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These stories are so much about language and structure, that I really feel like I missed a lot. This is a book which demands a pair of headphones and an easy chair, or to be experienced on the page.
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If you could sum up Lost in the Funhouse in three words, what would they be?
Exploratory Avant-garde fiction
What did you like best about this story?
It is an exploration of new directions that fiction has taken since 1960 by a master of the short story form. Starting with a "first-person" story about a spermatozoan's travel during the course of conception, wending its way through stories which are set in the past yet include present and future, simultaneous alternate narratives that are linked yet disparate, stories that include formal commentaries on themselves, this genre-busting, form-twisting collection/novel answered a criticism of the time that fiction was nearly exhausted, and paved a road that modern writing would take up to the present day. Other than that, it was pretty good.
Which scene was your favorite?
The stories that made formal comments about themselves, such as first declaiming an action or dialogue, then pointing out how such passages 'should' act in a work of fiction, or where they belonged in a plot structure.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No - it ws too intense, and required a significant amount of thinking before and during each story.
Any additional comments?
I later found a good (and free) commentary on the work by Yale's Amy Hungerford in her course "The American Novel Since 1945," down-loadable as an mp3 or transcript from Open Yale Courses. Barth was one of her professors at Johns Hopkins. Like Joyce's 'Finnegan's Wake,' someone needed to write this, but no one should attempt it again.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful