Have any of you read Water for Elephants? I just finished it this week, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. If I were in college (and college English programs ever covered books written in the last 50 years) I could write a really sweet essay about unreliable narrators versus author trickery.
I don't have a problem with an unreliable narrator, but I do have a problem with authors who manipulate the storytelling because they weren't clever enough to figure out how to build suspense otherwise. This is a big issue with Dan Brown novels, absolutely.
I don't want to ruin it, in case you randomly want to read it but haven't yet despite it being out for several years (and knowing the sensibilities of many of my readers, I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend it to all of you) but the prologue is repeated at the end but with slight differences. Why? Why tell the same scene in two slightly different versions? Is the nonagenarian narrator unreliable? Has he perhaps convinced himself that it happened differently because he couldn't live with the truth? Or did the author do it to intentionally convince us of one thing so that we'd be that much more surprised when we read it again later? I'm cool with the former, but if the latter...I can't get behind that.
Anyone read it? Or thoughts on unreliable narrators in general? Or how terrible Dan Brown is?