Re: RARA-AVIS: Woolrich's "Fright" - 1st vs 3rd person narration

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 21 Feb 2008

> In a message dated 2/20/08 2:44:07 PM,
> writes:
> In recent hardboiled fiction, mostly PI novels, there's a
> trend to incorporate chapters of third person material in a
> narrative that is first person overall.  This is often to
> report events that the narrator did not witness/was not
> involved in and/or to show the actions of the killer, often
> serial killer, being hunted by the PI. 
I finished reading a William Bernhardt (more of a thriller) novel using two 3rd person POVs (autistic person and villain) while the main narrator was in 1st POV. It's not jarring if the book begins that way and, you, the reader are onboard with the plan. I've read a few books that resort to multiple POVs in mid-stream. IIRC, Harlan Coben does it in THE WOODS.

Ed Lynskey

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