The Dead Father

Overview

The Dead Father is a gargantuan half-dead, half-alive, part mechanical, wise, vain, powerful being who still has hopes for himself--even while he is being dragged by means of a cable toward a mysterious goal. In this extraordinary novel, marked by the imaginative use of language that influenced a generation of fiction writers, Donald Barthelme offered a glimpse into his fictional universe. As Donald Antrim writes in his introduction, "Reading The Dead Father, one has the sense that its author enjoys an almost ...

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The Dead Father

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Overview

The Dead Father is a gargantuan half-dead, half-alive, part mechanical, wise, vain, powerful being who still has hopes for himself--even while he is being dragged by means of a cable toward a mysterious goal. In this extraordinary novel, marked by the imaginative use of language that influenced a generation of fiction writers, Donald Barthelme offered a glimpse into his fictional universe. As Donald Antrim writes in his introduction, "Reading The Dead Father, one has the sense that its author enjoys an almost complete artistic freedom . . . a permission to reshape, misrepresent, or even ignore the world as we find it . . . Laughing along with its author, we escape anxiety and feel alive."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The funniest and most effective things in The Dead Father are accomplished by language, by the writing itself . . . Essential reading.” —Jerome Klinkowitz, The New Republic

“Reading The Dead Father, one has the sense that its author enjoys an almost complete artistic freedom, . . . a permission to reshape, misrepresent, or even ignore the world as we find it . . . Laughing along with its author, we escape anxiety and feel alive.” —from the introduction by Donald Antrim

Library Journal
Barthelme's odd 1975 novel offers a variety of styles and ponders numerous subjects as it depicts a group of people dragging a carcass across the countryside. For the lit crowd. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Dennis Holland delivers a well-paced, entertaining performance of Barthelme's classic. As the titular character—the Dead Father, a huge, half-dead, semimechanical godlike ruler—is dragged by a group of his children across his lands toward his burial spot, bizarre and increasingly absurd exploits and conversations unfold. Holland, a seasoned reader of Barthelme's work, does ample justice to the tone and spirit of the text. His comedic timing is superb, as is his voice for the Dead Father. While the narration will delight Dead Father devotees, listeners less familiar with the author's work may be confused by the novel's experimental style and unconventional plot structure, which transitions unsteadily to audio book. A Farrar, Straus & Giroux paperback. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374529253
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 953,310
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Barthelme was one of the most influential American novelists of the 1970s and 1980s, bringing a unique postmodern voice to his novels, short stories, and essays. He died in 1989.

Donald Antrim is the author of three novels, including The Verificationist.

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