who dies.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • A subtle one, but Turn Coat begins with Harry saying, "I know what it feels like to have the Wardens on your ass for something you haven't done." The book ends with Morgan's dying words being, "I knew that you knew how it felt to be an innocent man hounded by the Wardens."
    • In Death Masks, the book opens with Harry reflecting that "Some things just aren't meant to go together. Things like oil and water. Orange juice and toothpaste. Wizards and television." It ends with the lines: "Maybe some things just weren't meant to go together. Things like oil and water, orange juice and toothpaste. Me and Susan. But tomorrow was another day."
  • Earth and...: Earth and Air begins and ends with Jarra being accosted at the Earth America portal centre by a "baby hunter," a woman searching for the Handicapped child she gave up. Jarra gets rid of her the first time by showing the woman her right forearm, which doesn't have the birthmark the woman is looking for. The second time, she gets rid of her by showing her arm again, and explaining truthfully why she has red numbers on her arm.
  • Edgedancer (a novella of The Stormlight Archive): The story begins with Lift running away from Azimir and ends with her running back to it.
  • The Egg Man starts with Lincoln stepping on a half-dead fetus fly outside his apartment building. It ends with Lincoln lying half-dead outside of the hospital, being described in very similar terms to the fetus fly in the beginning.
  • The Elenium begins and, except for the epilogue, ends with Sparhawk slinking into Cimmura on a rainy night. Sequel series The Tamuli begins the same way.
  • Emily the Strange: Stranger and Stranger: At the beginning, Emily is packing or rather procrastinating in lieu of packing. She does this at the end.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: The series beings with a prologue titled "An End and a Beginning" which tells of Queen Rielle's death, the end of the elemental age, and the beginning of the newborn princess' life. The series ends with Queen Rielle's death and an epilogue titled "A Beginning and an End" which shows how the major and supporting characters are fairing in the aftermath of the battle with Corien.
  • The Expanse: The short story "The Churn" begins and ends with a description of a man named Amos Burton. The opening description is of the original Amos Burton, an Earther gang leader and boss of a young man named Timmy (a.k.a. the future Amos from the novels proper.) The closing description is of Timmy-as-Amos Burton, thanks to Timmy killing the original Amos and Erich giving Timmy Amos's "escape plan" to get off of Earth.
  • At the start of The Faerie Queene's second book, Guyon and the Palmer are too late to save a knight named Mordant (and his wife) from Acrasia's curse. At the end, they arrive on time to rescue her new victim, a knight named Verdant.
  • The Fall Of Shannara: The first book of the franchise The Sword of Shannara (in publication order, not in-universe chronological) features a character named Shea Ohmsford. This tetrology, meant as a Grand Finale, prominently features a character also named Shea Ohmsford.
  • At the beginning of the False Memory trilogy by Dan Krokos, Miranda has Identity Amnesia, and eventually meets Peter, who tells her he's a friend who can explain what happened to her and who she is. It ends with Miranda finding Peter, who lost his memories for the same reason she did, and telling him she's a friend who can explain what happened to him and who he is.
  • The Lion of Farside, first book in The Farside Trilogy starts and ends in the first person, as if the narrator is writing a journal or memoir. The trilogy as a whole starts and ends with Curtis and Varia being together.
  • Finnegans Wake ends with a half-finished sentence that is completed by the book's first sentence, so it's more of a loop.
  • A Fly Went By: The story begins and ends with the boy sitting by the lake and looking at the sky.
  • Forbidden starts and ends with the idea of being trapped inside a window, fighting for air until you die.
  • A Game of Thrones, first book of the Song of Ice and Fire series, in the beginning, Eddard Stark punishes a deserter by decapitating him. Near the end of the book, Eddard is decapitated.
  • The first and last conversations Aziraphale and Crowley have in Good Omens involve the strangeness of God making the forbidden fruit so accessible and tempting, and wondering what He's really up to with His game.
  • The Guns of the South begins and ends with Robert E. Lee writing a letter, then being interrupted by someone outside with news for him.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Voldemort dies as a spell intended to kill Harry Potter backfires. Now are we talking about Philosopher's Stone or Deathly Hallows?
    • First book begins with Harry Potter going to Hogwarts. Then, after a years-long timeskip, young Potter leaves to attend the same school as his parents.
