RG

IN CONTEXT

Focus

The unreliable narrator

Before

1884 The naive boy hero in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn fails to understand the significance of events that is clear to readers.

1955 Humbert Humbert’s narrative is assembled from notes made in an asylum and presented after his death in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.

After

1962 Delinquent teenager Alex confesses all in “Nadsat,” a futuristic teen-speak, in Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange.

1991 Bret Easton Ellis’s serial killer speaks through a yuppie archetype in American Psycho.

2001 Yann Martel’s narrator stretches credulity in Life of Pi, with his tale of life adrift with a tiger—and ...

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