Christopher Bahn (a-cbahn@microsoft.com)
Mon, 26 Apr 1999 11:21:53 -0700 Doug wrote:
> This example reminds me how first- and third-person narration will
> create a different series of effects. It's hard to imagine the
> quasi-superhero status of Grave Digger and Coffin Ed being handled
> successfully if either one was a first-person narrator. It also allows
> to have elusive, almost secondary roles at times.

And Sherlock Holmes, of course. The two stories he narrates himself, rather
than having Watson do it, are pretty awful. And he spends most of his time
offscreen in "Hound of the Baskervilles," arguably his best story.

Someone else mentioned "Glass Key" and "Maltese Falcon" as 3rd-person
narratives. A question, though - while the stories aren't told by the
protagonists themselves, my impression is that you never get to see anything
they don't. Is there an example of a third-person _omniscient_ narrative
that works well as a hardboiled story, or even a mystery in general?

On another topic, a couple of questions: I picked up a couple of paperbacks
from the dime rack at my local Goodwill, "Pale Gray For Guilt" by John
MacDonald and "The Girl Hunters" by Spillane. Never read these authors
before (I only started reading this genre in any depth late last year).
Before I start 'em, am I leaping headlong into the middle of the two series,
and should reading earlier books first, or am I OK to begin with these?
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