The Spectacular Now
by Tim Tharp
Analysis: What's Up With the Ending?
Depressed. Hopeless. Frustrated. That's what you feel when you finish The Spectacular Now, right? This sure a feel-good story, even though "spectacular" is right there in the title.
See, our protagonist gets stuck. He starts to change, he's almost there … and then he's sucked back into an even darker version of his old life. At the end of the book, Sutter is completely wasted, wandering around the gravel parking lot of a run-down bar, alone, after having spent the evening with the creepy old drunks inside. What's worse is that he's happy about it. The whiskey makes him think it's beautiful—so beautiful that he can't even see how pathetic and tragic his situation is. He's giving up on life before his life has even begun. And that's why we're depressed.