Novels in 1st and 3rd person
September 11, 2013 10:24 PM   Subscribe

I would like to find novels told from the point of view of at least two characters where one portion is written in the first person and one is in the third.
posted by bananafish to Writing & Language (33 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jewzilla at 10:50 PM on September 11, 2013

Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy.
posted by zeri at 10:55 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Melusine by Sarah Monette.

Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale.
posted by Georgina at 11:01 PM on September 11, 2013

Many of the Outlander novels by Diana Gabaldon are like this. It's primarily Claire's first person POV but it'll shift to other characters in third person as appropriate.
posted by olinerd at 12:40 AM on September 12, 2013

Feersum Endjinn by Iain M Banks has portions written in first person written phonetically (e.g. Woak up. Got dresd. Had brekfast. Spoke wif Ergates thi ant who sed itz juss been wurk wurk wurk 4 u lately master Bascule, Y dont u ½ a holiday?). The rest (about other characters in third person) is written normally.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:53 AM on September 12, 2013

Number9dream by David Mitchell (who wrote Cloud Atlas)
posted by moiraine at 3:06 AM on September 12, 2013

Drowning Ruth does this.
posted by Specklet at 3:11 AM on September 12, 2013

The Last Witchfinder is written in first person by the Principia Mathematica, and third person about a fictitious lady during the enlightenment.
posted by supercrayon at 3:14 AM on September 12, 2013

Jemima J by Jane Green does this, but it seems more the case that it can't decide whether it wants to be in third or first person and shifts jarringly between both. It is a very bad book.

I think Lisa Jewell's The Truth About Melody Brown does this too, although this is because some of the story is set in the present day and some in the past from the point of view of a different character.

Sorry I can't think of anything more literary!
posted by mippy at 3:18 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's an over-exploited gimmick in everything Elizabeth George.
posted by Namlit at 3:31 AM on September 12, 2013

If you're OK with crime fiction - LA Requiem by Robert Crais. I think there are 4 different POVs + flashbacks. Elvis Cole is in first person, everyone else is in third.
posted by pianissimo at 3:35 AM on September 12, 2013

Reginald Hill's Bones and Silence.

If we're including near-omniscient narrators as "characters," then Charles Dickens' Bleak House.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:35 AM on September 12, 2013

Sophie Hannah's detective novels alternate between first and third person (they switch every chapter).
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 4:39 AM on September 12, 2013

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 4:43 AM on September 12, 2013

Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyeong-Sook has chapters in all of first, second and third persons, from the viewpoints of multiple characters. It's not my favourite book, but apparently a lot of people like it.
posted by vasi at 4:49 AM on September 12, 2013

Crime novel: U is for Undertow does this.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:10 AM on September 12, 2013

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.
posted by wearyaswater at 6:41 AM on September 12, 2013

Eric Jerome Dickey does this in his books, specifically in Sister, Sister. This is his first, it's good, but not as good as others.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:45 AM on September 12, 2013

The Sue Grafton mystery I'm currently reading is written in both 1st and 3rd person. It's been a while since I've read one of her books so I'm not sure if all of the Kinsey Millhone novels are written the same way.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:56 AM on September 12, 2013

The Small Change series by Jo Walton does this: each book has the same character in 3rd person limited POV, and a different character in 1st person.
posted by nev at 8:18 AM on September 12, 2013

Please Ignore Vera Dietz has first-person sections where the narrator is a ghost, a pagoda, and the main character's father. The bulk of the novel is in third-person limited omniscient.

Necessary Evil is the third volume of a sci-fi story which is basically about Nazi X-Men versus British spy/warlocks, so maybe not the best example for you to look at because it very much needs the first two volumes setting it up. However, it has a time travel plot and the first-person sections are from the point of a view of a character whose younger self gets third-person narration.
posted by johnofjack at 8:28 AM on September 12, 2013

Confessions of a Crap Artist -- by Phillip K Dick
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 8:37 AM on September 12, 2013

House of Leaves.
posted by jbickers at 9:22 AM on September 12, 2013

The Apocalypse Codex by MeFi's Own Charles Stross hits these marks well.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:27 AM on September 12, 2013

Christine by Stephen King.
posted by rollick at 10:38 AM on September 12, 2013

Invisible by Paul Auster plays around all with all of the -persons.
posted by emelenjr at 11:11 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
posted by Billiken at 11:14 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta
posted by book 'em dano at 1:17 PM on September 12, 2013

Charles Stross "Rule 34" fits the bill, almost.

Most of it is in the second person. I won't say more on account of the spoiler thing.
posted by mule98J at 2:00 PM on September 12, 2013

The super excellent Patrick Rothfuss book The Name of the Wind (and sequel) switches between third person and first person.
posted by stovenator at 2:42 PM on September 12, 2013

Underworld by Don DeLillo
posted by stravinsky at 6:29 PM on September 12, 2013

Speaking of David Mitchell, "Cloud Atlas" is also an example.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 7:39 PM on September 12, 2013

Dickens' Bleak House has first person narration and third-omniscient.
posted by Occula at 9:30 PM on September 14, 2013

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