    • Hagrid drives Sirius Black's motorcycle to Privet Drive in Philosopher's Stone, to deliver a baby Harry Potter. In Deathly Hallows, 17 years later, Hagrid drives Harry away from Privet Drive—on Sirius Black's motorcycle.
    • Prisoner of Azkaban begins with a lot of owls bringing post to Harry. It ends with more owl post for Harry (and a bit for Ron). The chapters are even called "Owl Post" and "Owl Post Again."
    • Ginny Weasley's first appearance in Philosopher's Stone has her at Platform 9 3/4 begging her mother to allow her to go to Hogwarts. Her last appearance has her at Platform 9 3/4 with her own daughter begging her to allow her to go to Hogwarts.
    • Dobby's first and last words in the series are "Harry Potter."
    • The Series begins and ends with a young child becoming an orphan. The series begins with the deaths of James and Lily Potter, when Harry is only 1 year old. The series ends with the deaths of Lupin and Tonks causing their child, Teddy Lupin to become an orphan, mirroring Harry's origin. Even worse, Lupin and Tonks died only months after Teddy was born!
  • The Hearts We Sold begins and ends with the Daemon sitting outside a place you wouldn't expect to find a demon, knitting, alone, and Dee approaching him and talking to him.
  • A more subtle example: Each book in the Heralds of Valdemar Mage Wars trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon begins and ends with the same word: "silence" in the first book, "light" in the second, and "freedom" in the third. These might be considered, roughly, Arc Words for each book, at least for the first and last—the first is the story of the "Mage of Silence" who created gryphons, and the third is about the children of two famous characters trying to break free from their parents' expectations and reputations.
  • The His Dark Materials cycle begins and ends with the name of the protagonist: Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall. [...] "The Republic of Heaven," said Lyra.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: All versions begin with the Vogons announcing the impending demolition of Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass through the Solar System, just so they can put a tick in a box next to this item. In the book series only, the plan was unsuccessful as Earth was on a faulty probability axis, and so the series ends with the Vogons demolishing Earth in EVERY probability and finally putting the tick in the box.
  • The Hobbit begins and ends with Gandalf visiting Bilbo in his home at Bag End.
  • In Hollow Places, both the opening and closing paragraphs state the normality is hard to define. Both the beginning of ending chapters feature Austin leaving his foster home on the way to a new city.
  • The first and last sentences of Isabel Allende's novel The House of the Spirits are exactly the same: "Barrabás came to us by sea...."
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its derivatives begin with, "If you give an animal X, it'll want Y to go with it." This starts a chain of events that culminates with the animal wanting Y again for whatever reason, leading the story to end with thus: "If you give it Y, it'll want X to go with it."
  • The Iliad begins with the old man Chryses coming from Troy to the Greek camp to ransom his captive daughter Chryseis. It ends with the old man Priam coming from Troy to the Greek camp to ransom the body of his dead son Hector.
  • Near the climax of The Inheritance Cycle, Eragon impales Galbatorix on his sword, much like he did Durza at the end of the first book. The phrasing itself is nearly identical.
  • David Alexander Smith's In The Cube begins with Akktri urging the protagonist "My Beverlee, wake up quick-k-k!", and ends with him telling her "Go to sleep, my Beverlee".
  • In Monica Hughes's Invitation to the Game ends with the main character writing the first letter of the story itself.
  • Done again by Geoph Essex in Jackrabbit Messiah: the short first chapter asks a seemingly rhetorical question and hints at the answer, and the last sentence of the book answers it.
  • Kronk begins and ends with Gabriel Crome sharing vodka with the raven.
  • Kushiel's Legacy: Phedre is sold into slavery to a barbarian ruler with plans of conquest and makes an unplanned attempt to kill him in his sleep, which fails; in Kushiel's Avatar, she intentionally gets herself enslaved by a barbarian ruler with plans of conquest, murders him after gaining his trust, and frees the remainder of his prisoners.
  • The Lay of Paul Twister begins with Paul climbing a small Wizards's Tower, entering through the top, and rescuing a magical woman held captive within. It ends with Paul deposited atop a very big Wizards's Tower, entering through the top, and rescuing a woman who has lost her magic, held captive within.
  • Lolita begins (in both the foreword and the novel proper) and later ends on the eponym; the foreword begins, "Lolita, or the Confession of a White Widowed Male, such were the two titles under which the writer of the present note received..."; the novel proper begins, "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul." and ends "And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita."
