MacDonald's Cry Hard, Cry Fast tells the stories of all the participants in a
multi-car crash. Each early chapter introduces us to the passengers of a single
car and ends with their entry into the pileup, whereupon the next chapter starts
over with another car. The accident is their connecting point. The later
chapters then continue to tell the aftermath, but with more interweaving of
The early chapters are like little self-contained short stories, and they really
showcase MacDonald's skill at creating believable individuals.
>From: Harry Joseph Lerner <email@example.com>
>To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
>Sent: Thu, August 19, 2010 9:52:19 AM
>Subject: RARA-AVIS: JDM's "All These Condemned" and literary devices
>The other day it occurred to me that it might be interesting to write an article
>about JDM's use of multiple narrators to convey the same series of events from
>multiple perspectives in "All These Condemned" in terms of its effectiveness as
>a literary device. Is it indeed effective or simply confusing? Actually, this
>is something that has been simmering at the back of my mind for a while, but I
>recently picked up a copy of JDM's "The Beach Girls", which, unlike most of his
>books, has a table of contents with all but the last three chapters labelled
>with the names of characters. I haven't read this book yet, but my first
>impression (and I could be way off here) is that it may make for an interesting
>comparison with "All These Condemned."
>What I would like to ask of all of you is for any recommendations of other
>examples of multiple narrators/perspectives a la "All These Condemned", that
>would be useful reading for my proposed article.
>Thanks in advance!
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