Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 16, 2014 - 9:45am

Anyone out there done a story with quotationless dialogue? I just tried this. Not sure why, maybe I was reading Kiss Me, Judas or In The City of Shy Hunters when I thought up the idea for this story. Whatever it was, I decided to try not using quotation marks, and it was pretty damn hard. Part of it seemed to be arranging the dialogue and dialogue tags in such a way that speech wouldn't get mistaken for action or Big Voice. But it was still pretty damn hard, and I haven't been able to find anyone's brain to pick about this. I don't think I'll continue without quotes, quotes just feel better to me, but I've read several books where it was pulled off so well that I didn't even notice, just fell into the book. Anyone have anything to say on the subject? Benefits of no quotes? Pitfalls? Thoughts on how to do it effectively?

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK December 16, 2014 - 1:02pm

Just wrote a whole novel like this. I love it. It's a bit tricky to get used to but I'm never going back now. Read some Cormac Mcarthy - The Road or Blood Meridian. Great examples of how to do it.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 16, 2014 - 1:56pm

I will definitely check McCarthy out. I've heard so much about him, but I didn't know he did quotationless dialogue! That's cool. I really like it when someone pulls it off, as I think Baer and Spanbauer did (they're the only two I've read so far that do it), but it seems like there's a lot of hate for this style.

I think it has such an odd effect. It seems to--I don't know--keep the dialogue closer to the prose of the narrative. And it makes the reader work a little harder, which isn't always a bad thing. Having tried this, in what ways do you think quoteless is better?

Anyone have anything to say against doing this?

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 16, 2014 - 2:37pm

I've tried dialogue with something like:

Albera: Hey how's it going.
Tebera: Not much you?
Albera: No literally, not the small talk. How are you actually doing.

But it never seems to work out real well. Mostly because my work isn't really carried by dialogue.

But I did do one where I excluded the dialogue tags, and wrote the dialogue in such a way as to make it obvious what profession the character saying the dialogue was in in the exchange. That became Jeinka's Camping Trip With Killer Robots.

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK December 16, 2014 - 3:26pm

In first person it continues the flow of consciousness, making everything part of the narration, even dialogue. I'm currently experimenting with using it in third person, which is harder but I think also works, but in a different way.

He was just hungry, Papa. He's going to die.

He's going to die anyway.

He's so scared, Papa.

The man squatted and looked at him. I'm scared, he said. Do you understand? I'm scared.

The boy didn't answer. He just sat there with his head down, sobbing.

You're not the one who has to worry about everything.

The boy said something but he couldn't understand him. What? He said.

He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.

― Cormac McCarthy, The Road

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 16, 2014 - 3:50pm

I don't mind prose without quote-marks. Some cases are more clear than others, yes, but that's true regarding standard punctuation as well, and it's inherently no more hard to follow than emotive, "feely" prose, or stream-of-consciouness, or what-have-you; in fact, I'd say it's far less jarring a style choice than many.

I've written prose both ways, to varied self-satisfaction. As long as you know why you're leaving them out, I say, Go for it.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 16, 2014 - 4:54pm

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. Amazing use of omitted quotations. Highly recommend.

Invisible by Paul Auster. Haven't read it in awhile, but it employs omitted quotations, too.

But, Requiem for a Dream may be the best example.

It seems like a stylistic choice. All three of those authors' stories are very stylized, especially Junot. I've found too, most of the books I've read with omitted quotes have been minimal and lean in prose. The Phineas Poe series is a good example of this. Like Seb said, it continues the stream of consciousness, and I believe this is to keep a quick step in pacing. Visually, the quotations themselves slows down the pace a bit. I mean, imagine the example Seb gave with quotations. 

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 16, 2014 - 5:16pm

Yeah, I think that's why I was drawn to it initially. It lets you go from thoughts and action to speech much more seamlessly. I noticed that sort of thing first in Palahniuk books, how he goes from regular quoted dialogue "he says this, she says that" to more like Big Voice-ish speech, where the ranting kind of bleeds into conversation.

