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View Diary: Contemporary Fiction Views: Unreliable, naive narrators (64 comments)

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  •  smilla's sense of snow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bookgirl, indres, dewtx, high uintas

    a wonderful book...not so much an "unreliable" narrator in the sense of lying, but Smilla is so wrapped up in the puzzle directly before her eyes (there is an analogy in the novel of her as a girl leaning off a skiff in greenland watching the ice crystals form, myopic in her focus on the small events over the large events) that she doesn't see the monstrously huge plot of the novel overtake her until she is neck-deep in it.

    When life gives you lemons, don't elect them to Congress.

    by papa monzano on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 06:59:28 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Oh yes! I remember how (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indres, dewtx, high uintas

      some readers felt they had been tricked or that the story had gotten away from the writer.

      •  personally (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indres, bookgirl, dewtx

        i felt the plot sneak-up was a remarkable achievement...i spent the novel so engrossed in the details of the murder investigation and her navigation of the interpersonal relationships she was so ill-equipped for (making the return to procedural details a relief for the character as well as the reader) that by the time I realized that the plot had gotten to an almost Michael Bay movie point, Smilla was experiencing the same reaction: How in the hell did I get to here and what am I really involved in??

        The movie adaptation, in one opening scene, managed to destroy that structure for me. if the genius of the story was the slow unraveling of the plot, you can't open with the pile of thread and expect me to still be surprised by the unraveling. There's foreshadowing, and then there's the gross misunderstanding of the best parts of your source material. I adored that book (and most other Peter Hoeg novels. that's a plot that got away from him.)

        When life gives you lemons, don't elect them to Congress.

        by papa monzano on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 07:59:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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