Cliffhangers

How do you feel about cliffhangers?  I’m a bit undecided in general.  There are some cases when it’s okay, but other cases when I just can’t stand it.

TV series tend to use cliffhangers at the end of a season to increase anticipation for the new season and bring in more viewers.  I’m not a big fan of that.  Quite often, I’ve forgotten what most of the story was, so my anticipation has already dissipated a bit.  There are some really good cliffhangers, but are they popular?  I found the cliffhangers in Star Trek: The Next Generation did drive me a bit crazy with anticipation, but only because it was my favourite TV show.  But what about in books?

I believe that the story should be resolved in a single novel.  If it’s a series of novels, there can be a bigger story spanning the volumes, but each book should have its own complete story.  But if there is no resolved story, it leaves me feeling a bit cheated.  Reading a book is a big investment of time, and at the end of the book, I want to have some kind of resolution.  That doesn’t mean all cliffhangers are bad.  If it’s done right, it can work, but it’s risky.

What do you think?