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Second Person Point of View

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message 1: by Jessica (last edited Apr 15, 2019 06:01PM) (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 321 comments Have you ever read a second person point of view narration that worked well? If so, what was it?

You guys, Anne Leckie's first fantasy novel, The Raven Tower, pulled it off beautifully!

Also, my favorite narrator in a book I've read so far this year is (view spoiler)

If you couldn't tell, I really enjoyed this book! 10 out of 10, would read again, highly recommend :)


message 2: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (spriggana) | 86 comments The second person POV parts in Jemisin’s "Broken Earth" trilogy work really well, and they are there for a reason.


message 3: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2777 comments Stross' Rule 34 does it well. I think it needs to be done for reason inherent in the book - in Rule 34 it's because the AI sees everything since it's connected to an extensive camera network. In The Raven Tower, it's done for a similar reason.

in neither case did the author HAVE to do it and looking at the reviews for the raven tower it's annoyed some people looking for a conventional story, but... eh.


message 4: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8180 comments Joanna wrote: "The second person POV parts in Jemisin’s "Broken Earth" trilogy work really well, and they are there for a reason."

This was my first (heh) thought, too.

I seem to recall that Radiance and The Night Circus use second person, too.


message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 489 comments Iain Banks switches between first and second person in his novel Complicity, the second person chapters being being the ones that describe the crimes taking place - implicating the reader and making them, well, complicit.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2837 comments Not in this genre, but You by Caroline Kepnes is in 2nd person, and in the audiobook version read by Santino Fontana, it's maybe the best audiobook ever. SO creepy, you'll be watching your back in bookstores.


message 7: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (spriggana) | 86 comments Rick wrote: "Stross' Rule 34 does it well. I think it needs to be done for reason inherent in the book - in Rule 34 it's because the AI sees everything since it's connected to an extensive camera network."
IIRC this is a stylistic choice, it is set to mirror old computer games like "Hobbit" from 1982.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vpLg...


message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 972 comments Joanna wrote: "The second person POV parts in Jemisin’s "Broken Earth" trilogy work really well, and they are there for a reason."

N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season and its sequels The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky (together known as The Broken Earth trilogy, linking them separately so they all show up in the ‘books mentioned’ list) are some of the finest speculative fiction books in recent years (or, y’know, ever) and the unusual narrative style is part of what makes them so compelling.

I haven’t yet finished The Raven Tower but it’s shaping up to be another amazing and unique book from Ann Leckie, with another highly unusual non-human narrator.

Interestingly, both these works (view spoiler)


message 9: by Rick (last edited Apr 16, 2019 08:28PM) (new)

Rick | 2777 comments With regard to The Raven Tower and Leckie specifically, I get the impression that she enjoys exploring non-standard and in many ways non-human perspectives. Breq in AJ is not only not human and part of a ship, but the first of that trilogy also has her shown perceiving things through multiple viewpoints at once via ancillaries, something that she and the ship found natural but which is profoundly alien to us. Exploring that alien perspective seems to be a thing with her.


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 321 comments I read the first in the Broken Earth trilogy with the group but don't remember it being in second person...perhaps it was so seamlessly done that I didn't even notice it? Was it only parts of it told through that point of view?

In The Raven Tower, I definitely noticed it to reflect on how great I thought it was, but it wasn't like it jarred me from the story in a bad way.


message 11: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) | 908 comments Jessica, yes, only one of three viewpoints we're introduced to is in the 2nd person, the others are in 3rd. I don't know about the sequels.


message 12: by Gary (new)

Gary Gillen | 70 comments John Scalzi in Redshirts uses second person viewpoint well in the Coda II section. Scalzi uses it to have a narrator explain to the section character what the character doesn't know but should.


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