March 1, 2012

The Mirror Unreliable Narrator

We all know about the unreliable narrator: the narrator in a novel who is hiding secrets. There's Humbert Humbert in Lolita, Hercule Poirot's sidekick in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Barbara Covett (so close to cover, covert) in What Was She Thinking (Notes on a Scandal) (Judi Dench player in the movie).

Equally intriguing is the narrator who is hiding another secret: their innate goodness. They start out with the word "ASS" practically tattooed on their forehead, and only slowly, through the course of long observation, do we see chinks in the armor of their assitude. The protagonist of Jo Nesbo's Headhunters is just one such narrator.

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