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Novels with chapters written by different characters

 
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 06:46 pm
I'm looking for novels in which each chapter or section is recounted by a different character thus providing different points of view as the story progresses - something like the movie "Rashomon" (if I remember correctly).
 
edgarblythe
 
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 06:51 pm
THE SOUND AND THE FURY, Faulkner's fourth novel (1929), is his first true masterpiece. Depicting the decline of the once aristocratic Compson family, the novel is composed of four stream-of-consciousness narratives, each told by a different character with his or her own way of relating events. The first is sweet, gentle Benjy Compson, who at the Christlike age of 33 is severely retarded, writing in an elliptical, time-free, sometimes obscure style. (He describes two men playing golf as: "They took the flag out, and they were hitting. Then they put the flag back and they went to the table, and he hit and the other hit.") Then the narrative moves back 18 years, to 1910, and is supplied by Benjy's brother Quentin, a student at Harvard about to commit suicide, who is obsessed with his sister, Caddy. The story returns to the present--1928--with the voice of Jason, the third Compson brother, a cruel and rapacious man who reveals certain family secrets that have been hinted at in the other sections, and introduces Caddy's almost grown daughter, also named Quentin. The bulk of the fourth and final section revolves around Dilsey, the black woman who has been a Compson family servant for much of her life. THE SOUND AND THE FURY was Faulkner's own favorite novel, primarily, he says, because it is his "most splendid failure." But many consider it to be his finest work.
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tsarstepan
 
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 07:19 pm
@Tomkitten,
Chuck Palahniuk Haunted:
Quote:
Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter"sometimes all at once. They are told by people who have answered an ad headlined "Artists' Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months" and who are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of "real life" that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. But "here" turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world"and where heat and power and, most important, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more desperate the stories they tell"and the more devious their machinations become to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/nonfiction blockbuster that will certainly be made from their plight. -Courtesy of Amazon.com
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kuvasz
 
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 07:51 pm
how about a book that's chapters were written by different authors.. "naked came the stranger."
djjd62
 
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 07:54 pm
@kuvasz,
how about a book where the chapters are written in different characters like the manual to my dvd player
Gargamel
 
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 08:07 pm
Well, Edgar's accounted for the first that comes to mind. But another is Roberto Balano's The Savage Detectives. An absolutely brilliant novel consisting of a cast of characters' depictions of two young Mexican poets' search for a mysterious woman who represents the future of the country's literature and folklore.
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Tomkitten
 
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 08:12 pm
The point is really one author, one story, and characters who tell what went on from his/her point of view
Tomkitten
 
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Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 09:13 am
@Tomkitten,
The latest book I can think of like this is "Olive Kitteredge" where each character is featured in a different chapter showing the relation to Olive. In this instance the tales are not first-person stories, but a book like this could equally be told using the first person as narrator of the various angles.
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Tai Chi
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 09:18 am
The Girls by Lori Lansens

Quote:
In Lori Lansens’ astonishing second novel, readers come to know and love two of the most remarkable characters in Canadian fiction. Rose and Ruby are twenty-nine-year-old conjoined twins. Born during a tornado to a shocked teenaged mother in the hospital at Leaford, Ontario, they are raised by the nurse who helped usher them into the world. Aunt Lovey and her husband, Uncle Stash, are middle-aged and with no children of their own. They relocate from the town to the drafty old farmhouse in the country that has been in Lovey’s family for generations...

In spite of their situation, the girls lead surprisingly separate lives. Rose is bookish and a baseball fan. Ruby is fond of trash TV and has a passion for local history.

Rose has always wanted to be a writer, and as the novel opens, she begins to pen her autobiography...

Ruby, with her marvellous characteristic logic, points out that Rose’s autobiography will have to be Ruby’s as well " and how can she trust Rose to represent her story accurately? Soon, Ruby decides to chime in with chapters of her own.
...

In Rose and Ruby, Lori Lansens has created two precious characters, each distinct and loveable in their very different ways, and has given them a world in Leaford that rings absolutely true. The girls are unforgettable. The Girls is nothing short of a tour de force.



engineer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 09:25 am
@Tomkitten,
I just finished Archform: Beauty by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 09:57 am
@Tai Chi,
Sounds like a great story, Tai Chi. Did you enjoy it?
JPB
 
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Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:07 am
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver tells the story of a missionary family's move to Africa from the viewpoint of each of the children and the wife, (but not the minister-father as I recall). I enjoyed it.
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tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:10 am
@djjd62,
Quote:
Re: kuvasz (Post 3814578)
how about a book where the chapters are written in different characters like the manual to my dvd player

That's just riveting reading doncha think?! Any good M. Night Shyamalan like plot twists? Surprised
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:10 am
@eoe,
eoe wrote:

Sounds like a great story, Tai Chi. Did you enjoy it?


I really enjoyed it. The setting in southwestern Ontario is one I'm familiar with and that added a lot too.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:14 am
The Number of the Beast by Heinlein.

I don't recommend it, though. It was written after he started rejecting all editorial criticisms, and suffers for it.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:29 am
"Dancer", by Colum McCann.
Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:31 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

"Dancer", by Colum McCann.


Taking his inspiration from biographical facts, novelist Colum McCann tells the erotically charged story of the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev through the cast of those who knew him: there is Anna Vasileva, Rudi's first ballet teacher, who rescues her protégé from the stunted life of his provincial town; Yulia, whose sexual and artistic ambitions are thwarted by her Soviet-sanctioned marriage; and Victor, the Venezuelan street hustler, who reveals the lurid underside of the gay celebrity set... more
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Tomkitten
 
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Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:42 am
Okay, the list is beginning to build up: The Sound and the Fury, Olive Kitteredge, Poisonwood Bible - just a couple more and I'll have enough material. I'm using Olive K as the springboard because our Book Discussion Group is focusing on it in December. I like to do a relevant column following each Discussion. and thought it would be interesting to pick up on that particular aspect.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 12:38 pm
@Tomkitten,
Another Kingsolver novel, Prodigal Summer is also written from three perspectives. I liked that one too Wink
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 12:43 pm
@Tomkitten,
How about Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon? I haven't read it but it gets pretty good reviews>

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/maximumice.htm
 

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