It’s Book Blogger Hop time, hosted by Billy over at Coffee Addicted Writer. This week’s question is actually the one that I submitted.
How do you feel about books with multiple narrators?
I intentionally left the question open to interpretation. You could take it to mean a story told from many perspectives, like How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon or Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Or you could take it to reference an audiobook told with multiple voice actors, like the recording of Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, or the full cast audio of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.
I think some books (whether they be audio or print) are more effective with multiple narrators than others.
I love full cast recordings — Ender’s Game Alive is one of my favorite audio recordings, adapted from text to fit the full cast audio recording medium. I have a thing for old-time radio shows, and Ender’s Game turns those pages for me.
What I liked about Unwind‘s multiple narrators is that it provides opportunities to experience parts of the world I would have been cut off from had the story been told in first person with a single narrator.
But sometimes multiple narrators hinder my understanding of the story. This happens, more often than not, in audiobooks where the voices are hard to distinguish from one another. Or, like in the case of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, the typography makes it difficult to distinguish between characters’ narration. Now, I love Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but I do find that when I recommend it to a student, we have to sit down and look at the difference in typography before they start so they understand where the narrators change.
All in all, stories with multiple narrators are a win for me. What about you?