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Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: July 30th, 2010, 10:50 pm
by steve
only three...

1. Endless Love by Scott Spencer
2. The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: July 31st, 2010, 9:45 am
by Down the well
It's a very fluid list, but today some favorites that come to mind are:

1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

2. Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

As you can see I like women authors. I'm also writing in first-person right now, so on the lookout for good first person books.

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 1st, 2010, 6:08 am
by Heather B
The Vampire Academy series. Terrible title but the books are amazing. And the endings are never what you'd expect.

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 2nd, 2010, 3:12 pm
by Mira
I love first person. Everything first person is good for me, as long as the book itself is good.

What came to mind when I wrote this post is Lolita.

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 2nd, 2010, 3:16 pm
by Robin
Can't say its my absolute favorite, but its up there:
Hunger Games

Its written in first person, present and I didnt think I was going to like it, but I couldn't put it down. Great writing!

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 2nd, 2010, 8:59 pm
by Nathan Bransford
MOBY-DICK and THE GREAT GATSBY

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 2nd, 2010, 11:23 pm
by otherside89girl
My book, of course. Just kidding. DAVID COPPERFIELD.

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 3rd, 2010, 11:21 am
by cheekychook
If you really want to hear about it...

The Catcher in the Rye

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 3rd, 2010, 1:49 pm
by Margo
The Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 3rd, 2010, 2:11 pm
by Bryan Russell/Ink
Moby Dick is up there. Shadow Country, by Peter Matthiessen (a mix of first person voices). Austerlitz, by W.G. Sebald (sort of a first person inside a first person). Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, by Javier Marias.

So many, so many...

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 3rd, 2010, 3:28 pm
by dios4vida
Any of the Dresden Files books, Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden's voice is full of sarcasm, wit, and with a beautiful story-telling quality that is by far the best I've ever read.

The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco. Much better than the mystery (which is great) is the description of the Abbey. You really feel like you're in an old monastery with the monks. It's just beautiful prose in a gorgeous story.

Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden. The characterization of the geishas is wonderful, comfortable though foreign, and full of beauty.

The Fever series, Karen Marie Moning. Exciting story with great banter between the characters.

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 3rd, 2010, 7:17 pm
by Margo
dios4vida wrote:Any of the Dresden Files books...
Gads, I forgot about all of the urban fiction I've been reading the last few months. The first couple of Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamilton) books definitely had moments wherein I just couldn''t turn the page fast enough to see what was going to happen next. I've got the first Dresden book but it's still a few more books down in the 'to read' pile.

Seanan McGuire's Sparrow Hill Road stories (like 'Dead Man's Party') are also first person and great urban fantasy, imo. I finally got a copy of her novel Rosemary and Rue but have not yet had a chance to read it. Not sure it's first person. I just hope it's as good as her short stories.

Re: Your favorite first-person novels

Posted: August 11th, 2010, 11:14 pm
by lac582
I second the previous mentions of 'A Handmaid's Tale' and 'Lolita'. Although I haven't read it since high school, I remember really enjoying the Quention section of 'The Sound and the Fury' as well.

I tend to have a lower tolerance for first-person narrative. I'm not a big fan of YA, and I think the preponderance of first-person POV has a lot to do with that because so much of it sounds the same and I don't like being narrated to by someone with the thought patterns and vocabulary of a typical teenager. A lot of it feels unnatural to me, describing action exactly as you would in third-person but swapping he/she for 'I', which in first-person feels like overdescription.

To me, the most successful first-person is written with a specific target in mind. Who is the narrator talking to? Who is on the other end of this conversation? And it doesn't necessarily have to be Joe Everyman reader. The reader can almost be like an eavesdropper.

Not to pick on Stephanie Meyer, but for example:

""Bella," she called again, watching my face carefully, "I was just saying to Tyler that it was too bad none of the Cullens could come out today. Didn't anyone think to invite them?""

If you were Bella, and you were actually describing aloud to another person something that was in the midst of happening, would you speak an aside like "watching my face carefully" ? Probably not.

Whereas in the epilogue of 'A Handmaid's Tale' you learn exactly who Offred's audience was. Humbert Humbert and Holden Caulfield sound like they're spilling their guts to an unseen confessor.

I hope I'm making sense.