The first usage of the Unreliable Narrator in Crime in fiction that I know
of came from Our Master ...
Edgar Allan Poe.
Check his wonderful "The Cask of Amontillado."
Montresor is the murderer. Fortunato is the victim who trusts him. To quote
Wikipedia, "In the last few sentences, Montresor reveals that it has been 50
years since the murder, he has never been caught, and Fortunato's body still
hangs from its chains in the niche where he left it." Oh, and Montresor has
I used to assign students the story & write two paragraphs. I'd ask them
what Fortunato had done to Montresor, "suggest" they look up the phrase
"unreliable narrator" and then collect their papers before I started on the story.
They ALWAYS fell for Montresor's intense voice of iindignation.
Afterwards, I'd tell them, "I want you guys on my jury for homicide. You'll
believe the killer."
Yep. Every student fell for Poe's voice. First person voice there makes
every reader into Montresor's ... accomplice.
(Now available on Kindle.)
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 25 Apr 2010 EDT