The characteristic style and rhetoric of Mailer here becomes more a voice and style of “recording.” The author’s function appears to be limited to a purely technical gathering of documentary material, and the narrative as a whole sustains an illusion that the story is being told by the people who know Gilmore.
Mailer truly views Gary Gilmore as a self-confident man. When Gilmore is re-introduced to his cousin Brenda in the beginning of the novel, the narrator immediately compares him to a bear (12). His strength is incredible to his cousin, whom, even her husband “had never gripped Brenda that hard” (12). Sometimes Mailer bluntly states that Gilmore is “always so manly” (235). In order to tell many sides of the story, Mailer writes with multiple perspectives, adding the opinions of those he interviewed to his narrator’s …show more content…
These tags emphasize the book’s connection to nonfiction because they read like a newspaper article. Early in the novel, Mailer establishes this pattern of dialogue tags. On page 47 of the book, the author uses “said” or “asked” in nine straight lines of dialogue: “said Vern,” “said Gary,” “said Vern,” the first part of the conversation reads. “Asked Brenda,” “said Gary,” “said Brenda,” and so on, Mailer relates. He appears to remove himself from the writing because the dialogue tags are so straightforward, even lacking descriptors. Mailer chooses what the characters say, and Gutkind’s argument attests that, “as in fiction writing, dialogue enhances action and characterization” (1997: 23).
DeLillo has also used the tool of description very effectively. In Libra the element of description is found to be quite impressive, as in the following