Tag Archives: series of unfortunate events

Authors Who Don’t Narrate the Way You Expect

by Anne Marie
Teen Advisory Group

In general, narrators  are the same. First person, third person– you know, what you read 95% of the time. Point being, they are either in the story, or else they are the all-knowing narrator.

But what about the narrators (who in these cases, are also the authors) who refuse to follow the rules? The ones don’t care about the fourth wall and mercilessly tear it down?

They tell a different story. Here are a couple of my favorites.

 

*Lemony Snicket*

Lemony Snicket ruthlessly throws down the fourth wall. Near the beginning of the first book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, he warns the reader not to read his books. It does not have a happy ending (which is true), so you are better off reading something else.

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And if you watch the Netflix version (which is pretty great– WAY better than the movie), “Lemony Snicket” often comes in and breaks the fourth wall and clears up definitions, much like he does in the books.

But not only does he clear up definitions, in the books he has a very *ahem* strange writing style. I don’t remember which book it was, but one time he was explaining deja vu, and then he repeated the passage exactly to give the read a sense of deja vu.

Another time, he wrote “very” for a couple pages. I don’t remember the reason why, but I know he was making a point.

 

He’s always making a point.

 

And it’s like that in all the books! It is very strange, but hey, who wants to read something “normal”?

 

*Pseudonymous Bosch*

The Name of this Book is Secret’s author “Pseudonymous Bosch” is very secretive of the critical information in the books, even of the author’s name.

(No, you don’t get it. “Pseudonymous” literally means “pen name”. As in: “the name on the cover is not the name of the person who wrote this book”.)

Want an example of how secretive the author is? Here is the first chapter:

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And here is one farther in:

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But unlike Lemony Snicket, this narrator acknowledges his own shortcomings. He realizes he will make mistakes and asks his readers to 1) forgive him and 2) forget the information he gave you.

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Why do I say Pseudonymous Bosch is a “he”? Well, I read the books, and who the author is was one of the biggest secrets in the series, so of course he gives it away.

But you’ll have to read the book to figure out who it is.

 

 

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