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Old 02-07-2019, 08:14 AM
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Most Virtuosic yet Manipulative Literary Trick Pulled by an Author


In this thread I'm looking for examples of authors using a very clever technique to deliver a massive emotional sucker punch. It has to be a literary trick, so someone refusing to write a sequel to successful book or "merely" killing off a beloved character don't fit.

I've just finished reading Irving's The World According to Garp. Those of you who've also read it probably know what part I'm refering to.

For those who don't, the main character is obsessed with his two sons' safety (Duncan and Walt) and has recurring anxieties about all the bad things that could happen to them. At one point, the three of them are involved in a terrible accident. As a result, Duncan loses an eye. The following chapter is dedicated to his slow recovery and his coming to terms with his reduced vision as well as his disfigurement. Then, towards the end of that chapter, there's a dialogue that starts innocuously enough, but through which realize that

SPOILER:
Walt died in the accident.

For about 30 pages, Irving focuses entirely on the "lesser" tragedy, with such skill that I didn't even think about Walt. Moreover, the way it is revealed is also masterly : Garp and his wife discuss having a third child and, while thinking about possible names, he immediately says "Not Walt". When I read this my reaction was "Of course not Walt they already have a kid whose... oh no... NO, NO, NO!

It had me go back immediately to the end of the previous chapter to re-read Walt's last words (“It’s like a dream!” Walt said; he reached for his brother’s hand.)


Extremely well done. Infuriatingly manipulative, though. That one is going to haunt me for a while.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:47 AM
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In Anansi Boys, there's a point at which the main character starts to be referred to by a different version of his name by the author, and there is an in-story reason for it. It's incredibly subtle and clever.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:02 AM
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Ira Levin is a master of this technique. Rosemary's Baby: He has his father's eyes.

In a Kiss Before Dying, the twist is so amazing that my jaw dropped, and a friend reading the book threw it against the wall

SPOILER:
The woman's boyfriend IS the killer

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 02-07-2019 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:16 PM
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The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler has a lovely, subtle example. The main character, Flannery, is one of a group of eight friends (the "Basic Eight" of the title); she's closest to Natasha, who encourages her 'wild side'. Natasha doesn't talk much to the rest of the group. Toward the end of the book, Flannery is talking to Douglas, one of her other firends, about something Natasha just did. Douglas answers,

SPOILER:
"Who?"

Which is how we find out that Natasha is a figment of Flannery's imagination. That's why she never talked to anyone else. It would have been obvious, except Flannery was part of a large group of friends so it wasn't weird that they weren't all similarly close ...
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Ira Levin is a master of this technique. Rosemary's Baby: He has his father's eyes.
Not quite right. It was, "He has his Father's eyes."

A subtle but important distinction.

Last edited by BrotherCadfael; 02-07-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:20 PM
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"The Gone-Away World" by Nick Harkaway, when it becomes apparent about 2/3 of the way through the book who the narrator is.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:43 PM
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Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, where it becomes evident at the very end that the whole book is ...

SPOILER:
... a guy telling his psychiatrist his life's story.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:29 PM
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Stu Redman was one of the beloved characters in Stephen King's The Stand. Towards the end, he and a couple of his friends (Larry and Ralph?) are heading out West to confront Flagg. They are obeying God's orders via Mother Abigail. She has told them that at least one of the three "will not make it."

Stu busts his leg up bad on the way. Broken. He's in pain. They see the writing on the wall; they know the score. God even forewarned them. The other two leave him there, in the gully he fell into. They give him some pain pills and a loaded gun. As the other two continue the trek, devastated, King ends the chapter: "And they never saw Stu Redman again." Full stop.

It's a gut punch. Poor beloved Stu.

But here's the kicker...

