Sunday, October 21, 2012

The 10 best narrators in literature

Antoine Wilson is the author of the novels The Interloper and Panorama City.

One book (and an alternate, "a sort of spiritual cousin") on his ten best list of narrators in literature, as told to Publishers Weekly:
Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Another child narrator, so inflected with the language and perspective of a kid that the novel is often assigned to kids themselves, most of whom fail to see beyond Holden's puerile litmus of phony/not-phony. The power lies in the book's structure (pitting dying nobly against living humbly, at one point), and in reading it from an adult's perspective. Having already lost some innocence, we grown-ups understand the significance of Holden's position better than he ever could. (Alternate: Elaine, Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood)
Read about another entry on the list.

The Catcher In The Rye appears on A.E. Hotchner's list of five favorite coming-of-age tales, Jay McInerney's list of five essential New York novels, Woody Allen's top five books list, Patrick Ness's top 10 list of "unsuitable" books for teenagers, David Ulin's six favorite books list, Nicholas Royle's list of the top ten writers on the telephone, TIME magazine's list of the top ten books you were forced to read in school, Tony Parsons' list of the top ten troubled males in fiction, Dan Rhodes' top ten list of short books, and Sarah Ebner's top 25 list of boarding school books; it is one of Sophie Thompson's six best books. Upon rereading, the novel disappointed Khaled Hosseini, Mary Gordon, and Laura Lippman.

--Marshal Zeringue