Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken

This is a recent favorite of mine. A good example of how voice can create character. The exposition on the narrator is minimal -- but McCracken uses her sarcasm blended with moments of great vulnerability as well as her work identity--librarian--and all that we associate with that--to create a very funny, very sad narrator.

Structurally it's a wonderful model for beginning novelists. Narrator has a project --take care of giant boy -- and McCracken takes a chronological approach, but instead of using events as her main plot points, she brings in (and then takes out) new characters. Each new character acts upon the main protagonists (librarian and giant) and then exits for the rest of the novel (though not to be entirely forgotten). It's a useful technique for dealing with a large cast of secondary characters.

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