Search Results: "John Barth"


BOOK REVIEW

LETTERS by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 1979

"For most everyone else—a sorry spectacle, baroque and listless, noisy and busy and smug and empty."
Straight from the ivory tower—here's the ultimate, unreadable academic novel, and, sadly, the fiercest ammunition imaginable for John Gardner's self-righteous "moral fiction" crusade. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ONCE UPON A TIME by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 4, 1994

"Very vintage Barth, and disappointingly so, despite the occasional reminders of a talent once new and stunningly inventive."
In a reprise of old themes, haunts, and ideas, metafiction master Barth (The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor, 1991) returns to himself and his native Chesapeake Bay in this fictional memoir of a middle-aged writer embarked on an autumnal cruise. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

GILES GOAT-BOY by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 5, 1966

"His major conceit, finally, is the assumption that the reader will tolerate almost anything for an intolerable length of time merely because it is awfully philosophical and terribly clever."
Mr. Barth's grandiose novel is constructed as an elaborate Conceit: the World is a University. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

COLLECTED STORIES by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2015

"As part of Barth's challenging postmodernist corpus, the short stories offer smaller doses of the odd pleasures and strains of a restless intelligence and its relentless gaming of the literary system."
A monumental assemblage of this antic author's short fiction, most of it steeped in the literary history and postmodernist contortions of "that peculiarly American species, the writer in the university." Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE FLOATING OPERA by John Barth
Released: Aug. 24, 1956

"The scene is the Eastern shore of Maryland, and The Floating Opera is a showboat which docks up there."
A deliberately digressive and, on occasion, smugly salacious report on the life and times of Todd Andrews, a bachelor, a lawyer, and a philosopher of (and out of) sorts who reviews his life as it was influenced by a heart condition and prostate trouble. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ON WITH THE STORY by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 1996

"Alternately, as it were, cloyingly self-absorbed and uniquely inventive—and very much the same kind of thing Barth has been doing for what seems like decades."
A collection of 12 linked and also discrete stories—Barth's first since Chimera (1972)—that may also be a speculative autobiographical novel, from the reigning master of postmodernist metafiction (Once Upon a time, 1994, etc.). Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

SABBATICAL by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 24, 1982

"But it's an intriguing, touching spectacle nonetheless—the avant-garde meets banal-romance—and it's certainly Barth's most accessible novel since The Sot-Weed Factor."
Some critics have long suspected that the "meta-fiction" experimentalists (those who erect a barricade of cold, ornate literary devices between story and reader) are really the least tough-minded writers around, that they often use parody and formalism to fend off—or cover up—the thin sentimentality at the heart of their work. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE SOT-WEED FACTOR by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 19, 1960

"However, the literary models Mr. Barth has chosen give him ample scope for pornography and scatology and all the archaism will not disguise the elements and incidents of disgust and distaste which were certainly prominent in his earlier modern allegory, The End of the Road."
Ebenezer Cooke, an innocent like Candide, was born in Maryland but raised in 17th century England. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

LOST IN THE FUNHOUSE by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 27, 1968

No American writer under forty is as lavishly admired as John Barth. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: Oct. 18, 1984

"Primarily for those involved in the philosophy-of-fiction quarrels, then, along with passionate fans of Barth's novels and stories."
Lectures, introductions, symposium contributions, and other miscellaneous pieces (written on Friday mornings)—most of which end up as arguments for Barth's "postmodernist" approach to fiction, with extensive references to his own work (especially the numbing LETTERS). Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE BOOK OF TEN NIGHTS AND A NIGHT by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 9, 2004

"Best for those who consider Barth an essential contemporary writer—whose numbers may be, well, 'contracting.'"
The storytelling urge, in old age and under duress, as seen in the veteran postmodernist's latest collection. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: Aug. 14, 1995

"A dilettante par excellence, Barth has read intelligently and indiscriminately enough to have something interesting to say at almost any time."
Like The Friday Book (1984), a collection of eclectic and irregularly insightful essays by the noted novelist—an admixture of reminiscence, manifesto, and review. Read full book review >