Cast of Characters Pages

It’s not something I come across often, but after picking up The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher, and seeing two full pages of character names with brief descriptions, I have to admit I balked a little. Was Fletcher trying to be helpful, or stylistic? Or are his characters too numerous and flat for me to remember them without a reference page?

This being said, I’m no stranger to books with large casts – back in the day when I was reading The Song of Ice and Fire series multiple times, I had a really good handle on who most of the people were, even the more obscure characters with small parts. But Martin didn’t feel the need to post a ten-page list of characters before readers even got to the first sentence. If he had, I’m not sure I would have started the book!

Having finished The Oversight, I’m not sure the character pages were necessary and I didn’t end up referencing them. It just got me thinking – do character pages at the start of a book add to it, or perhaps make the reader wary? I typically don’t pay them much attention, but I’d rather they be in the back of the book so as not to distract me before I even start reading.

~

Do you have a preference? Do you read them when they’re present?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s