  • The Lord of Bembibre: The first scene features Nuño García, Millan Rodríguez -Don Álvaro's gamekeeper and squire, respectively- and Mendo -Doña Beatriz's father's servant- discussing Don Álvaro and Doña Beatriz's ill-fated romance. The final scene features Nuño, Millán and Martina del Valle -Doña Beatriz's handmaiden- visiting Don Álvaro's grave and discussing their masters' ill-fated romance.
  • Lorien Legacies: Both book one and book six' prologue start with a shaking door.
  • Geoph Essex opens the first chapter and last chapter of Lovely Assistant with deliberately parallel paragraphs: the first takes place on a beach at sunrise, while the last takes place on a different beach at sunset.
  • Love You Forever opens with
    A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him she sang 'I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.'
    • and ends with
      Then he went into the room where his very new baby daughter was sleeping. He picked her up in his arms and rocked her, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and while he held her he sang 'I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.'
  • Loyal Enemies starts and ends with in-universe poems. The first one says that Legend Fades to Myth and great battles will just be dates to people in the future. In the second the narrator states that this might be true, but while she's still here, she's going to make damn sure it's a myth with a happy ending.
  • The Machineries of Empire:
    • The main trilogy begins and ends with Cheris fielding a heretical troop formation on the fly. At the beginning of Ninefox Gambit, it's a Pyrrhic Victory that gets her disgraced. At the end of Revenant Gun, it nullifies the Body Surfing Big Bad's immortality and kills him for good.
    • The short story "Extracurricular Activities" begins with Jedao's mother inexplicably mailing him a tub of goose fat, despite his current location being classified. It ends with him putting the fat to recreational use with a friendly soldier, and hoping his mother doesn't find out somehow.
  • A Darkling Plain ends with Shrike recounting the opening sentence of the first book in the Mortal Engines series word-for-word.
  • A perfect example would be The Name of the Wind, as the epilogue, and the prologue, named The Silence of Three Parts have the very same descriptions in each of them, only slightly changed to suggest the tone of the book.
  • The Neverending Story:
    • The book begins with a description of viewing the bookstore from the inside looking out the glass door. Bastian then opens the door "violently" causing the bells on the door to ring for a while. It ends with Bastian looking out the same door at his father, opening the door "vigorously" and causing the bells on the door to ring.
    • Smaller versions, relate to the events in the book when the clock chimes in Bastian's world.
      • At 9am, Bastian reads as the four travelers resume their trip to the Ivory Tower. At 9pm, Atreyu and Falkor are traveling to the Ivory Tower.
      • At 10am, Bastian reads as Cairon has just appeared from meeting with the Childlike Empress. At 10pm, Atreyu first sees the Childlike Empress.
      • At 11am, Bastian reads as Atreyu accepts his mission from Cairon. At 11pm, Atreyu's mission officially ends after his meeting with the Childlike Emperess ends.
    • Towards the end of Atreyu's portion of the quest, when encountering a stranger he comes wary of revealing his true identity and purpose, and merely refers to himself as "Nobody". Similarly, towards the end of Bastian's quest, he too encounters a stranger and becomes wary of revealing his true identity and purpose, but this time refers to himself as "Somebody".
  • In Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, the book begins and ends with Richard going out to a bar with friends, disliking it, going outside, a friend coming out to see him, and something uncanny happening, though the sequence of the last two are reversed.
  • William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley opens with the main character Stan asking a travelling carnival's 'talker' Clem Hoately where geeks come from and Clem explains that they are made by the carnival owner finding an alcoholic bum and offering him temporary work with a steady supply of booze. The owner tells the bum that they only need to fake biting a chicken's head off by slashing it's throat with a hidden razor and then pretend to drink the chicken's blood. After a week or so of this the owner then threatens to replace the bum with a 'real geek' and the thought of losing their supply of liquor and sobering up terrifies the bum into biting the chickens for real. The novel later ends with a drunken Stan, who has been driven to alcoholism, depression and homelessness through the events of the story, shambling into a carnival owner's tent to offer his services as a mentalist. The owner turns him down but as Stan is about to stumble back out, the owner calls him back and offers him a temporary position in the carnival sideshow, "– just until we get a real geek".
