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The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles

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Genre: Fiction / Author: John Fowles / Edition: New Ed / Paperback / 400 Pages / Book is published 1996-11-07 by Vintage

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      26.10.2008 09:53

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      I couldn't establish if the author was actually the narrator. There is a point where the narrator describes himself and it matches the picture of the author hence my confusion. The novel is set in 1867 in Lyme Regis. If you are a reader of Victorian literature then you'll understand the social set ups and class systems but even though I have read novels of this time I still struggled with many aspects and this is down to the narrator.

      I had many `arguments' with the narrator whilst I was reading as I didn't like some of the styles. The reader is presented with a narrator that is telling us a story as he is writing it but when he comes to a certain point where a character might do something he precedes to tell the reader he doesn't know what will happen as his character hasn't grown yet, or later on in the novel he'll say a character has developed and is making their own mind up about something. It was too contrived for me and made it easy to not have to fully develop the plot and characters.

      Had I simply been reading a story about the characters of this novel written in the 1960s but set approximately 100 years earlier, it wouldn't have been anything different so credit to John Fowles for trying to write something more unusual than the norm. I knew nothing of the plot when I read it but I think most people know something of the story and I don't know if Sarah's crime was handled in the right way or not. However, I did become caught up in the other character's thoughts and opinions about Sarah, the French Lieutenant's Woman as well as her own absorption in her reputation. I think I'll read something else by him but only because it's part of a list of books I'm reading through.

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