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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." -...
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The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

Created: 09/10/17

Replies: 11

Posted Sep. 10, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

The author chose to include several narrators (sixteen, to be exact), yet she leaves out some of the central characters. For example, she says "Aunt Brenda doesn't need to speak because the average reader knows exactly what she's thinking." Do you think that's true? Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?


Posted Oct. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 310

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RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

At no time during the reading of this book did I feel as if a character's voice was missing. In fact, only after I had finished the novel and read the author's notes at the end did I stop to say, "That's right: so-and-so didn't narrate." However, the missing characters were so overcome with their addictions that I think it would have thrown the book off course.


Posted Oct. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jenniferj

Join Date: 09/30/17

Posts: 20

RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

I would have liked to hear the narrative of the parents. Although it would have been twisted by their addiction, I would have liked clues as to why they chose this path. Perhaps in the beginning and maybe again just prior to their murders. I would have enjoyed the balance against the Wavy-Kellen narrative.


Posted Oct. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 60

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RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

I didn't miss any voices in the novel. The ones who were absent made sense given their mental state. I thought it was well balanced.


Posted Oct. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jkhunter349

Join Date: 10/03/17

Posts: 2

RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

I was surprised to hear from so many people, but it worked for the story. They fact that no one except Kellen was willing to step in, protect, and love her said so much about the hopelessness of the situation.

I was also pretty surprised about Renee. I thought she would would be a throw-away narrator, but she ended up being my favorite -- as a much needed comic relief and as a catalyst to help push Wavy toward her future.


Posted Oct. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 71

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RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

I agree with jkhunter349. I also was surprised that there were so many narrators and yet it worked for the telling of the story and also seemed to mirror Wavy's world. So many voices and opinions and not being sure who was right and trustworthy. There was no other narrator I wanted to hear from and Renee added just the perfect balance to a very tough story.


Posted Oct. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 12

RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

I agree. The balance was perfect, and it was easy to keep the narrators voices separate. The one aspect of the book I loved was the positive way she presented even the most dislikable of characters.


Posted Oct. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 32

RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

The sixteen narrators: Amy (Wavy's cousin), Grandma, Wavy, Lisa DeGrassi (Wavy's 3rd grade teacher), Kellen, Dee (one of Liam's girlfriends), Butch (works for Liam?), Donal, Patty (home nurse), Miss Humphries (store owner/worker), Cutcheon (Kellen's employer), Casey (another home nurse), Sheriff Grant, Court Reporter, Renee (college roommate), Judge C.J. Maber

Each one contributed something vital. I questioned the importance of Butch until I went back and re-read his first 'words'. I can tell you why Wavy doesn't talk. That's what happens when you mom grabs you by the hair, and gives you a good shake while screaming in your face, "Don't you ever talk to people! You don't talk to anyone". (page 147)

Notice that Val, Liam and Aunt Brenda never say a word. Even though they are very important characters! That is an excellent way to get the reader to not know them and, as a result, have no empathy or sympathy.


Posted Oct. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 44

RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

I'm not missing any voices thus far in the book.


Posted Oct. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pamelathereader

Join Date: 04/22/15

Posts: 9

RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

Val and Liam are the most important characters who don't narrate. I would have liked to "hear" them. Even terrible parents and despicable people have motives, although not always pretty.


Posted Oct. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 76

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RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

I did not feel like any voice was missing or overused. The author was brilliant at letting the story be told/experienced by the right person at the right time. When I started the book, I thought I would struggle with it to the end but I cared what happened to everyone because I was pulled into their accounts.


Posted Oct. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 48

RE: The author chose to include several narrators, yet she leaves out some of the central characters. Are there voices you would have liked to have heard, or some you thought were unnecessary?

Lol, I didn't even realize we hadn't heard from Val, Liam and Brenda. I guess I didn't miss them! I think their motives and thoughts were obvious from the voices of others. Loved, loved, loved Renee! She was a surprise!


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