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Lucy Wainwright RocheSeptember 2000 Contemporary American FictionIn Cold Blood Beloved These days when a reader settles in to read a book it is hard to know what to expect In the past there may have been a more rigid idea about what makes a novel or a story now there are many ways in which a modern writer can choose to portray a happening or a feeling This development in fiction writing creates an exciting concept It turns reading into a wonderfully intriguing activity where nothing can be completely assumed As a result of this there is an air of mystery to reading contemporary fiction Add to this elusive mix a book which is presented as a mystery or a novel which has a plot that has large elements of confusion or mystery Now for a reader not only is reading and following the narrative an experience of exploration and detection but the plot of the narrative is a story of unanswered questions In Cold Blood a mystery and a work of modern fiction is a novel through which this combination of elements can be explored and Beloved by Toni Morrison is a nearly extreme example of this concept of modern mysterious narrative Both of these works can act as a lens through which to view contemporary mysterious fiction Not only do the basic stories being relayed have loop holes and unanswered questions but the context and presentation of the narratives are also thought provoking and questionable In America mysteries and scandals are forms which our society has become accustomed to We are familiar with good guys and bad guys with police stations and villains being read their rights even with violence We expect certain ingredients in a conflict and we expect certain outcomes While reading In Cold Blood these expectations are played with The crime is senseless the victims were near perfect the killers are random and the detectives are
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