Kill Fee

Posted by: Anonymous

Kill Fee - 08/20/99 05:37 PM

Barbara -- my favorite of your books (though I've probably reread =The Fourth Wall= most often)is still =Kill Fee.= I recommend it to anyone who holds still long enough as one of the few books I've ever read that has a perfect ending.

A question...on that particular novel, did you come up with the last sentence first?

(Thank you for finally revealing "what happened afterward" in =Apostophe Thief,= btw.)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Kill Fee - 08/21/99 09:53 AM

Last sentence first -- no. I knew from the beginning that Pluto would have the last word and even how that would work out. But the actual wording didn't come until I was writing the scene and decided to end the story right there.

Incidentally, my editor at Scribner wanted me to change that ending; she called me four or five times trying to talk me out of it. But since it was the ending so many different threads in the story led to, I just dug my heels in and said no.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Kill Fee - 08/21/99 12:28 PM

Thank you for refusing. IMO it would have been a shame and a loss to your book to add one more word.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Kill Fee - 08/21/99 01:49 PM

Yes, that ending is a stunner and it's EXACTLY RIGHT. I'm glad you didn't give in, Barbara.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Kill Fee - 08/21/99 05:52 PM

I once recommended the book to a writer friend, telling her it had a "killer ending." Awhile later, after she tracked it down, she wrote back that "indeed it has a killer ending....I'd kill to write endings like that."
Posted by: Jon

Re: Kill Fee - 08/22/99 06:30 PM

I agree about the potency and brilliance of the ending. In fact, it works so well that Kill Fee is one of two Barbara Paul books* I've never been able to bring myself to reread. It's dopey, I know, and I'm really as big a wuss as this may sound, but I feel that I bear a share of the guilt in causing the ending to happen -- by finishing the book and closing it! I just can't stand to make that happen again. Isn't that dumb??!

Howsomever: I did finally acquire a copy of my own, while I was in Seattle. So the Big Blank Spot on my Paul bookshelf is now filled. Only that one early effort to go!

*The other is Good King Sauerkraut, and I suppose the reasons are somewhat similar.