I really liked that McCarthy example. So it seems he keeps the characters kind of separated into their own line breaks, so that the action is only associated with the person talking. It's organized. Part of my trouble was wanting to split a lot of things into their own paragraphs just so the reader would know: this person is talking. I felt it got excessive. But McCarthy seems to do a lot of that.

Good stuff guys, this is really fascinating. I dumped my story into a separate document so I can stick quotes in and see which I like better.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 16, 2014 - 6:21pm

I wouldn't mind reading it, though I don't imagine I could write it. I'm so used to double quotes for regular speaking, and single quotes for interior quotes within dialogue.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 16, 2014 - 10:06pm

it's a good exercise to do so, at least with no tags, to see if you can make characters distinct sounding.

if i recall, fight club did a lot of dialogue-less talking. the narrator would just tell you what tyler or marla say from time to time, that kind of thing.

Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon December 17, 2014 - 12:46am

For some reason it seems to me to fit well when the characters are "living on the edge" types. Not sure why. Maybe it drops all pretense in the same way characters with bigger problems drop all pretense. Or something like that.

 

 

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 17, 2014 - 3:07pm

@L.W. Flouisa: Yeah, I see no point trying it unless it really strikes you to try it out. It was fun though. Once I got used to leaving out those quotes, I kind of feel like I got the dialogue out of my head and down on the screen faster. Like I didn't have to waste time putting down that first " and then stare at the space after, wondering, what exactly are you going to say? That sounds stupid to me having said it, but it seems like it panned out like that.

@Thuggish: Good point. I guess if you really develop a unique voice for each character, who says what should be pretty clear.

Yeah it did. Several of his books are like that. Maybe even all of them, I can't recall. Pretty sure I noticed it first in Choke, which I read before Fight Club. That's a good way to put it, dialogue-less talking.

@Carly: You mean the dialogue-less talking? Or the no-quote-marks in general? I think I know what you mean, but maybe only because almost every book I read seems to involve a "living on the edge" type. Or maybe because a tamer character would be boring if they did that sort of thing. I dunno.

lizlazzara's picture
lizlazzara from Boston, MA is reading The Kills, To Show and To Tell, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, Understanding Schizophrenia. December 9, 2015 - 2:36pm

It's definitely hard to pull off, but in some instances, like when you want there to be a cold tone, or distance from the characters, etc., it can be incredibly effective. I agree that Cormac McCarthy is a great resource for this. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 10, 2015 - 7:06pm

For me it is a complete non-starter, soon as I realize that is what is going I stop reading the book.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 10, 2015 - 11:11pm

Why is that?

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 11, 2015 - 9:50am

@Redd

I haven't read the later Ender's Game books, but apparently Orson Scott Card took it to real extremes with dialogue and no tags. I should probably look at that just to see how he did it...

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 11, 2015 - 10:15am

Cool, I'll have to check that out.
Ever read either of Jeremy Robert Johnson's collections, Angel Dust Apocalypse and We Live Inside You? He has a story in each that's told like a one-sided conversation. Like the entire narrative was technically dialogue, and you got the gist of what was happening based on the one-sided dialogue. Priapism, from ADA, and Consumerism from WLIY. Really good stuff.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer December 11, 2015 - 10:59am

I think it is tricky and very risky if you don't already have a publisher/audience. People always cite McCarthy. I love his work. I'm a huge fan, but sometimes he messes up and his dialogue becomes ambiguous. I found errors in Blood Meridian where I think an editor was even confused. People would have a lot less patience qith me than they do with McCarthy. Besides, it's his gimmick. I'm not stylistically far enough away from him in order to keep from looking like a McCarthy knock-off. 

