According to the dictionary epilogue means

a speech or piece of text that is added to the end of a play or book, often giving a short statement about what happens to the characters after the play or book finishes.

When I read book sometime I skip epilogue section and finished my reading because it generally have details about what happens to characters and some other details.

But last time when I read 1st To Die by James Patterson, which is a suspense thriller, important details about the suspense were revealed in the Epilogue. The "end" of the book is really good one, and I was originally going to just finish the book and skip the Epilogue, but for some reason I continued with epilogue section. It turns out that there was a twist in the story and that actual suspense was revealed. If I didn't read epilogue, I would've missed actual reason for killing.

Is it common to reveal suspense or other important plot details in Epilogue section? Or is this just a new trend to add a conclusion in that section?

How important Epilogue is relating to the story?

I've read a decent number of suspense-thriller books and this is the only example I've seen so far where there was a conclusion added in Epilogue section.

  • 2
    I have no idea why this was downvoted - it seems like a reasonable question to me. I upvoted. Nov 17 '17 at 14:14

Is it common to reveal suspense or other important plot details in Epilogue section?

It is not very common in my considerable reading experience but not unheard of.

How important is Epilogue relating to the story?

The epilogue is an integral part of the text of the literary work, unlike post-text sections like Author's note and Acknowledgements, and it is entirely possible and plausible that an important story element is presented in the epilogue, as you found out yourself. It depends on how the author wants to conclude their novel.

For example, in the great literary novel "Possession" by A.S.Byatt, something very important is revealed on the very last page, though it is actually labeled 'post script' rather than 'epilogue.'

I have read a number of other novels whose names I cannot recollect right away, where information introduced in the epilogue 'twisted' or clarified the meaning of the ending.

In short, a novel does not end before the epilogue. So I think a reader who skips the epilogue and 'finishes' the reading early, runs the very real risk of sometimes never getting to know some important piece of information that might even possibly change the complexion of how we understand and recollect the entire work.

To conclude: please be sure to read the epilogue every time OK!


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.