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Last Voyage Of Somebody Sailor Pa

Overview


National Book Award winner John Barth offers a rambunctious story full of narrative high jinks in this lively, inventive epic. Journalist Simon Behler finds himself in the house of Sinbad the Sailor after being washed ashore during a seagoing adventure. Over the course of six evenings, the two take turns recounting their voyages, merging medieval Baghdad and twentieth-century Maryland in a brilliantly entertaining weave of stories within stories.
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Overview


National Book Award winner John Barth offers a rambunctious story full of narrative high jinks in this lively, inventive epic. Journalist Simon Behler finds himself in the house of Sinbad the Sailor after being washed ashore during a seagoing adventure. Over the course of six evenings, the two take turns recounting their voyages, merging medieval Baghdad and twentieth-century Maryland in a brilliantly entertaining weave of stories within stories.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Just when you may have concluded, like Queen Scheherazade's husband, that you've ``heard them all,'' Barth ( The Tidewater Tales ) proves again how original and entertaining he is. Like many of the author's previous works, his latest blends fantasy, mythology, existentialist wit, bawdy humor and metafictional conceits. But though his opening words declare, ``The machinery's rusty,'' the new novel is a testament both to Barth's undiminished generative powers and to his maturity of vision. In the elaborate plot, a ``fifty-plus,'' ``once-sort-of-famous'' New Journalist named Simon William Behler is mysteriously transported to the medieval Baghdad of Sindbad the Sailor. Behler--known variously as ``Somebody the Sailor,'' ``Baylor'' and ``Sayyid Bey el-Loor,'' falls in love with Sindbad's daughter Yasmin and gets enmeshed in Arabian intrigues. The intrigues revolve around such nagging questions as the intactness of Yasmin's virginity, the veracity of Sindbad's tall tales and the whereabouts of a wristwatch Behler needs in order to return home. All this is dealt with in the course of six evenings of storytelling at Sindbad's dinner table. Barth creates whole and engaging characters with his usual wealth of wordplay, allusion and satire. But the novel's greatest achievement is how it connects the conventionally realistic story of Behler's 20th-century life with the outsize and metaphorical world of Sindbad, reflecting in the process on the nature of stories, dreams, voyages and death. BOMC selection; major ad/promo; author tour . (Feb.)
Library Journal
Simon Behler--or Baylor, as he refers to himself in his countless best-selling books of New Journalism--falls overboard during a cruise retracing the legendary voyages of Sindbad the Sailor and is pulled from the water by contemporaries of the real Sinbad. Trapped in the distant past but never at a loss for words, Behler--or Bey el-Loor, as he is now known--amuses his new friends with his exotic tales: boyhood on Maryland's Eastern Shore, first love, early literary success, marriage, and divorce. Intricately, almost obsessively structured, Barth's latest novel is written in the mature, relaxed, stubbornly long-winded style of The Tidewater Tales (Putnam, 1987). He breaks no new ground here, but fans will enjoy his virtuoso recycling of familiar themes. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/90.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618131716
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/20/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 586
  • Sales rank: 1,419,017
  • Product dimensions: 1.30 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN BARTH's fiction has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. For many years he taught in the writing seminars at John Hopkins University. He is the author of such seminal works as The Sot-Weed Factor, Chimera (for which he won the NBA), and Giles Goat-Boy.

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