SPOILER:
Stu survives! It's the other two who get killed. King was accurate in that "they never saw him again" but for 180 degrees off what you assumed.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:09 PM
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To avoid spoiling it, I'll have to be deliberately vague. In Roughing It, Mark Twain tells a "true" story about a camel and a topcoat. It quickly becomes an obvious joke, but Twain eventually gives it a twist that delivers a wonderful suckerpunch to the reader.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:09 PM
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The one that blows me away, even on re-reading, is Hugh Trevor-Roper's A Hidden Life/The Hermit of Peking.
A biography of Sir Edmund Backhouse, the leading Sinologist of the early 20th century. Bit outside Trevor-Roper's usual stomping ground, but he prefaces it all by explaining that he'd been approached by a private collector who owned a manuscript version of Backhouse's memoirs and could he recommend them for publication?
No, he couldn't. Backhouse's memoirs were a wildly (mainly homosexual) pornographic fantasy about how he'd slept his way round all the brothels in the Far East and in the beds of virtually all the major figures of the late 18th-century world. Nope, all obviously unreliable.

But, fascinated, he began researching the truth about Backhouse's life and the book is the result.
And that result? The thing is that any time I've read or, even re-read, it, I'm always caught out by its conclusion that …

SPOILER:
Backhouse lied about everything. Right from the beginning. The book tempts you down the treacherous path that that early story seems plausible enough. Backhouse hasn't quite started telling his fibs just yet. Yet the twist at the end is that he evidently had.


You think you can't be fooled by the pair of them. But you always are. A brilliant bit of literary trickery that one can never quite put the finger on of how it draws one in.

Last edited by bonzer; 02-07-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, where it becomes evident at the very end that the whole book is ...

SPOILER:
... a guy telling his psychiatrist his life's story.
Except that I guessed that maybe 20 pages in. Some trick.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:43 PM
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Except that I guessed that maybe 20 pages in. Some trick.
Congratulations.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:44 PM
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Congratulations.
Thanks. It wasn't hard.

I found Portnoy's Complaint to be one of the most overrated and annoying books ever.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:46 PM
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THE THIRD TWIN, by Ken Follett.

SPOILER:
Oh, there’s a third twin? Thanks for telling me; here I am, reading about two brothers, and already I’m a step ahead in knowing a third brother is heading into the book; the story plods along, as I wait for a character to catch up; maybe I’d have seen it coming even without that dumb spoiler of a title, but now I’m doomed to nod as they find out there’s a third.


SPOILER:
...wait, there’s a fourth?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:57 PM
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Not in a book, but a screenplay. I love Peter Stone's screenplay for Charade* It's practically a textbook on How To Do Exposition. One of my favorite bits is something I hadn't noticed until I'd seen the film several times.

CIA agent Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) is having coffee with Reggie Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) as they discuss the circumstances that lead to the trouble she is currently in, being pursued by three ex-OSS officers after the money her now-deceased husband had stolen with them during WWII (and then absconded with, without them). Besides her husband and the three of them there was a fifth member of the team, Carson Dial. The group had been ambushed by Germans, with one of the team (Scobie) losing a hand to gunfire while Dial caught a volley full in the stomach. The dialogue goes something like this:

Bartholomew: Dial was dead, but Scobie could still travel...

(waiter comes by, bringing their coffee. Conversation halts.)

Bart: Where was I?

Reggie: Dial was dead..

Bart: Oh, yes. Dial was dead, but Scobie could still travel....What did you just do?

Reggie: I lit another cigarette

Bart: (picking up the still-lengthy cigarette butt). Do you have any idea how much these COST over here?

Reggie: Go on.

Bart. Oh, well, Dial was dead, but Scobie could still travel. They made their way to the lines....


Along with the humorous interaction, which helps establish Bartholomew's put=upon demeanor, the scene does something important. It lets them repeat, at least four times, that Dial was dead.


SPOILER:
This is significant because Dial was NOT dead. He was, in fact, the one who killed Reggie's husband and started picking off the other OSS officers. But Stone managed to repeat it multiple times without being obvious that he was doing so, which helped set audience expectation.

