Sunday, October 21, 2012

The ten best narrators in literature

Antoine Wilson is the author of the novels The Interloper and Panorama City.

One book (and an alternate, "a sort of spiritual cousin") on his ten best list of narrators in literature, as told to Publishers Weekly:
Ditie, I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal

Hrabal is a modern master of the literature of the Fool. But unlike his forebears (cf Jasek's novel The Good Soldier Svejk), Hrabal lets his fools speak for themselves, giving them the microphone to narrate their own stories in all of their venal, occasionally insightful, narrow-minded glory. Ditie, a hotel waiter, likes to brag that he once served the Emperor of Ethiopia. A poor judge of seemingly everything, he marries a stern German athlete just as the Nazis are taking power. James Wood's review of Hrabal's work is a must-read. (Alternate: Stevens, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro)
Read about the other narrators on Wilson's list.

I Served the King of England is one of Jonathan Coe's 6 favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue