I have recently read a collection of stories by the influential Hungarian author Gyula Krúdy called The Adventures of Sindbad (my earlier note). I definitely recommend reading this one but what struck me was a narrative technique the author uses that is quite effective and somewhat unusual: he has Sindbad commit suicide fairly early in the collection and the dead but still charming boulevardier continually pops out of the grave when he gets bored and roam about visiting people and places that have been left to the changes wrought by time.
This narrative technique effectively highlights the changes that have gone on in Europe as it moves from a more gentile age into the dog and bone shop of modern society; it also leaves the reader with a bit of nostalgia for the more formal and slow-moving culture of an older, gentler Europe.
I found the stories very enjoyable and quite well written. Give them a try.
While writing this post I began thinking about other narratives that used a dead character’s observations. I know there’s a smarmy novel recently made into a movie where the murdered girl is the narrator, but I avoided reading the book and seeing the movie so I’m not able to elaborate. My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk started out with the murder of a man whose body is thrown into a well: that’s a good example of a dead narrator. There are probably many others that don’t come to me right now: anything to add? … Topper doesn’t count.