In fact, Dial was played by Matthau, who was only pretending to be CIA operative Bartholomew. Stone had set the audience up again, portraying Matthau
s character as a somewhat humorous , put-upon government employee, while he was, in fact, a stone-cold killer.










(Pay no attention to the remake, The TRouble with Charley, one of the most pointless films ever made, which sucked the life out of its attempt to re-do Charade.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:06 PM
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If you can find a copy of genius private-eye writer Joe Gores’s 1974 thriller novel Interface...about a San Francisco PI (Gores was one himself, in the ‘50s and ‘60s) and a vengeance serial murderer, grab it.

In the very last sentence, Joe takes a two-by-four to your balls.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Gores
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:09 PM
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Old stuff, but at the time this infuriated everyone.

In Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, one finds out in the last chapter that

SPOILER:
the narrator is the murderer.
There was another Christie book that I thought was even worse, i.e. more unfair, I'm not sure but it might have been Hercule Poirot's Christmas. In this one

SPOILER:
The local police superintendent is the murderer.
In both cases, the reader is led along the garden path masterfully. These books of course don't pack the emotional punch that some of those referenced in this thread do, but if you are a fan of this genre, they will still get to you.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
In a Kiss Before Dying, the twist is so amazing that my jaw dropped, and a friend reading the book threw it against the wall.
A Kiss Before Dying yanks you back and forth like a dog on a leash! I read it as a teenager about 40 years ago...I may have forgotten enough about it to read it again with the same enjoyment.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:22 PM
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Roderick Femm:. If the second Poirot novel you cite is a favorite of yours, read Thomas Burke’s short story “The Hands of Mr. Ottermole” (1931).

It’s been called the greatest mystery story of all time by folks like Dorothy L. Sayers, and Alfred Hitchcock had it adapted for his teevee show in the 1950s.

Burke may be best known for his story “The Chink and the Child,” which was the basis of D.W. Griffith’s great 1919 film Broken Blossoms.. And “Ottermole” is another masterpiece of authorial sleight-of-hand.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:31 PM
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John Irving uses the same technique in The Hotel New Hampshire and to some degree in A Prayer for Owen Meany. One of the many reasons he is one of my favorite authors.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:22 PM
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Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin does some absolutely masterful redirection.

The story is told as a series of letters written by the main character, the mother of a school shooter, to her absent husband, after their world has been blown apart by what the son, Kevin, did. She segues back and forward between descriptions about how it's been for her in the aftermath, and tracking through their life together, trying to figure out how they got there, and how Kevin got to be the way he is

SPOILER:
About half way through, unexpectedly, it's revealed that they had two children, and as she describes the birth of her younger child, a daughter, and how different she was from her brother, naturally after a while you come to suspect that the daughter is dead and Kevin killed her. Because she doesn't come into the 'present day' part of the narrative anywhere


SPOILER:
And then at just the right time, there's a throw away line, something like "You never really understood her. I'm glad you're getting the chance to know her better now." Oh, thinks the reader, so that's what happened. After the shooting, they divorced and the father got custody of the remaining child.

But of course not. The last thing Kevin does before heading to school on that fateful day with is guns is to murder his sister ... AND his father
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:30 PM
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Stu Redman was one of the beloved characters in Stephen King's The Stand. Towards the end, he and a couple of his friends (Larry and Ralph?) are heading out West to confront Flagg. They are obeying God's orders via Mother Abigail. She has told them that at least one of the three "will not make it."

Stu busts his leg up bad on the way. Broken. He's in pain. They see the writing on the wall; they know the score. God even forewarned them. The other two leave him there, in the gully he fell into. They give him some pain pills and a loaded gun. As the other two continue the trek, devastated, King ends the chapter: "And they never saw Stu Redman again." Full stop.

It's a gut punch. Poor beloved Stu.

But here's the kicker...
You stole mine. King will often do a "prophecy/ future event" sucker punch.

Dead Zone: "But fate had other plans"

Pet Semetary: "It was the last happy time they would spend together"

Then we wait chapters for the shoe to drop.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Roderick Femm:. If the second Poirot novel you cite is a favorite of yours, read Thomas Burke’s short story “The Hands of Mr. Ottermole” (1931).

