Books The Dead Father

Thumb_a83a90b9a528e49478069a5b21015f84 Donald Barthelme
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • The writing is Mr. Barthelme at his most facile—flicking scenes onto the page with scarcely a breath. (“The road. The caravan. People taking pictures of the caravan with little pronghorn cameras. Flashes of light.”) The work can be grasped by any reader—even the least suspecting—as an appropriately slapstick homage to the spirit of anarchy.

  • I am not sure that my progress through all these dull little sentences has been entirely justified […] but there is no doubt that beneath the mannerisms, the infantile chic, the ill-digested culture of an alien world, Barthelme does have a talent for, of all things in this era, writing. Shall I quote an example? I think not. Meanwhile, Barthelme himself says, “I have trouble reading, in these days. I would rather drink, talk or listen to music…. I now listen to rock constantly.” Yes.

Our Thoughts

This is almost certainly not a good novel. But, whatever it is, it’s a very good one. It brims with wit and inventive postmodernist self-indulgence.

— Brian Flanagan

“Dictators, Despots, Tyrants”

“Parental Resentment”