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Autor: anton • December 8, 2010 • 1,267 Words (6 Pages) • 609 Views
In the world of literature, various authors often utilize an assortment of unique writing tools to develop a strong relationship between him/herself and the reader. This relationship between author and audience is the most important that an author must consider when writing his/her literature. Especially true in detective fiction, authors are frequently searching for matchless ways to keep their audience involved and searching for the next piece of evidence. This is particularly the case when dealing with the two stories My Brother Jack, by Garry Disher, and A Mystery of the Sand-Hill, by R. Austin Freeman. In many ways these two stories are very similar; the use of a side-kick, by way the detective investigates and puts evidence together, or how there is one central problem that everyone is commonly working towards are just to name a few. However, these two stories are not so comparable at all. And although the two stories differ in general ways, the main, less obvious, yet, more defining difference is the author's use of his audience in context.
If too personal, the addressees may get the wrong idea about a particular author. If too general, the story will make no sense and be too hard to follow along with. If too complicated, only the most attentive readers will even attempt to deal with the story. If too easy, the reader will not feel challenged, thus, killing the spirit of the classic mystery novel. Both authors, Disher and Freeman, are masters at keeping their stories just gripping enough to keep the reader wanting more. However, they both have different ways of doing so.
R. Austin Freeman, author of A Mystery of the Sand-Hills, goes with the simpler and more traditional approach to detective fiction. The Sand-Hills story describes the main detective in the second person - his sidekick, or friend, being the narrator. Freeman takes his audience through the story clue by clue as the detective uncovers them; much like the traditional detective story would. In doing this, the reader does not have to do any actual detective work him/herself as everything is put on the table for them as it is found in text. Freeman's short story may be thought of as a poorer detective film in which the viewer does not have to make any conclusions on their own. Much like the movie Along Came a Spider, based on the best selling novel by James Patterson, the audience while reading Sand-Hills is shown every clue in a chronological order, consequently, no twist evolves in the story.
On the other hand, Garry Disher, author of My Brother Jack, conveys his story in a completely different sense. My Brother Jack is written in the first person, unlike most of the detective stories that one might come across. Although this seems like no big deal to some, it actually has a very important place in the story. Because the whole story is written in the first person, Disher can hint different things about his main character easier and more effectively - like the fact that the (unnamed) narrator is schizophrenic. While Disher does not come right out with the idea, he implies it throughout the story so that his audience can make the judgment for themselves - much like the award winning movie Fight Club. Disher does this throughout My Brother Jack as he uses his audience to make decisions for themselves. In doing this, the author keeps the reader more wrapped up in the story and keeps his readers guessing throughout. Although Disher incorporates every aspect of the "normal" detective story, even including the love interest, he does it in his own, unique way that keeps his audience more applied to what they are reading.
Once analyzing both of the two stories, it is obvious that the methods used by the differing authors are both unique and effective. Although one is definitely more creative than the other, the question then arises, which method is superior? It may be difficult for one to see how the two differed in using their audiences, however, how can one decide which is the better method? How can one say that one method is better than the next without looking into the matter? How can one defend his or her argument for each? These are all questions that one must ask when looking at the two different methods.
As previously stated, it is evident that one method is more unique; however, does unique mean