It’s been called the greatest mystery story of all time by folks like Dorothy L. Sayers, and Alfred Hitchcock had it adapted for his teevee show in the 1950s.

Burke may be best known for his story “The Chink and the Child,” which was the basis of D.W. Griffith’s great 1919 film Broken Blossoms.. And “Ottermole” is another masterpiece of authorial sleight-of-hand.
Thanks, I'll look for it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:34 PM
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Except that I guessed that maybe 20 pages in. Some trick.
I guessed the twist in Sixth Sense just knowing there was a twist. Me and a friend were joking about "Oh it's probably blah blah blah"....and it's like figuring out a truth. It just slides into place.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:37 PM
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G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday is basically an entire novel in which the plot is intended to be a big joke, but it's extremely well done. The idea being that it begins with a police officer in disguise infiltrating a gang of violent criminals. Then he learns that one of the other criminals is also a police officer in disguise. Then

SPOILER:
the entire gang turns out to be police officers in disguise.


And after that there's another killer plot twist at the end. But the entire novel cleverly makes you think that you have it all figured out at each step along the way.

(Full text here)
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:53 AM
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Some good examples here, thanks. I particularly like CalMeacham's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneRhino View Post
John Irving uses the same technique in The Hotel New Hampshire and to some degree in A Prayer for Owen Meany. One of the many reasons he is one of my favorite authors.
That's good to know. I'll probably get some more of his books if I get the chance, although knowing he reuses this trick will certainly spoil it.
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Mais je porte accroché au plus haut des entrailles
À la place où la foudre a frappé trop souvent
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Et d’où ma vie s’égoutte au moindre mouvement
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divemaster View Post
Stu Redman was one of the beloved characters in Stephen King's The Stand. Towards the end, he and a couple of his friends (Larry and Ralph?) are heading out West to confront Flagg. They are obeying God's orders via Mother Abigail. She has told them that at least one of the three "will not make it."

Stu busts his leg up bad on the way. Broken. He's in pain. They see the writing on the wall; they know the score. God even forewarned them. The other two leave him there, in the gully he fell into.
The other three - Larry, Ralph and Glen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
In Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Yeah, I'm not bad at guessing murderers in stories but Christie completely surprised me on that one.

Quote:
There was another Christie book that I thought was even worse, i.e. more unfair, I'm not sure but it might have been Hercule Poirot's Christmas.
Sounds like "The Mousetrap". The play continues to run in the West End, as it has since 1952. The "twist" remains a loosely-guarded secret in the UK, although obviously anyone wanting to know could look it up.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:16 AM
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If you're talking movies, #1 has to be The Chief's "Thank you." If you haven't read the book, those two words are definitely a jaw dropper.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:51 AM
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Sounds like "The Mousetrap". The play continues to run in the West End, as it has since 1952. The "twist" remains a loosely-guarded secret in the UK, although obviously anyone wanting to know could look it up.
I'd actually been avoiding that spoiler for a few years now, intending to possibly try to see The Mousetrap with fresh eyes in the not TOO distant future.

Then I read "Three Blind Mice" without realizing it was the same story. Didn't live up to the hype; what a corny ending.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:55 AM
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The other ultimate twist in Christie is in Curtain. AC wrote it early in her career, but wouldn't let it be published until after her death. For obvious reasons. No, I won't spoiler it. It deserves to be read. But it's like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - she plays fair with the reader.

