1. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I've figured out why I don't like first person

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by BFGuru, Jun 23, 2012.

    Let me rephrase, I find most first person novels unbelievable.

    My issue came after someone actually introduced me (here) to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I actually did like that series, but haven't liked another and this is where I figured out my problem.

    The main character is normally the narrator. They speak on one level. Normally, average every day vocabulary. When describing things, though, the author tends to use words that are so out of character from any dialogue of the narrator that it makes no sense to me. Gabaldon did a good job integrating. Her narrator was highly educated and spoke over the heads of the other characters often which made for funny dialogue sometimes. However, when she went into her verbose descriptions of things, it was in context with the narrator and flowed nicely.

    So thank you Gabaldon for clarifying why I hate first person novels, but can't wait to read your next installment.

    For the time being I'm dredging through Napolean's Pyramids wondering why on earth I paid 13 dollars for this book. Ugh.
     
  2. Bagabon
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    Bagabon Banned

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    I've always had the same problem with first person. Unless the character is very educated, the vastly detailed descriptions of places don't really fit. I'm currently reading "The Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss, which is in first person for the most part. It's the second in a trilogy, and a great book so far. I think the fact that the main character is telling his story to another character makes it seem more realistic, and he is very intelligent as well. He also describes places in the way the character would describe it, so it always feels like this man is telling you the story of his life. So I guess when first person is done well, it is very enjoyable, however it seems difficult for people to pull it off.

    I really like the way the author Joe Abercrombie writes, he narrates in the way the character would, but still does it in third person.
     
  3. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I'm struggling with this. First-person makes intense demands upon the author's ability to craft a voice.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't usually use first person myself for the reasons stated already. I can't use my own language - I'm tied to the language my character uses. First person limited works much better for me. I can use my own language and supply my own "author commentary" if I wish.
     
  5. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    After posting this, I downloaded 3 books onto my Nook. All three were written in horrible 1st person. I must start downloading previews before purchasing. Thankfully, one was free and the other two were less than 3 dollars so I didn't feel so bad trashing them. I am going to try and dredge through the third one, simply because I feel bad tossing 2 other tales...and this one has a lot of Madame Bovary references and I did enjoy that book as a teen.
     
  6. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    First person makes my brain hurt, primarily because it isn't my brain doing the talking. I don't like being shoved into another person's thoughts and kept there; the mental downshift is a bit of a jolt. I'm too familiar with what goes on in my own head to easily transition from third to first. JMO.

    - Darkkin
     
  7. aimeekath
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    aimeekath Senior Member

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    I like first - person, sometimes it makes the work seem more personal.
     
  8. NumberOneChin
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    NumberOneChin New Member

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    You can preview a lot of books on Amazon, using their "Look Inside!" feature, cutting down on unnecessary purchases! Perhaps those few dollars could have bought something worthwhile, like a chocolate cake. Yummy! :)
     

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