But in prose narration it gets up my nose just a touch, only mitigated a little by other people's guesses as to what really might have happened. (Or by my own imperviousness: I had no idea Ishiguro's narrator in An Artist of the Floating World was at all unreliable.) The word must be trustable or how can we tell where we are? Agreed, I only feel this way because of prose conventions, but conventions count for a lot. People who arbitrarily break the rules of murder mysteries annoy me too. If a narrator lies consistently, I want at least to be able to construct the facts. If the facts are beyond construction, as they are in Liar, I become anxious.
I also can't conceive of writing a book like Liar *without* a Received Version at hand. If the writer herself doesn't know what really happened, how can she maintain any kind of consistency in the narrator's departure from it? And if it doesn't matter-- if readers really can pick the reality they choose from the facts available-- why bother? It's like a whodunit that doesn't say who did-- an exercise in pointlessness.