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Old 02-08-2019, 10:13 AM
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Then I read "Three Blind Mice" without realizing it was the same story. Didn't live up to the hype; what a corny ending.
It's corny now. In 1950 it was innovative. The thing to remember about Christie is that a lot of her twists have become clichés, but they weren't clichés when she invented them.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:47 AM
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If you're talking movies, #1 has to be The Chief's "Thank you." If you haven't read the book, those two words are definitely a jaw dropper.
Along the same lines, see Walter Matthau’s “God bless you!” in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974).
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:52 AM
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along the same lines, see walter matthau’s “god bless you!” in the taking of pelham one two three (1974).
a bump bump bump

Last edited by Dale Sams; 02-08-2019 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:49 PM
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Along the same lines, see Walter Matthau’s “God bless you!” in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974).
Not exactly what I'm looking for, but that scene had me laugh out loud when I saw the movie. The look on Matthau's mug is priceless.
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Mais je porte accroché au plus haut des entrailles
À la place où la foudre a frappé trop souvent
Un cœur où chaque mot a laissé son entaille
Et d’où ma vie s’égoutte au moindre mouvement

Last edited by Les Espaces Du Sommeil; 02-08-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:58 PM
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Except that I guessed that maybe 20 pages in. Some trick.
So you were slow on the uptake?

On page 5, Portnoy says "This, Doctor, are the earliest impression I have of my parents." How could that not be a man talking to his psychologist?

It was prominently mentioned in every single review of the book. The NY Times review even has the line "Doctor, this is my only life. I'm living it inside a Jewish joke." as a pull quote.

Roth was upfront about the premise. The ending was not in any way supposed to be a surprise.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:33 PM
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A month or two back, I read "Welcome To Your Authentic Indian Experience", by Rebecca Roanhorse. When I reached the ending, as soon as realized what it implied about the story as a whole, I went Oh, that's why
SPOILER:
it was written in second person.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:47 PM
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For me, the final line of King Rat by James Clavell always give me chills.

It's about British and American POWs during WW2. Clavell does a jaw-dropping tie-in of one of the scams a POW was running on the officers to the men themselves with just three words.

SPOILER:
Among the rats.


Clavell was himself a POW during WW2 and the book is based on his experiences.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:59 PM
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It's corny now. In 1950 it was innovative. The thing to remember about Christie is that a lot of her twists have become clichés, but they weren't clichés when she invented them.
It's actually not the twist that bugged me, it's the
SPOILER:
infantile regression of the killer and IIRC some goofy coincidences that were misdirection and the quasi-abusive relationship between the innkeepers that's immediately resolved and washed over
Didn't feel like her best writing by a long shot, and I think at least some contemporary reviews agreed.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:49 PM
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"The Gone-Away World" by Nick Harkaway, when it becomes apparent about 2/3 of the way through the book who the narrator is.
I liked the trick Harkaway pulled in Tigerman, when you first realise just who Bad Jack actually was all along. I mean, in hindsight the set-up seemed so obvious, but I was completely blindsided by it, and yet it was perfect. Harkaway's clever.
  #40  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:48 PM
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Along the same lines, see Walter Matthau’s “God bless you!” in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974).
("Gesundheit.")
  #41  
Old 02-08-2019, 10:02 PM
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In the anime series Revue Starlight, theatre students are quite literally battling one another to get top billing. For those well-versed enough in Japanese culture (which certainly doesn't include me -- all these details had to be explained to me), this is a commentary on and criticism of the intensely competitive Takarazuka Revue theatre troupe. They aren't particularly subtle about it --the position that the girls are fighting for being called the "Top Star", and in the Takarazuka Revue the "Top Star" plays the lead role in ever performance put on by her troupe until the day she retires.

In the show, there's this character, Kirin, who sits in the stands and watches the battles, and ranks the girls based on their latest performance. I had him pegged for standing in either for the management of the troupe or the troupe's audience for some time. It just wasn't clear to me whether he was taking an active role in the proceedings or not. He winds up coming across as kind of an uncaring jackass as time goes on and things got rough for the girls while he doesn't really bat an eye, so the viewers grow to significantly dislike the guy. The criticism of Takarazuka gets pretty pointed, but as it's directed at a medium that the viewer doesn't necessarily hold a lot of attachment to the viewer is likely to accept and agree with the criticism..