I have nothing against doing it, but any time you mess with formatting, your reader has to essentially learn to read your book. The question is whether or not you hold enough sway to keep them reading long enough to learn the format.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 11, 2015 - 11:05am

@Redd - Because it is a cheap gimmick. If you can't do something cool enough to hold my interest without one I don't care what else you have to say.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 11, 2015 - 12:05pm

It's not a "gimmick". I've never seen an advertisement or blurb for a book touting its lack of quote-marks.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 11, 2015 - 3:21pm

^

gimmicks don't require advertisement.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 11, 2015 - 4:36pm

^ what?

"Gimmicks" are meant to catch or draw attention. I've never even seen it mentioned on a book that the book does not contain quote-marks. You can't have your attention drawn to a book by something you can't perceive until after you've already given that book your attention. A simple, uncontroversial, long-employed style choice can't really be a "gimmick". That'd be like saying the inclusion of some comic relief in an otherwise serious story is a "gimmick".

Or would it? What do you think of when somene says "gimmick"? Can any characteristic of a text count as a "gimmick"? If so, how? If not, which can and which can't?

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 11, 2015 - 5:00pm

Word of mouth is, to this day, the best "advertising" for a book. 

So, it can be a gimmick in that I might read it then say "hey JYH, check out this cool thing I've never seen!"

Thing is, in today's usage, the word trick is more associated with gimmick than device. And trick implies that it's a cheap sort of cop out that only works on a few people for more than a moment. It's the flashy plastic piece of shit instead of the less attention-drawing quality.

This is why synonyms include publicitiy stunt and contrivance. 

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 11, 2015 - 5:52pm

So given that's what "gimmick" means to you, do you think that omitting quotation marks in prose fiction is a "gimmick"? You could tell someone about the new-to-you(-but-not-to-literature-at-large) style you read; but you could tell someone about literally anything else which struck you as noteworthy. Do you believe that intention has anything to do with whether something is, in fact, a gimmick? If the writer thinks the style is acceptable, well-established, and not at all innovative, are they really utilizing a "gimmick"? Can't the reader be wrong to think the author is "getting fancy" or "artsy-fartsy" when there's around a hundred years of usage to be easily found?

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 11, 2015 - 7:01pm

Gimmick, surely, is a fluid term. Everything that is now a common literary technique must have been, at some point, what we're calling a gimmick. A trick, a tool. A new way of communicating. I mean, at what point did it become customary with dialogue to start using quotation marks? Really, nothing is set in stone as being the 'normal' set of methods—unless you're counting what most people right now use as constituting 'normal'; from the basic building-block metaphor of a single word on up to more abstract concepts, what's customary, what's groundbreaking, and what feels contrived must depend on so many variables, no?

And isn't writing visceral, gripping fiction all about exploding the medium's form and finding new ways of engaging with the reader? So why assume that the lack of quotes necessarily speaks to an unoriginality? When really, I think it's just another stylistic direction to explore, another way to mess with language and the way we connect with dialogue. Writing is, in large part, an act of mimicking. Though maybe a better word is reinterpretation. So whether or not McCarthy made it his thing, or the fact that certain readers may think it's purely a cop-out, isn't it worth looking at? Besides, I know I've read some beautiful fucking books that lacked quotation marks.

That being said: if you don't like dialogue without quote marks and it pulls you out of the story, I can't fault you for not reading further. More power to you.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 11, 2015 - 7:19pm

I was more lending some support to what Dwayne said in very narrow confines. Specifically: pointing out that your argument implying that to be a gimmick something must be advertised, is false. But...

Since you asked, yeah. Given that 99% or so of what I'd pick up in Barnes and Noble would have quotation marks when dialogue shows up, it's likely a gimmick.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 11, 2015 - 7:36pm

Oh, the last chunk was for Dwayne, since he said he doesn't like no-quotes.

So, my next question is: is 'gimmick' bad? It has a cheesy, artificial connotation, doesn't it?

And where's the line between 'bad' gimmick and 'good' influenced use or reinterpretation of a stylistic element?

