Books by William Wharton

Released: June 1, 1996

"Readers expecting charm in this slim volume, however, should beware: Wharton's gritty and unembellished story—an amalgam of boatbuilding manual and memoir of expatriate life—is fascinating but not for the squeamish."
Novelist/painter Wharton, whose last book was the nonfiction account of his daughter's tragic death in a car accident (Ever After, 1995), here tackles the more pleasant topic of houseboating on the Seine, with unexpected results. Read full book review >
EVER AFTER by William Wharton
Released: June 1, 1995

"Wharton's ordeal is not easy reading, but his persistence in assailing the woeful cause for it is highly admirable."
A piercing cry from the heart, a resounding call for reform — and that rare thing: a unique book. Read full book review >
LAST LOVERS by William Wharton
Released: May 1, 1991

"All in all: sadly familiar post-Birdy, post-Dad coasting."
Wharton processes a slow, sugarcoated buzz in this charming but perforated confection, once again falling short of the verve achieved in Birdy (1979) and Dad (1981). Read full book review >
FRANKY FURBO by William Wharton
Released: Oct. 1, 1989

"It's an unhappy thing to see."
A painter named William Wiley lives with his free-spirited American family in rural Italy, making a living by writing children's books—and for years enchanting his family with the tales of Franky Furbo, an archetypal, wise old fox that Wiley claims to have spoken to during the War—and that he claims in fact to have been rescued by in body and mind. Read full book review >
PRIDE by William Wharton
Released: Oct. 25, 1985

"Pride, like all his other books, is imbued by these merits—and is scuttled only by its urge to italicize it all unnecessarily."
The same structural shakiness that undermined A Midnight Clear and Scumbler affects this new Wharton effort: an overwhelming metaphor soaks through the otherwise crisp-enough narrative, making it soggy (here it's actually a double story, joined) and, worse, utterly pre-ordained. Read full book review >
SCUMBLER by William Wharton
Released: May 22, 1984

In Wharton's two best novels, Birdy and Dad, a trapdoor seems to open about halfway through—with the reader suddenly dropped to a startling plane of reality, something very different from the conventional reality suggested by the homely, casual surface tone. Read full book review >
A MIDNIGHT CLEAR by William Wharton
Released: Sept. 10, 1982

"So, even if Wharton's narrative voice remains so warmly inviting and unpretentious that you can't help but be carried along, this time the journey has a scattered destination: experience reflected in bits and pieces of mirror rather than in a ceiling of glass (Bird) or a whole interior room of it (Dad)."
??Wharton's previous novels—Birdy, Dad—have treated the extraordinary and the strangely angled with such quiet ordinariness that one reads this seemingly plain WW II story waiting for the catch—the resonance couched in deceptively straight-ahead language that is Wharton's strongest imaginative virtue. Read full book review >
DAD by William Wharton
Released: May 28, 1981

"So: a major novel from a writer whose magnitude has now been gloriously confirmed—in a haunting book full of pain and misery, but one which (thanks to Wharton's method, skill, and vista) you have to be reminded to be depressed over."
Nothing clarifies and focuses a superior first novel like its successor: all the cells of the former are stained by the latter's stresses, repetitions; and a pattern ought to start to emerge. Read full book review >
BIRDY by William Wharton
Released: Jan. 9, 1978

"An extraordinary book."
Some books—some of the best—defy description. Read full book review >