The Gothic Novel Book Club discussion

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The Woman in White > Narration Style

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Lin (linkeepsitreal) The use of multiple narrators was one of Collins's favorite storytelling techniques. If you've read The Moonstone, you might already be familiar with it. Is this effective storytelling, or is it jarring to you? When reading mysteries, do you prefer to remain with a single character that you can trust, or do you like that suspicion is spread around, and we get multiple perspectives?


Kim When authors jump back and forth between narrators too quickly (every other chapter) it can drive me nuts and ruin the flow. But I like how this book is seperated into big chunks and I also enjoyed how it was explained at the beginning that the entire story is organized so we only get the truly important parts from each narrator. Lends a sense of weight to each part.


Emily (Novila) | 8 comments I agree, Kim, I think this lends some interesting layers to the story and while making it more mysterious also answers more questions the reader might have. All in all, it makes for fun reading (just see how many new versions of old stories are written from other characters' perspectives to placate the fans!). And in TWIW so far, I actually care what all the characters are thinking. Though it's always a little jarring to leave a cliffhanger and suddenly switch perspective, it really does make the reading more fun and suspenseful so Collins uses it to the right effect here.


Nancy | 146 comments This style of narrative, shows how differently people viewed events based on social class. In this way he illustrates the hopelessness of the situation and the threat represented by count Fosco.


Eric Christopherson | 5 comments It's not a jarring technique to me even though you never see it in a contemporary novel. And to have the same characters viewed through several sets of eyes is a strength of the technique that I appreciate.


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