Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Please Don't Leave Me Here - Tania Chandler Guest Post

I have been very lucky to get a spot on the Please Don't Leave Me Here blog tour by Tania Chandler. I am able to bring a guest post today. Tania has kindly written about her top five unreliable narrators. Thanks so much for your guest post today. 

A riveting psychological thriller. Kurt Cobain stands at the top of the stairs, wearing the brown sweater. 'Please don't leave me,' she yells up at him. But it's too late; he's turning away as the tram slows for the stop out on the street. Then she's lying on the road. Car tyres are going past, slowly. Somebody is screaming. A siren howls. Sweet voices of little children are singing 'Morningtown Ride'. Is Brigitte a loving wife and mother, or a cold-blooded killer? Nobody knows why she was in the east of the city so early on the morning she was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. It was the Friday before Christmas 1994 - the same day police discovered the body of a man beaten to death in her apartment. Fourteen years later, Brigitte is married to the detective who investigated the murder, which she claims to have lost her memory of in the car accident. They have young twins, and seem to be a happy family. Until the reopening of the cold case.

 Please Don't Leave Me Here is about loss, love and lies. It is about pain, fear, and memory. And, above all, it is about letting go.


By Tania Chandler

1) Grace Marks in Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Femme fatale or victim of circumstance? Innocent or a cold-blooded killer?

Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite writers, and Grace Marks is my favourite unreliable narrator in fiction. Alias Grace is based on the true story of one of the most notorious Canadian women of the 1840s, having been convicted of murder at the age of 16.

The actual case was sensationalised in the newspapers. Grace was reported as being ‘uncommonly pretty’; her employer and housekeeper were having an affair; and Grace and her fellow-servant were also assumed to be having an affair.

In Atwood’s fictional account, Grace claims to have no memory of the violent murders of her employer and housekeeper. Is she insane or lying? Or maybe she is unable to recall events accurately due to post-traumatic stress? She seems to be telling the truth (as she knows it) to her doctor, but she admits to making it ‘more interesting’ for him at times.

The reader never knows if Grace is guilty or innocent, and is left to judge how much of her narration is truthful.

2) The unnamed narrator in Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

The unnamed narrator in Fight Club is immediately questionable as he suffers from impaired thought processes due to chronic insomnia. Our suspicions about his point of view deepen when he joins self-help group after self-help group and eventually finds himself in an underground fight club, which turns out to be a cult-like group that participates in terrorist activities. There’s a big twist at the end that makes us question everything the narrator has told us.

3) Amy (and Nick) in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Right from the start, the reader knows something is wrong in Gone Girl because the stories of the two narrators don’t match.

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