In the very last episode, Kirin turns to the camera and addresses the viewer. In a monologue he confirms that he is a stand-in for the audience, and carries on to berate the viewer for not really being any better than he is. This is when the viewer finally realizes that really this show is criticizing how popular entertainment in general is both produced and consumed,. As they've already gotten you to buy into it by originally targetting a medium you didn't have strong feelings for and weren't likely to have an instinctive reaction to defend, the criticism sticks rather than being rejected out of hand by the viewer.

This show as a very interesting one to experience.
  #42  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:30 AM
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John Irving uses the same technique in The Hotel New Hampshire and to some degree in A Prayer for Owen Meany. One of the many reasons he is one of my favorite authors.
I immediately thought of "Owen Meany" upon reading the thread title but before opening the thread.

The last several pages blew me away like nothing I've read before or since. It is why 'Owen' is my favorite book.


mmm
  #43  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:38 AM
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The scene in Stephen King's The Green Mile when John gets Percy to give Bill s what he had coming to him is simply an amazing, unexpected plot twist.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 02-09-2019 at 08:39 AM.
  #44  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:25 AM
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("Gesundheit.")
You’re absolutely right. Guess it’s been a while since I saw it.

Is the 2009 version with Washington & Travolta any good? Generally, I HATE remade classics.
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  #45  
Old 02-09-2019, 01:53 PM
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You’re absolutely right. Guess it’s been a while since I saw it.

Is the 2009 version with Washington & Travolta any good? Generally, I HATE remade classics.
The original has a 7.7/10 from 23,373 reviews on IMDB.

The remake has a 6.4/10 from 170,677 reviews on IMDB.

I love the original but have not seen the remake.
  #46  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:17 PM
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In The Stone Monkey, one of Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels, Lincoln and his team are hunting a ruthless crime lord. A side plot has one of the characters befriending a kindly old man. Toward the end of the novel, we realize that they are the same person.

It's been years since I read it, so I don't remember all the details, but I still recall the punch this reveal packed. It was both a twist that I never saw coming, and in retrospect made perfect sense. I'm sure other novelists have done this sort of thing, but probably not as well.
  #47  
Old 02-09-2019, 05:30 PM
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I guess I'm the first to mention Fight Club.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 02-09-2019 at 05:31 PM.
  #48  
Old 02-09-2019, 07:11 PM
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I guess I'm the first to mention Fight Club.
Well everyone else knew not to talk about it.
  #49  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:14 PM
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“Gentlemen and Players” by Joanne Harris.
  #50  
Old 02-10-2019, 04:26 AM
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In this thread I'm looking for examples of authors using a very clever technique to deliver a massive emotional sucker punch. It has to be a literary trick, so someone refusing to write a sequel to successful book or "merely" killing off a beloved character don't fit.

I've just finished reading Irving's The World According to Garp. Those of you who've also read it probably know what part I'm refering to.

For those who don't, the main character is obsessed with his two sons' safety (Duncan and Walt) and has recurring anxieties about all the bad things that could happen to them. At one point, the three of them are involved in a terrible accident. As a result, Duncan loses an eye. The following chapter is dedicated to his slow recovery and his coming to terms with his reduced vision as well as his disfigurement. Then, towards the end of that chapter, there's a dialogue that starts innocuously enough, but through which realize that

SPOILER:
Walt dies in the accident

For about 30 pages, Irving focuses entirely on the "lesser" tragedy, with such skill that I didn't even think about Walt. Moreover, the way it is revealed is also masterly : Garp and his wife discuss having a third child and, while thinking about possible names, he immediately says "Not Walt". When I read this my reaction was "Of course not Walt they already have a kid whose... oh no... NO, NO, NO!

It had me go back immediately to the end of the previous chapter to re-read Walt's last words (“It’s like a dream!” Walt said; he reached for his brother’s hand.)


Extremely well done. Infuriatingly manipulative, though. That one is going to haunt me for a while.
It's been over 30 years since I read the book but I knew what this was going to be about. So sad..."the Under toad"...
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