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 11, 2015 - 7:41pm

And what makes a gimmick a gimmick? Does the intention count for anything at all? What if it's not done with the intent of pushing that aspect in a marketable way? What if you read a book that warped your head because it did shifty things with no-quotes—I'm thinking Baer—and that made you want to try it? And what if you discovered you didn't miss the quotes, and got good feedback despite their absence? Does it become a gimmick when you maintain it and begin to be recognized as that sort of writer?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 11, 2015 - 9:12pm

@Thuggish --- Oh, Dwayne's point was that he doesn't like dialog without quotes. He said he wouldn't read past the point of realizing there weren't any quote-marks, because he wouldn't care what they have to say if they couldn't do something cool enough to hold his interest, which means he wouldn't actually be reading long enough to find out if there was something cool enough to hold his interest due only to the absence of quote-marks and his perception of that stylistic choice as being a cheap gimmick.

What you added neither supports his view nor adequately defines what makes it a gimmick.

Now you're saying it's a gimmick because most books don't do it?

@Redd --- I think a gimmick is something meant to bring you to the yard, not an event which occurs or is planned to occur once you're in the yard. Writing in an ever-so-mildly unconventional manner is not a gimmick; offering free candy themed after a candy which features in the book is a gimmick.

DrWood's picture
DrWood from Milwaukee, WI, living in Louisiana is reading A different book every 2-5 days. Currently Infinite Jest December 11, 2015 - 9:41pm

To me, unless you are writing in a language other than English where quotation marks are not used, dispensing with quotation marks is inherently pretentious. Similar to repeatedly using foreign phrases. There are standards for how to punctuate quotes in English.

 

I'd love to punctuate my dialogue like a script (Fitzgerald did this in part of "The Beautiful and the Damned"), but I don't want to be offputting to my readers.

 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 11, 2015 - 10:08pm

@JYH

Dwayne certainly said it's a gimmick. A cheap one, to quote. I'm saying he's proably right, for reasons beyond because most people don't do it. Rare is there a good reason to do such a thing. Maybe never, in the strictest sense.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 12, 2015 - 3:08pm

If you don't read prose written that way, how could you know there's no reason for it? When does anyone analyze the style of a book before deciding whether or not to read it?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 12, 2015 - 9:29pm

@JHY

Now you're saying it's a gimmick because most books don't do it?

Nope, because they are ignoring how English works in books, newspapers, websites, well-written emails, and the list goes on.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gimmick

: a method or trick that is used to get people's attention or to sell something

Well... We are talking about books that are trying to sell. So seems to count.

@Red - 

So, my next question is: is 'gimmick' bad?

Yes.

It has a cheesy, artificial connotation, doesn't it?

Yes.

And where's the line between 'bad' gimmick and 'good' influenced use or reinterpretation of a stylistic element?

N/A

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 13, 2015 - 8:58am

Okay, whatever. I doubt anyone who takes a hardline stance against dialog typed without quotation marks would actually adhere to or fully support every other supposedly absolute rule or standard about how English is printed. And if they don't, then it's really just a nitpick or matter of taste. And if that's all it is, I don't really care that people don't like it, so long as they aren't fooling themselves into thinking such dislike is anything more than that.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 13, 2015 - 11:17am

I wonder if it'd be an acceptable exception if a large portion of so-called dialogue was in italics if you were writing a story about telepathic people. 

It could be a way to consistently remind the reader that they communicate differently. And yet, I bet that by the end of the book you'd be used to it in the same way you get used to switching from past tense to present, 1st to 3rd, even 2nd POV... and would hardly notice.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 13, 2015 - 12:34pm

^ People have used italics to indicate voice changes for quite some time. It's acceptable to editors, publishers, prize committees and other readers—sort of like writing dialog without quotation marks. I suppose one could take a poll and find out which of these two is less popular, if one cared to know that; but one can't reasonably claim either is fully unacceptable to the literary world at large.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 13, 2015 - 1:38pm

jyh:

And if they don't, then it's really just a nitpick or matter of taste. And if that's all it is, I don't really care that people don't like it, so long as they aren't fooling themselves into thinking such dislike is anything more than that.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. I don't mind no-quotes. Whether or not I decide to try them again will depend idea to idea. I'm rereading Kiss Me, Judas, and honestly I think the dialogue without quote marks is done to really great effect. Phineas Poe is a schizophrenic drug addict who half the time isn't sure exactly what's going on in or around him, who's who. That quote-markless ambiguity leaves the reader disoriented too, makes his whole delirious journey feel even more warped. So I think, if the idea warrants a bit of a  confused tone, it's something worth considering, gimmick or no.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 13, 2015 - 10:40pm

No, not italics to indicate voice inflection, I mean the quotation marks would be gone whenever these people were communicating telepathically, which would be most of the time. At least on their homeworld or whatever the scenario is.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 14, 2015 - 7:17am

^^^ Hmm. That'd be an interesting way to keep things more minimalist in terms of action but still get character thoughts. In fact it wouldn't even be thoughts. It'd be private dialogue. Would be interesting.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 14, 2015 - 10:51am

Right, but it's not about being minimalist. It's about projecting a different feel, for a different form of communication.

So I guess it isn't super OP related. But whatever.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 14, 2015 - 3:26pm

@RT --- Haven't read Baer, but that sounds like it would work.

@Th --- Yeah, I get it. Internal thoughts, telepathy, alternate POV/narrator, non-story historical passages, excerpts from in-world books—each can be considered a "change of voice" (as in character voice or authorial voice). Italics can also be used to stress words (inflection), or for foreign words, or whatever other stuff.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 14, 2015 - 5:05pm

Right. I didn't mean that the objective was to be minimalist, just that it could prevent the mental narration from going over-board. You could even keep it 3rd person omniscient, retain that distance from the characters, and then see how they psychically communicate. 

Ever read Feed, by MT Anderson? The characters each have a 'feed' in their brain—basically like the internet in your head—and a lot of the time they communicate by m-chatting eachother. So Titus the narrator will be chilling at home and start up a mental conversation with Violet, who's wherever she is. It's done with italics too. Not exactly telepathy, but sort of what you were talking about. They also get high by visiting a site in their brain and downloading a malfunction, "going into mal". Good book.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 14, 2015 - 5:22pm

Never heard of Feed, but it sounds really cool. And yeah, that's exactly the feel I was going for.

 

 

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault December 14, 2015 - 5:26pm

I recommend it heavily.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 15, 2015 - 4:05pm

It's on the short list.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 16, 2015 - 2:10pm

@JYH - Every other rule? No, of course not. Anyone I notice? Yeah. My rule of thumb is if I notice what you are doing that breaks the rules of English I won't read it. If you do it seamlessly and it doesn't click until someone else points it out, well done. Which, if you reread what I said I put the book done when I realize that is what they are doing. I didn't even notice Peter Clines did it with Zzzap until like book four or something.

http://smile.amazon.com/Ex-Heroes-Novel-Peter-Clines/dp/0804136572/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450300045&sr=8-1&keywords=Ex+heroes

@Thuggish - Well, if you are trying italics to represent something similar to but different than speaking it seems reasonable as a concept. You might still mess up the execution, but the idea isn't horrible. 

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 16, 2015 - 3:22pm

@D --- I can't imagine reading a book and never noticing the punctuation, no matter how "seamless" it is. Its function is to inform the reader how to comprehend the words they're reading. Therefore, I'm skeptical of your claim.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 16, 2015 - 4:59pm

Umm... why would I lie about that?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 16, 2015 - 6:25pm

I was thinking it was more an exaggeration.

Also, the book you linked to uses quotation marks and isn't named Zzzap.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 17, 2015 - 3:08am

Zzzap is a character in the book, who when he speaks they don't use quotes for.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 17, 2015 - 1:59pm

Oh, got it. I thought you maybe posted the wrong link because there's another book actually named Zzzap, by a different author, which is (as far as I saw) made entirely of dialog which doesn't use quotation marks, which rather alternates between regular type and italics. Do you know if the two books are related?