  • At the beginning of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, Annemarie is running playfully with her friend on the street. At the end, she's running to deliver a package that will allow the friend's family to escape the Nazis.
  • October Daye: At both the beginning and end of the third book, An Artificial Night, Toby attends a birthday party for one of her friend Stacy's kids.
  • In Of Mice and Men the book begins in the clearing by the Salinas River. However, at the start, the sun is rising and at the end it is setting.
    • The emotions of the opening and ending scenes by the river are vastly different. At the start, it begins warmly but gets grim as we hear of how the clearing has been worn by humans. At the end, it's devastating, since George ends up killing Lennie there in order to save him from being lynched.
  • One Day starts and ends with Emma and Dex's first day together in 1988.
  • The Origin of Laughing Jack: The story starts and ends around Christmas. Isaac finds the Laughing Jack-In-A-Box by his bed on Christmas morning. In the ending, the police find Isaac's dead body, weeks after he was murdered, on Christmas Eve.
  • The Outsiders end reveals that the book is an nonfiction essay the protagonist wrote for school; it ends with the same sentence as the beginning as he reports that he wrote down "[the first sentence...]".
    "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home..."
  • The Pillars of the Earth: The book begins with a hanging, and the second-last scene in the book is another hanging. The first sentence in both scenes is the exact same.
  • Prokleta Avlija begins and ends after friar Petar's funeral.
  • The last section of The Redemption of Althalus has Althalus going back in time to replay the adventure that ended with his meeting Ghend in the first section of the book, and making it end differently this time.
  • Club Gig, a story within the sci-fi anthology Riesel Tales: Two Hunters, begins and ends in the titular club.
  • Robert Harris is fond of Book Ends:
    • Enigma begins and ends with the protagonist arriving at King's College, Cambridge.
    • An Officer and a Spy begins and ends with a major coming to see the French Minister of War. In the beginning it is Picquard, coming to give his report on Dreyfus' degradation for treason to the minister. In the end it is the exonerated and promoted Dreyfus, who comes to see the newly appointed Minister of War — Picquard.
    • In the Cicero trilogy, on the day where Cicero's political career takes off, he gets a young man acquitted of murder by promising the jury that he will enter the army if freed. Cicero can't help laughing when, many years later, he recognizes the leader of the soldiers who has come to kill him.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms begins and ends with the same song about the futility of war.
  • In the Second Apocalypse series, the first trilogy, the Prince of Nothing, both begins (after the prologue) and ends with a man going into exile. Because the Dûnyain tolerate no contamination from the outside world, it's made clear that Kellhus can never return; and at the end of the trilogy, Achamian renounces both his School and the Aspect-Emperor, making himself doubly-anathema to the people of the Three Seas. The events of The Aspect-Emperor series (which immediately follows The Prince of Nothing) make the comparison even more apt, although Achamian's journey doesn't begin until some time after the end of the first trilogy: Both men set out on a journey to cross the northern wastes on a quest to learn more about a Dûnyain. Kellhus travels from Ishuäl to the Three Seas to learn about his father, while Achamian travels from the Three Seas to Ishuäl to learn about Kellhus's origins.
  • The Shadow of the Wind begins and ends with almost identical scenes where a man takes his young son to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.
  • The second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of the Four, begins and ends with Holmes bored and taking cocaine. This is used to underscore the fact that although, as Watson observes, Holmes is the one who "did all the work in this business," he's also the only one who doesn't seem to get anything out of it.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Four centuries ago, House Targaryen left Essos for Dragonstone, where they remained for a century before Aegon I began his conquest of Westeros and settled the house at King's Landing. Fifteen years ago, the surviving Targaryens were forced to flee King's Landing towards Dragonstone, where they remained for a year before being forced to flee again, this time to Essos.
    • King's Landing was built by Aegon I, the first Targaryen ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Three centuries later, it was nearly destroyed (as in leveled to the ground, with nothing remaining) by Aerys II, the last Targaryen ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
    • As mentioned above, Aegon I led the first Targaryen conquest of the Seven Kingdoms. In A Dance with Dragons, unless Daenerys can beat him to it, another Aegon (in this case, Dany's long-lost nephew) will lead the second Targaryen conquest of the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Sorcerer Conjurer Wizard Witch begins with Charles Beauregard visiting an Extranormal Prison to question Geneviève, a vampire who has information about the Diabolical Mastermind Colonel Zenf, and ends with him visiting the prison to start the questioning of the recently-captured Zenf. It's even mentioned that Zenf has been given the same cell Geneviève was held in.
