Middle C

Middle C

by William H. Gass
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Middle C by William H. Gass

In a series of brilliant variations, William Gass presents a man’s life—futile, comic, anarchic—arranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms, and tones, with music as both theme and structure.

It begins in Graz, Austria, in 1938, when Joseph Skizzen’s father pretends to be Jewish and emigrates to avoid the Nazis. In London with his wife and children for the duration of the war, he mysteriously disappears and the rest of the family relocates to a small town in Ohio. Here Joseph Skizzen grows up and leads a resolutely ordinary life, but one that is built on a scaffold of forgery and deceit. Outwardly he is a professor of music at a mediocre college; secretly he is the earnestly obsessive curator of a private Inhumanity Museum, meant to contain the guilt of centuries of atrocities. Middle C tells the story of his journey—a story that is also an investigation into the nature of identity and the ways in which each of us is several selves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307701633
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/12/2013
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.72(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.36(d)

About the Author

William H. Gass—essayist, novelist, literary critic—was born in Fargo, North Dakota. He is the author of six works of fiction and nine books of essays, including Life Sentences, A Temple of Texts, and Tests of Time. Gass is a former professor of philosophy at Washington University. He lives with his wife, the architect Mary Gass, in St. Louis.

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Middle C 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
bookluvrFC More than 1 year ago
I thought the story was imaginative, but the style was bothersome. The main character would dwell on a topic, saying the same thing different ways, long strings of words that in my opinion got tiresome. I didn't appreciate this aspect of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptional prose with a nonlinear narrative. This book won't have a wide audience, but when it is all said and done will be one of the best of the year. Gass is considered a "difficult" author, but is more than worth the effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! It was very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was AWESOME !!!!!!!!! You get your moneys worth out of this. :D