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The House of Rumour
"Whenever he's got a new book out I drop everything." - David Bowie
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How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

Created: 04/19/13

Replies: 12

Posted Apr. 19, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 368

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How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

"The House of Rumour" has been called a novel in stories. How does this particular structure effect how a book unfolds? Have you read other novels in stories? (e.g. Jennifer Egan's "A Visit From the Goon Squad")


Posted Apr. 22, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarak

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 10

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

It kept me guessing & certainly kept me "on my toes".


Posted Apr. 22, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

I've read Elizabeth Strout's 'Olive Kitteridge,' which is a wonderful example of how to do this sort of fiction, maintaining continuity. I enjoy this method of story-telling. It's like the best of both worlds, between short stories and the novel. Each story could stand alone but the book as a whole benefits from a string of them put together.


Posted Apr. 22, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bonnieclyde

Join Date: 03/07/13

Posts: 16

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

I am actually not fond of this style, but here it was interesting. Usually I find myself flipping around to keep the story going, but not this time.


Posted Apr. 22, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lorrainer

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 4

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

I enjoy stories that are interconnected by threads of information or events. Have not quite finished reading this novel because I find that I really have to concentrate on the language. It is very well written, a rather sophisticated book.


Posted Apr. 23, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeffs

Join Date: 06/18/12

Posts: 47

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

I like the use of connected stories in this book. I think it is interesting to hear all of the different takes that people have and see how all of these different lives are affected by events. I do think it also requires you to really pay attention to what is going on and remember what different characters were up to.


Posted Apr. 23, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
eileenp

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 33

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

Like lisag, I've read and enjoyed "Olive Kitterridge." Oddly, "The House of Rumour" didn't strike me as a novel in stories until I read this question. As I was reading, I saw each section as a different strand in a tapestry rather than a stand-alone piece.


Posted Apr. 24, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
julietf

Join Date: 11/28/11

Posts: 3

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

In the first third of the book, I thought the style got in the way a little bit, since there didn't seem to be much headway in character development or plot. However, once I got into it and the strands started to weave together, I really loved it. I liked how there were so many levels of reference. Did anyone notice how, in the chapter recounting Larry's career (the Tower), the description of the book "The Attendant" is actually sort of describing this book? I like the sentence that describes how the book "meanders aimlessly in its surviving 436-page draft, though it features several strong supporting characters..."And he couldn't get it published! Funny.


Posted Apr. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 6

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

This connected stories layout reminded me of Cloud Atlas. I agree with Juliet F that the description of the book, The Attendant, "meanders aimlessly " and that it couldn't get published was very funny.


Posted Apr. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 22

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

Unfortunately I didn't think any of the stories connected at all so that the story- if there was one- never really unfolded. I don't understand how this book got published at all.


Posted Apr. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
texanne

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 7

RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

Being one who generally prefers a book to roll out in a linear fashion, this book proved to be very challenging for me. I am that rare person who did not like Olive Kittridge or Cloud Atlas for that very reason.


Posted Apr. 30, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 200

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RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

This style is definitely not my cup of tea and every time I encounter it I have to sort of force myself to keep going. Like Olive Kitteridge, it will probably stick in my mind longer than a lot of the easier books I have read. When you have a strictly linear flow in a single place or time it is enough like life to be sort of easy but this type of book does make one stretch the old mind a bit and work a little harder. I find that it is probably a good thing for this ageing brain of mine.


Posted May. 07, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 68

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RE: How does a novel's structure, in this case a novel told by connected stories, effect how a book unfolds?

In the case of 'House of Rumours', it made the book very disjointed. This may be due to the authors style rather than the story itself. Some novels of connected stories work very well and flow beautifully. This one did not.


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