  • Space Glass begins and ends at the Blackstar Mercenary headquarters.
  • Space Marine Battles:
    • Purging of Kadillus begins and ends with a chapter narrated by an Ork.
    • Legion of the Damned begins with an Inquisitor surveying the sea of corpses and (after a novel-long How We Got Here) ends with Captain Kersh being buried in the very same sea of corpses.
  • The first book of The Spirit Thief opens with Eli talking the spirit of a door that's supposed to keep him in into opening. The final book ends with Eli talking the spirit of a door that's supposed to keep him out into opening.
  • The first and last chapters of The Spook's Battle begin with Tom being chased through a wood, but in the former, it's Tom's friend Alice, and it's a training exercise, while in the latter, it's Grimalkin, and for real.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Starman Jones begins with Max Jones lazing, one sunny evening after finishing his chores, on a slope overlooking the spaced rings of a magnetically levitated supersonic "ring train" waiting for the Tomahawk to shoot through. It ends with assistant astrogator Jones on the same slope waiting for the Tomahawk once more. It's set up so the first paragraph of the last chapter reads as though it was All Just a Dream but then provides a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue for the story.
  • Starship Troopers, the book, begins with Rico as a soldier being briefed by his lieutenant and preparing for a drop, and ends with Rico as a lieutenant briefing his soldiers for another drop.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The last books of The Thrawn Trilogy and the Hand of Thrawn duology end with the same line spoken by Mara Jade to Luke Skywalker. "Hang on, I'll come with you."
    • The Revenge of the Sith novelization has three short segments of Second-Person Narration. Each of them begins and ends with This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker — for now, right now, and forever.
    • Yoda: Dark Rendezvous opens on a symbolically rich Coruscanti sunset, while Padmé watches a ship land at the Jedi Temple, disappointed that it's not Anakin's. The last passage is dawn on Coruscant, as Padmé finally sees Anakin's ship returning home.
    • Honor Among Thieves: The first and last chapters both open with poetic passages about the vastness and emptiness of the galaxy; for all that the stars teem with light and life, there is far more empty space between them.
    • Shadows of the Empire: The prologue and epilogue each center around an alternate perspective of a holographic-communication scene from the film preceding and following the book, respectively. In the prologue, Prince Xizor is privy to the conversation between the Emperor and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, learning Luke Skywalker's name and relation to Vader. In the epilogue, Luke records the message that R2-D2 plays for Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, thinking to himself all the while how unlikely it is that Jabba will actually take him up on his offer to negotiate.
    • The Truce at Bakura: The opening passage notes that on cosmic timescales, the wars of sentient beings are brief and meaningless. At the end, Luke has similar thoughts as he watches Dev Sibwarra's Burial in Space, which consists of allowing the body to burn up in Bakura's atmosphere.
      Luke stared at the meteor, a momentary flare of brilliance ... like all life. Nothing really, in the sweep of time. But everything, in the Force.
    • The first and last scenes of The New Jedi Order: Traitor begin with an identical five-paragraph passage about hyperspace.
  • Stephen King:
    • In The Green Mile, Paul Edgecombe originally bookends the manuscript he's writing, starting and ending with, "This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. And the electric chair, of course." However, the events of the book conspire to have him write of the mouse and his blessing from John Coffey.
    • King does this again in Needful Things, with a narrator telling the reader about the people in town and a new shop that's about to open. At the start of the book, it's Castle Rock, Maine. At the end, it's Junction City, Iowa (the setting for the story "The Library Policeman", in Four Past Midnight).
  • When Martha Macnamara meets Mayland Long at the beginning of Tea with the Black Dragon, the first thing she does is comment on his hands: with his long fingers, she says, he should be a pianist. At the end, after they've fallen in love and been on an adventure, he asks what wonder she has for him next, and she says she's going to teach him to play piano.
  • The Tenets of Futilism begins and ends on a 21st of December. In both the first and final paragraphs, the protagonist tells the readers she wants to tell them a happy story.
  • The first book of The Thebaid begins with Statius thanking and praying to the The Muses and it ends with an In-Universe character heaping praise upon Apollo, the father of the Muses.
