Hyperion (a question of writing style)

I’m reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons and so far it’s interesting but one thing bothers me. The format so far is these people talking to each other, telling each other their stories. So you have to take that into account… that what you are reading is being told (not neccessarily narrated in the words that you are reading, but told none the less) to the others by the one in the story. So this one guy’s story goes into all this sexual detail… which I really don’t see him telling the group. Take this snip, for example:

Ok I can see that if we were just reading his story, but as something that he is telling a group of people (mixed company)? His story is the story of his military experience… how is his ejaculation relevant? I just don’t see him as giving that part of the info.

Am I being too picky? To me you can either have the character telling the story, or the author telling the story, but you can only cross the two so much before it starts seeming kind of strange.

When I read it, I figured they started telling the story, then you got the TV wibbley lines that said “Ha! We were telling the story, now we’re going to the standard omniscient/ limited omniscient narrator thing.”

But that could just be me.

(And yeah, some strange things go on.)


Yeah but it still stood out to me. I came across it and my inner voice said “wait a minute, why are we being told this? He is supposed to be relating his story to the other members of this expedition! He wouldn’t tell them that!” and it sort of broke the continuity for me.