Really effective literature takes you so deeply into the story that you don’t know or care that it’s fiction.
We, as readers, are partly forced to view the author’s world through the lens he used: sometimes as close as inside the protagonist’s head–knowing no more (and often quite a bit less than that protag). Older novels were written much like histories–James Michner‘s tomes spring to mind. His Hawaii and Alaska started with plate tectonics and Centennial with dinosaurs.
It helps, of course, if we understand and agree with the author’s world view, but sometimes the fun lies in an “unreliable narrator” who intentionally or not lies–perhaps to both himself and to the reader.
For avid readers of a genre, author or period, this immersion becomes problematic when the…
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