Tuesday, November 01, 2011
THE DEAD NARRATOR
I am reading a book now where the narrator is dead. I don't need to say which book because that would constitute a spoiler. I guess there are several recent uses of this device--it seems especially popular in YA.
"Death" itself narrates in THE BOOK THIEF. How does that work for you?
Back to dead narrators, LOVELY BONES comes to mind. And the William Holden character in SUNSET BOULEVARD. I am sure we can come up with many more. I used it myself in a recent story but found it troubling. I am too literal a person not to be vaguely annoyed.
What do you think of this device? If you know the narrator is dead from the beginning, does it seem less of a cheat than if you don't find out he's dead to the end? Certainly skillful hands are essential.
Also does a ghost constitute a dead narrator? What about a vampire?
When is dead truly dead?