"Christine" and the switching of perspective

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Rrty

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,286
3,981
#1
There has of course been discussion of King's method in this novel of switching from first- to third-person narration. I don't think there's been much controversy over that, but I liked it, and I wish this was done more often. I think any time a narrative is broken up with a different technique is a good thing.

Imagine "Duma Key," which was a fun book, switching out of first-person narration when necessary? It would have made that book even better (I'm thinking of when the paintings started trouble; imagine if we could have had third-person narration for those scenes).

Sometimes, even if it is done in a very tiny manner, it can be effective. Think of the initial sentence in "It." (And I think the end of the first chapter in "It" had some sort of first-person-type thing.)

Whether it is switching perspectives, interludes, presentation of documents, whatever, breaking up a narrative is always fun.
 
Aug 28, 2014
129
440
46
Broken Arrow, OK
#2
I've always been irritated that King has spoken of this concession of necessity in CHRISTINE disparagingly (of course, being my all-time favorite novel of his, I don't take kindly to negative comments about it, even when they're made by the writer himself), like he was somehow a creative failure when he couldn't find a way to make a first-person style work in the middle third of the book, yet I've never seen him apply the same criticism to FROM A BUICK 8 (which I'm reading now), which swaps first- and third-person style literally every chapter (hmm, now that I think about it...both evil car books...both take place in Pennsylvania...the late 1970s are a major setting in both...both feature first- and third-person narrative shifts...was FaB8 intentionally designed to be a shadow version of CHRISTINE?).
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,209
56
#6
I think shifting perspective is perfect for Christine.

I mean, what is Christine if not a love story? And what does "love" do to most people but alter their perspective?

My favorite aspect of this story are the little ways in which Arnie's slow descent into madness manifest themselves to Dennis . . . who sees the trouble coming but misunderstands what it is until (naturally) it's too late.

If this technique resonates, you might enjoy John Fowles' The Collector (which is also a love story, in its way).
 
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