Saturday, October 1, 2011

The First Person

Unlike my character list phobia, which I know virtually to the day when I got over it. I'm not entirely sure when I got over my problems with the first person narration. But I do know it was down to one book.

For the longest time I would only read third person. If I read a blurb and found on opening the book it was written in first, that book would automatically go back on the shelf in the book store. I'm not entirely sure what I was frightened of - that I wouldn't be able to relate to the character's experiences, that I didn't want to get that closely involved with the action and plot? But whatever the reason, at the time, it was a big no-no.

Then I picked up that book, the book that changes your perspective on things, the book that makes you re-evaluate your prejudices. The book with the first line that's like a hook, the book where you no longer care that it's written in first person because you want to know how the story ends.
There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me - not forever, but periodically.
Just like that, I became a fan of Stephanie Plum and a whole new world of book reading opened up to me because I no longer restricted myself to reading third person only.

Now I'm the first to admit that the later books in the series, haven't lived up to the first few. But that's often the case. And if I'd never picked up One For The Money, it would probably have taken me a helluva lot longer to develop a love for urban fantasy - where so many of the books are written in first person.

I wanted to post here about how I cringe now when I read certain Amazon reviews. There's one Amazon review in particular where a reviewer gave one star to a book written in first person, they hadn't read the book (they actually stated this in the review) just opened it, seen it was written in first person and decided they hated it. I believe there was also the comment that books written in the first person should come with a warning on the covers, presumably to stop innocent readers being drawn to the dark side. It makes me wonder if I was ever that bad...I hope not.

So do you have any favourite first person books? Was there a particular first person story that broke you of third person dependency? Please let me know in the comments. :)


Sullivan McPig said...

I never had a problem with first or third person I will confess. As long as it's well written it can be either one for me.

LesleyW said...

Sullivan - I don't know why I had the problem with first person. I guess it's what you get used to reading when you're growing up, and then when something different comes along it feels strange and out of your comfort zone.

Chrisbails said...

I love Stehanie Plum books, and can't wait for the movie. I also like Jeaniene Frost's Cat & Bones series, Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series, and Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse. I love first person stories.

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