1. Dr. Manhattan
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    Dr. Manhattan New Member

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    Any books with hundreds of narrators?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Dr. Manhattan, May 13, 2010.

    Can you guys think of any novels that are organized by the narration of hundreds of different narrators? I know there are a fair share that jump back and forth between a handful of narrators, but are there any that feature just a continuous stream of different narrators? Thanks.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I can't think of one, but I can imagine that such a book would suffer from being disjointed, for the constantly changing voice of the narrator.
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hundreds? I can't imagine that would work at all. Off the top, I can think of A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby...though that had 4 narrators.
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    The closest thing I can think of is World War Z by Max Brooks, which is a narrative about a zombie war told through dozens of (fictional) interviews. But no, not a novel that has that many traditional narrators.
     
  5. Afterburner
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    Afterburner Active Member

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    I had to read a book for one of my classes called Strange As This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake. It deals with mountain top removal in the Appalachian mountain area. Each chapter was usually from the view of a different character, and I think by the end of the book, there were at least seven or eight different narrators.
     
  6. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    I highly doubt anyone would have the nerve or the creative mind to be capable of puling that off. The highest I've ever come across was 10. It would always seem though, that the more narrators there are, the longer the book becomes. The characters would start to feel pointless, (if you know what I mean), with all of their opinions being crammed into one book.
     
  7. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    I am not sure that could possibly work. Literally hundreds.
    I personally really like it when a book switches back and fourth between authors. The first example I though of was Hiroshima by John Hersey, which goes though six narrators.

    Perhaps if It was a book like Hiroshima, a big event where each narrator did not develop as much as in Hersey's book. It would not really be a book about a plot though, it would have to be a book about a specific experience or else it would get to confusing, in my opinion.
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read books that had more than ten narrators, and unless they were part of a series in which I was already familiar with many of the settings and characters, or the vast majority of scenes were by five or less, then they were very hard to follow. The last one I read, I could not keep up with at all.
     
  9. Aconite
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    Aconite Senior Member

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    Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying' fits the bill, assuming you don't literally mean hundreds (there are 15 narrators). Also try Boccacio's 'Decameron' and The Canterbury Tales. Both are arguably more short story collections with unifying themes, but might be useful as well.
     

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