From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 27 May 2002

At 07:11 PM 5/24/02 +0000, you wrote:
> >I suspect that in general audio books would work better
> >from the first-person viewpoint.
>Not always. A couple of mine have gone into audiobook, with a woman
>reader of course. She's ok when she's Dido Hoare, but when she reads
>dialogue "she do voices". The real life role model for Ernie Weekes
>(no, I don't usually do this, it's a family joke) has refused to allow
>his mother to listen to the tapes. As for Barnabas....
>I too am very doubtful that there is anything specifically hard-boiled
>(or not) about the point of view. First person maybe allows a more
>intimate insight into a character, but the truth it voices is obviously
>only objective about the character's own limited vision with any
>resulting errors. It expresses character, it doesn't form it. Third
>person can provide either an objective view of the personality of the
>protagonist, or a limited insight (hello, Dr Watson), or stick very
>intensely to the experience of the main character in a book or a section
>of a book: D Sayers and J Ellroy, for instance? (Now that coupling I
>just couldn't resist. I may be hysterical.)

Hi Marianne,

I have found when writing in this genre (or in any genre, for that matter) that first person is more difficult to pull off than either third person omniscient or limited third person (e.g. your example of Dr. Watson). Your discussion of the relative strengths of each has me curious though. Which is your preferred method of exposition?


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