Writers are often taught to “write what you know really well” but for many this advice is much too limiting. Instead, a few authors let their imagination run wild and wrote tales that are not told from the typical first, second or even third person perspective. From animals to aliens, inanimate objects to inhuman entities, here are just five books that are written from really unique perspectives.
Written from the perspective of: Aliens
There are countless books about alien invasions, but in The Humans by author Matt Haig, we see events unfold through the eyes of an alien. This particular alien arrives on earth with a mission and plenty of contempt for humanity. Unfortunately, the alien also has a hard time figuring out how to act in human society, even after taking over the life of a human professor. Haig does a great job of describing ordinary human behavior, but viewed from the unique perspective of an alien trying to make sense of it all.
Written from the perspective of: Rabbits
Watership Down has been a worldwide bestseller for more than forty years and it is easy to see why as it is packed with courage, adventure and survival. However, in an interesting twist, the tale is not about humans, but a band of rabbits. The group is led by a pair of brothers who must help the rest of their rabbit kin to escape the ruins of their old home and travel to a new safe haven. It is a journey that is fraught with peril, and Adams puts so much thought into his rabbit characters that the book comes complete with a Lapine glossary to explain their language.
Written from the perspective of: A painting
When people say that they have found art that talks to them, they probably don’t mean it as literal as in The Improbability of Love. Although the protagonist of this novel is a woman named Annie McDee, she goes on to purchases a dirty old painting from a junk shop as a gift to someone. In a surprising twist, this painting then goes on to narrate some of the chapters, which provides readers with a very unique perspective on the story.
Written from the perspective of: Death
The Book Thief is the tale of Liesel Meminger, who is a young girl with a love for books. However, the story is set during 1939 in Nazi Germany and Liesel has to survive by stealing. Perhaps the strangest twist of all is that the story is not told from the perspective of Liesel as she learns to read and as well as share the books that she steals with others, but is instead narrated by Death himself. It is an unexpected viewpoint and also one that is not as morbid as one might expect.
Written from the perspective of: An ancient bowl
The narrator of The Collector Collector by Tibor Fischer has an understanding of five thousand languages, has a very long memory and also happens to be a an antique bowl. This ancient bowl has not only seen and heard it all over its very long lifespan, but also mastered some interesting skills, such as image projection, mind reading, and shape-shifting along the way. Obviously this is a book that requires to suspend their disbelief, but nobody can argue that reading the musings of a sentient piece of pottery isn’t unique.