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The City
A coming-of-age tale of a jazz prodigy finding his way in 1960s New York City.
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What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

Created: 07/14/14

Replies: 15

Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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First Person Narratives

What is your view of first person narratives in fiction? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

Jonah admits that he plans to edit his recording to "spare the reader all the you-knows and uhs and dead-end sentences, also to make myself sound smarter than I really am." He says this in jest but did this admission make Jonah any less trustworthy as a narrator or did it make him more authentic?


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I liked Jonah period. His positive attitude no matter what was impressive. The way he loved his family was enduring. Jonah oozed goodness!


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I think Jonah is a reliable narrator. He is telling this story as he remembers it, meanwhile editing it for tedious content. This does not change the course of events as he lived them.


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lisa

Join Date: 06/13/14

Posts: 14

RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

If a first person narrative is going to work for me, I have to LOVE the character. And I did! Jonah was so lovable. He was one of the good guys! I loved his story and the way he told it. It completely worked for me.


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ylhoff

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 56

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

Jonah as the narrator was a bit too grown up at first (maybe it's the mom in me), but as he got older and encountered more difficulties, he grew into his voice making him much more believable.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

Loved. I have to say that while reading this book I had a little nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it reminded me of another book I read. As I got into the story, I realized it had somewhat of the tone of THE GOLDFINCH. Funny that the author would later actually mention the artwork that was the center of that earlier Pulitzer Prize winning tome.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I liked this book a lot. At no time did Jonah's narration bother me. In fact, many times (such as when he is curious about Fiona on floor 6), I forgot that this story was a flashback. I don't think I necessarily have a preference for first versus third persona point of view; I think it truly depends on what the story is about. I think Koontz chose the right point of view for this latest novel.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinep

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 31

RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I felt immediately drawn to Jonah and it was the perfect way to be drawn into the story. I felt an immediate connection to Jonah. I have also read THE GOLFINCH and now that janeh mentioned it, there is a similar tone in THE CITY. First person narrative can be very effective in story telling. I happen to like it but if I do not feel a connection to the narrator, I may not be able to finish the book. The narrator does not always have to be sympathetic or likable. If anything, it makes the story more interesting if he/she does not have one of those qualities.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

A first person narrative depends completely on the 'first person' involved and the author. Some are good, others are awful. Jonah was very good and I enjoyed his 'voice' throughout the story. He seemed authentic and unforced. THE CITY was much easier to read due in large part to Jonah's narrative. In THE GOLDFINCH I was very turned off by Theo's 'voice' in the beginning. It seemed so contrived and atypical of a 13yr old boy. Later on, as a young adult, I found the narrative interesting and more realistic. So, again, it depends on the author and voice of character.


Posted Jul. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 46

RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I agree with all these opinions. Somehow I don't think the story would have had the same impact told from a different point of view. Only Jonah could truly describe how he thought and felt.


Posted Jul. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I always wonder about what other characters are thinking in a first person narrative. Everybody takes something different from every situation and it never ceases to interest me how the other characters might react to what the narrator is describing. Maybe I read too many romance novels where authors nearly always show both parties' points of view.


Posted Jul. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lisa

Join Date: 06/13/14

Posts: 14

RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I agree with christineb: I don't think this story would have been as strong is it was told from a third person point of view or by a different character. Jonah's voice made this story special.


Posted Jul. 19, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alices

Join Date: 06/15/13

Posts: 11

RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I like first person narratives. Jonah as a narrative, help me understand his fears, concerning his father, Other wise, I might have dismissed his fears as childish.
I would like to know more about why the author was referencing his book to the painting and recent novel The Goldfinch.

Alice Q


Posted Jul. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I prefer first person narratives, because I can really get to know the main character. I did feel that Jonah had too much insight for his age. I overlooked that because the story was being told by an adult looking back. The kids didn't talk like kids either--at least not like the teenagers I taught for many years or the children I raised.


Posted Jul. 23, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tswaine

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 37

RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I liked Jonah as the narrator. This was his story and he was telling it as he remembered all the events in his life. It was completely believable.


Posted Aug. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: What is your view of first person narratives? How do you feel about Jonah as a narrator?

I think Jonah was a good first person narrator. It was important to feel and see things through his eyes.


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