I have a theory about film: If you have a very good film with a bad ending, then you have a bad film. If you have a mediocre film or a good film with a brilliant ending, then you have an almost brilliant film.
This week’s episode of Tales Told When the Windows Rattle features a story titled “Selenitha,” by Arthur Lucas. I really like Lucas’s premise: after showing off in front of his buddies, a guy discovers he has the power to control others, a power he comes to very much regret. I like some of the scenes, too. At the same time, I confess “Selenitha” is not one of my favorites of Season One. A couple of descriptive passages could have been trimmed — but that’s pretty typical of fiction from the 1800s. It’s really the happily-ever-after ending that bugs me. It has a “tacked-on” feel to it. Applying what Ray Bradbury says about films, Lucas’s very last line leaves me with a slightly unpleasant aftertaste regarding the work overall.
I’m curious if others feel the same way — or if what amounts to a single, final sentence just isn’t enough to matter that much. Feel free to leave a comment below if you listen to or watch the episode here in the Brom Bones Books rec room. If you’d rather, you can comment at the Tales Told YouTube channel. (Compliments are also humbly and gratefully accepted.)