The world according to…

An exhilarating look through the eyes of 12 first-person narrators

American Psycho cover

1. American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis
Kieron Smith, Boy cover

3. Kieron Smith, Boy

James Kelman
Chump Change cover

4. Chump Change

Dan Fante
All Involved cover

9. All Involved

Ryan Gattis
Fallow cover

11. Fallow

Daniel Shand
panopticon cover

12. The Panopticon

Jenni Fagan

First-person narration can be a powerful viewpoint for a reader to hold. When used well, it transports us inside the minds of characters whose lives are often far from our own experience. We are not provided only a cold, objective view across their world, but instead a view out onto that world through their eyes. We peer through a filter tinted by their mental state, narcotic intake or moral and political beliefs, adopting these provisionally and often uncomfortably as our own. The experience can be both exhilarating and disturbing, but always, valuably, it provides an understanding into the lives of others.

List created by

Alan Bett
Alan Bett

Alan Bett is Books Editor at The Skinny.