The critically acclaimed final masterwork of John Gardner: an American novel haunted with macabre and cerebral elements.
The final novel by John Gardner, Mickelsson's Ghosts, originally published in 1982 just months before his untimely death in a motorcycle accident, is a tour de force. The protagonist Peter Mickelsson, a former star philosophy professor at Brown, relocates to Binghamton University. On the verge of bankruptcy, separated from his wife, in questionable mental health, and drinking heavily, Mickelsson decides to buy a country house in northeastern Pennsylvania. What he encounters there are impassioned and shameless love affairs (one of which results in a regrettable pregnancy), a Mormon extremist cult, small town mythologies, the robbery of a robber, multiple murders, the ghosts of an incestuous family, Plato, and our hero's own possible insanity.
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OMG What a BORE!!!!
I'm 9 hours into this story and I know very little more than I did when I read the summary. I'm not sure I can trust user reviews anymore. There is no apparent story line, just an endless regurgitation of this miserable character's depressing poverty, age, failure as a husband and father, and his repetitive poor financial choices. What a miserable existence. And the philosophy discussions? I'd rather eat glass. I've read warning labels that were more interesting. This book is dry, unimaginably boring, and the author leans heavily on his own experience as a professor. The narration is awful. Seriously, don't waste your time or money.
- april franklin