by John Barth


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628971286
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date: 12/18/2015
Series: American Literature Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 836,747
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Barth is our most celebrated postmodernist. From the appearance in 1956 of The Floating Opera, his first published book, through the essay collection Final Fridays, released in 2012, he has published at least two books in each of the seven decades spanning his writerly life thus far. Thrice nominated for the National Book Award—The Floating Opera, Lost in the Funhouse, and Chimera, which won in 1973—Barth has received the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. A native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he taught for twenty-two years in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He now lives in Florida with his wife Shelly.

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Chimera 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
steve.clason on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I read this first in the '70s, shortly after it was published in paperback, and I loved it -- so much that I've hung on to my cheap ($1.50!) paperback copy for 40 years. Nudged by reading 1001 Nights recently, I read it again, and I think I enjoyed it even more this time through, maturity and "widsom" allowing a richer appreciation of the tales.The book consists of three interrelated novellas that stretch and twist and tie in knots any sense of narrative in the traditional sense (though Barth takes a little time out for a little exposition on the narrative arc). The narrator changes, voice changes, the author makes appearances, characters change their names, shapeshifters shift their shape while somehow and slowly the reader is told extended stories of Dunyazade (Sharhazade's sister from 1001 Nights) , Perseus, and Belleraphon. It would be difficult to read if you tried to "understand it", but it's great fun if you just approach it as you would a story told you by an educated, clever, and thoroughly deranged friend -- it's literate, erotic (without even approaching pornographic), wise, silly, fun and good-natured. I can't recommend it highly enough.
mrkatzer on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I read this book in college and just didn't get it. The first section was brilliant, but the rest was largely unreadable. I understand that it's an example of postmodern writing and it's very celebrated; now that I'm a little older and might have more perspective I should probably re-read this one.
mrminjares on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This was a difficult read. The first of the three novellas contained in this book starts in the middle of the story. The second novella is told by two multiple narrators - sometimes at the same time. These are just examples of how John Barth plays with the standard form of the novel and keeps the reader guessing.John Barth is clearly a brilliant writer. His language is intense, focused, funny, and surprising. I really enjoyed his sentences. The re-telling of the tale of 1001 nights and of Perseus was enjoyable. But I was frequently challenged to understand who was speaking at any given point in the story, and where in the chronological or physical ordering of the story I was at any given time.This book would be great for an English Ph.D. interested in the re-invention of style and form. For someone just out to read a good book, I recommend picking up something else.