A storyteller's craft can often be judged by how convincingly the
narrative captures the identity and personality of its characters.
In this book, the characters who take center stage are "strange"
first-person narrators: they are fascinating because of how they
are at odds with what the reader would wish or expect to hear—while
remaining reassuringly familiar in voice, interactions, and
conversations. Combining literary analysis with research in
cognitive and social psychology, Marco Caracciolo focuses on
readers' encounters with the "strange" narrators of ten
contemporary novels, including Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho,
Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World,
and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the
Night-Time. Caracciolo explores readers' responses to narrators who
suffer from neurocognitive or developmental disorders, who are
mentally disturbed due to multiple personality disorder or
psychopathy, whose consciousness is split between two parallel
dimensions or is disembodied, who are animals, or who lose their
sanity. A foray into current work on reception, reader-response,
cognitive literary study, and narratology, Strange Narrators
in Contemporary Fiction illustrates why any encounter with a
fictional text is a complex negotiation of interlaced feelings,
thoughts, experiences, and interpretations.