Booklover Bites – Unreliable Narrators and Fictional Character Accounts on Twitter

Flavorwire offers this list of 10 of Literature’s Most Unreliable Narrators including Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby and Nelly and Lockwood in Wuthering Heights.

Other more recently released titles (which I have as yet not had the pleasure of reading) included in the Unreliable Narrators list on Goodreads include Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and The Dinner by Herman Koch.

Do you like unreliable narrators? If so, who are some of your favourites?

  • Fictional Character Accounts on Twitter – I think they are a wonderful marketing device if done well. For example, this response to one of my tweets this week from Don Tillman PhD (star of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion) made me smile:

Don Tillman tweet

But this is by no means Don Tillman PhD’s finest work… check out his twitter feed @ProfDonTillman for many more pearls of wisdom.

But, fictional characters either having their own websites or Twitter accounts are nothing new and some people are not a fan of them. It does strike me that there could be inherent dangers in childrens characters conversing with children on social media… but then again, perhaps no greater risk than social media generally poses to susceptible minds?

What do you think?

Here’s a somewhat dated list of well known fictional characters active on Twitter . This list includes many characters that first made their mark on the world through cinema or TV. I’m interested in more bookish examples myself…

Do you follow any fictional character Twitter accounts?

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t find fictional characters very good on Twitter/facebook. Occasionally one will be good for about 20 minutes, but after that I find they start repeating themselves or lose the comedy. They are so forgettable that I can’t even remember one I’ve seen! Unreliable narrators on the other hand are great – especially if I don’t know they are unreliable when I start reading!

    • says

      They are harder to execute well than people think.

      Yes Jackie, I was in two minds about highlighting which books had unreliable narrators for that very reason – but I am comfortable that in the two titles I’ve highlighted the reader has a suspicion very early on and just the degree to which they are unreliable remains a mystery. I actually have a couple of other favourites where the fact that the narrator is unreliable is a complete surprise, and so because of that I don’t want to name them ;)

  2. says

    I love Don Tillman’s tweets – I find him to be very true to his character in The Rosie Project. I can’t think of any other book characters I follow – the TV ones (e.g. from Mad Men) I got quite bored with.

    I do like an unreliable narrator, as they keep the reader on their toes. I did do through a phase last year of reading a lot of them in short succession, which got quite annoying!

  3. says

    I’m not sure about the Twitter concept. In theory it’s a fun idea but overall I wonder if it really contributes much (I’m thinking more to the reader and Twitter itself rather than as a marketing idea). And then there’s the fact it’d be short-lived anyway.

    I both love unreliable narrators – they make the book so much more complex – and feel ambiguous – they make the book complex. I probably shouldn’t have the same reason for both, but there are different specifics for them. Weirdly Pip from Great Expectations comes to my mind, weird because I don’t think he truly is, but I found the lack of knowledge he had about Stella, for example, problematic.

    • says

      Yes, while they have quite a different feel about them, I think uninformed narrators can be considered unreliable in addition to the more garden variety delusional ones.

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