  • These Words Are True and Faithful: In the first and last chapters, Sam and Ernie meet by chance at the Bear Cave. In both chapters, Ernie wants to hook up with Sam, but given what has happened in between, Ernie's attitude differs dramatically.
  • The first book of Jennifer Roberson's Tiger and Del series begins with Del walking into a cantina looking to hire Tiger. One of the last scenes in the fourth book (which was the final one until some years later) begins with Del walking into a cantina looking for Tiger, including the same poetic description of Del, but this time she's here to tell him she's booked a ship and they can go off to their new life together.
  • Titus Groan begins and ends with Mr. Rottcodd's solitude being disturbed, first by Flay's arrival with news of Titus's birth, and again by viewing the aftermath of Titus's Awesome Moment of Crowning through the window.
  • "Und Jimmy ging zum Regenbogen" (minor spoiler: averts The Password Is Always "Swordfish"), a bestselling novel of Austrian author Johannes Mario Simmel, has a very ironic and bloody one. The opening scene is the unknowing and innocent protagonist Manuel Aranda being in the crosshair of an assassin due to major spy business kerfuffle. Ka-blam! No, that was an assassin assassinating the assassin (due to more kerfuffle). This is just the start shot to Manuel diving headlong into the mysterious murdering of his father and major assorted-intelligence-services-of-the-world asshattery related to bioweapons. Unfortunately, at the end He Knows Too Much and the assassin of his assassin assassinates him.
  • Victoria begins and ends with a female bishop being burned at the stake, for the heresy of claiming to be a bishop while also a woman. The entire book is a How We Got Here story.
  • The Warhammer 40,000 novel Desert Raiders uses the first paragraph of the book in its epilogue to show that a Tallarn regiment had traveled back in time through the Warp to create the very incident they were supposed to be investigating.
  • James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novels Deus Encarmine begins on a grave world, and Deus Sanguinius ends on one. Both chapters open with fighting and end with a Blood Angel reflecting in the chapel.
  • Nick Kyme's Warhammer 40,000 novel Salamander opens and ends with the death of their captain from treacherous attacks, and the company's coping with it. Coping better at the end than the beginning.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • The first book, which introduced us to the Warriors world and the main character Firestar, was written by Kate Cary (out of the several authors that make up Erin Hunter). The last book in the main series, The Last Hope, which ends with Firestar's death, was, fittingly, given to Kate to write.
    • The Power of Three story arc (which covers the two series Power of Three and Omen of the Stars) begins with the characters learning the prophecy "There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws." The final lines of the last book echo this, and the series in general:
    There will be three cats, kin of your kin, with the power of the stars in their paws. They will find a fourth, and the battle between light and dark will be won. A new leader will rise from the shadows of his death, and the Clans will survive beyond the memories of his memories. That is how it has always been, and how it always will be.
  • Watership Down opens with "The primroses were over," and ends with "where the first primroses were beginning to bloom."
  • The final book of The Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, closes with an inversion of the opening narration of each book in the series.
    It was not the ending. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was an ending.
  • The beginning of The Will Be Done has Praen coming to the world through a portal, and so does the end epilogue. As well, the end of the main story has him returning through that very same portal.
  • Both Wings of Fire series begin with young dragons being raised in caverns and taught by their elders. However, in the second scenario, the once-students are the teachers (and far more benevolent than their predecessors) and the caves are beautiful and open to the sky. The contrast to the first scenario—which was gloomy and stifling—is lampshaded.
    • The Jade Mountain arc opens with Moonwatcher, a NightWing dragonet, being raised in the rainforest by her mother. One of its closing scenes depicts the antagonist, now transformed into an amnesiac NightWing dragonet, experiencing the same upbringing with his mother.
  • The second book of The Witchlands begins with Merik noting that being dead has its advantages and following his POV for a while, before jumping to Vivia standing in anger before the door to the Battle Council. It ends with Vivia standing, happy, in front of the same door and follows her POV for a while before jumping to Merik noting that being alive has its advantages..
  • World War Z: "Don't worry, everything's going to be all right." Initially used by Dr. Kwang Jingshu's friend in an out of character moment to show just how bad the situation has become, it is used again un-ironically by the doctor himself near the end, since he believes everything really will turn out all right.

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