August Genre Discussion

For August 2016 we will be reading psychological fiction.
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kio
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August Genre Discussion

Post by kio » 01 Aug 2016, 23:15

Psychological Fiction is defined as a work of fiction which places more than the usual amount of emphasis on interior characterization, and on the motives, circumstances, and internal action which springs from it as a result. You don’t always see it in the character, however, sometimes it’s a feeling evoked by the author on the reader. (ex. Alfred Hitchcock films). Often this genre can fit into thrillers or horror, but there are many different ways to approach the topic.

Some questions to consider answering:

1. What book did you read? Would you recommend it?

2. How did it play into the psychological part?

3. What made this book different from other genres?
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Post by Circling Turtle » 18 Aug 2016, 03:45

I recently finished reading blueeyedboy (sic) by Joanne Harris. It is a gripping, unsettling psychological thriller: the twisted tale of a dysfunctional family, a blind child prodigy, and a boy who smells colours...

The novel is written as a series of blog posts on an online forum, on which our anti-hero (B.B/blueeyedboy) plays out his murderous fantasies and feeds his obsession with the mysterious Albertine, with whom he shares a dark past. As the reader is drawn deeper into B.B's twisted psyche, they begin to piece together a complex mystery, realising that nothing is as it seems. blueeyedboy is at its heart a character study, and is a psychological thriller in that it emphasises the unstable emotional and mental states of its characters, exploring questions of conscience and moral ambiguity. B.B and Albertine are both textbook examples of unreliable narrators, and the cyberspace setting of the book grants deception and disguise free reign. The reader is caught in a tangled, twisted web of half truths, and the dramatic, open-ended climax may leave one confused and even angry. Reviews have been extremely mixed - Joanne Harris herself said that it was "like marmite, you either love it or hate it." Well, I loved it.

As a side note, this book made me realise that I am a synaesthete, although not an extreme case like the characters in the book. Early on in the book they were discussing grapheme-colour synaesthesia, i.e. 'seeing' days, months, words, etc. as colours. I commented to my partner that I couldn't understand what the big deal was, surely everyone does this? Well, apparently not. I also 'see' music, and smell emotion, which I honestly never thought twice about!
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Post by kio » 18 Aug 2016, 13:21

Circling Turtle wrote:I recently finished reading blueeyedboy (sic) by Joanne Harris. It is a gripping, unsettling psychological thriller: the twisted tale of a dysfunctional family, a blind child prodigy, and a boy who smells colours...

The novel is written as a series of blog posts on an online forum, on which our anti-hero (B.B/blueeyedboy) plays out his murderous fantasies and feeds his obsession with the mysterious Albertine, with whom he shares a dark past. As the reader is drawn deeper into B.B's twisted psyche, they begin to piece together a complex mystery, realising that nothing is as it seems. blueeyedboy is at its heart a character study, and is a psychological thriller in that it emphasises the unstable emotional and mental states of its characters, exploring questions of conscience and moral ambiguity. B.B and Albertine are both textbook examples of unreliable narrators, and the cyberspace setting of the book grants deception and disguise free reign. The reader is caught in a tangled, twisted web of half truths, and the dramatic, open-ended climax may leave one confused and even angry. Reviews have been extremely mixed - Joanne Harris herself said that it was "like marmite, you either love it or hate it." Well, I loved it.

As a side note, this book made me realise that I am a synaesthete, although not an extreme case like the characters in the book. Early on in the book they were discussing grapheme-colour synaesthesia, i.e. 'seeing' days, months, words, etc. as colours. I commented to my partner that I couldn't understand what the big deal was, surely everyone does this? Well, apparently not. I also 'see' music, and smell emotion, which I honestly never thought twice about!
That's really cool you can "see" music and smell emotion. Book sounds pretty good too, thanks for the post :)
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Post by Circling Turtle » 23 Aug 2016, 05:31

I also experience something called spacial sequence synaesthesia, which is pretty damn useful. And the thing where words/numbers have a personality... it's complicated lol. Synaesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon, you should read up on it! There really are an infinite number of forms - mine is pretty mild in comparison. The smell thing can be very distressing though! It got worse around puberty for some reason, I thought I was going crazy - the other types of synaesthesia I experience are more in my 'mind's eye' (very vivid though), or when I close my eyes, so I thought it was just normal... But to suddenly start smelling things that aren't there can be pretty scary!
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Post by kio » 29 Aug 2016, 16:58

September poll is up, don't forget to vote! ( or I'll pick, hehehe :twisted2: )
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Post by MarisaRose » 06 Sep 2016, 15:43

I am a big fan of this genre, especially in the form of a psychological mystery. I recently read Tana French's "Dublin Murder Squad" series. The first book in the series is called "In the Woods."

I greatly enjoyed her books and highly recommend them! Each of the books in her series focuses on a different main character/detective. I find this is a good tool regarding the psychological aspect because you don't become too familiar with the main character and thus, cannot predict the actions they will take and mistakes they will make.

Tana French does an amazing job of making you feel strongly (whether that be good or bad) about the main character and in doing so, she diverts the readers attention from what is really going on in the novel. I think the author is very good at getting into the reader's mind and that's what makes her novels so psychologically thrilling. :tiphat:
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Post by lily_kh87 » 10 Oct 2016, 14:57

I read a novel called Tell me your dreams by an author called Sydney Sheldon. It was about a psychological case of a girl and it was really great and entertaining.
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Post by elivia05 » 16 Jun 2018, 18:35

Circling Turtle wrote: ↑
18 Aug 2016, 03:45
I recently finished reading blueeyedboy (sic) by Joanne Harris. It is a gripping, unsettling psychological thriller: the twisted tale of a dysfunctional family, a blind child prodigy, and a boy who smells colours...

The novel is written as a series of blog posts on an online forum, on which our anti-hero (B.B/blueeyedboy) plays out his murderous fantasies and feeds his obsession with the mysterious Albertine, with whom he shares a dark past. As the reader is drawn deeper into B.B's twisted psyche, they begin to piece together a complex mystery, realising that nothing is as it seems. blueeyedboy is at its heart a character study, and is a psychological thriller in that it emphasises the unstable emotional and mental states of its characters, exploring questions of conscience and moral ambiguity. B.B and Albertine are both textbook examples of unreliable narrators, and the cyberspace setting of the book grants deception and disguise free reign. The reader is caught in a tangled, twisted web of half truths, and the dramatic, open-ended climax may leave one confused and even angry. Reviews have been extremely mixed - Joanne Harris herself said that it was "like marmite, you either love it or hate it." Well, I loved it.

As a side note, this book made me realise that I am a synaesthete, although not an extreme case like the characters in the book. Early on in the book they were discussing grapheme-colour synaesthesia, i.e. 'seeing' days, months, words, etc. as colours. I commented to my partner that I couldn't understand what the big deal was, surely everyone does this? Well, apparently not. I also 'see' music, and smell emotion, which I honestly never thought twice about!
I love psychological thrillers, and I have a special place in my heart for anything that involves synaesthesia. I have always been able to see words, but most people think I am crazy when I talk about it.

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