Letters: A Novel

Putnam, 1979 - 772 σελίδες
Basically, [Barth] takes several people from his early novels and has them all starting to write to each other, and to him, their letters and experiences directing the plot. And what starts out as what could be a too-cute literary trick winds up being extremely revealing, as the characters pour themselves into the letters, regardless of whom they're writing to, as the plot skips and slips through time. On one level it acts as a sequel to those early novels, continuing their stories and although it's not really required to read those books, I'm not going to pretend it doesn't help. The best thing to do would be to read those old novels in one block and then move onto this . . . I read them some years ago so I was a little fuzzy on the finer points. But I picked it up. But Barth captures the voices of his old characters well and even if you didn't know who was writing what letter, you could tell. And thus they tell the recepient, and us, about their hopes and fears, they mingle together, they lie, they come unglued, and by the end you sort of get a tapestry of their thoughts. There's a plot weaving through here but sometimes it becomes hard to connect it with six different people discussing different angles of it with you, but I just went with it and enjoyed the writing for what it was. --Michael Battaglia at Amazon.com.

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Liisa Saariluoma
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John Barth taught for many years in the writing program at Johns Hopkins University, and he lives in Chestertown, Maryland.

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