Letters : a novel (Book, 1979) [WorldCat.org]
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Letters : a novel

Author: John Barth; G.P. Putnam's Sons,
Publisher: New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, [1979] ©1979
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Epistolary fiction, American
Epistolary fiction
Fiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Barth, John, 1930-
Letters.
New York : Putnam, ©1979
(OCoLC)562321444
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Barth; G.P. Putnam's Sons,
ISBN: 039912425X 9780399124259 0674526368 9780674526365 1564780619 9781564780614
OCLC Number: 4983419
Notes: "An old time epistolary novel by seven fictitious drolls & dreamers, each of which imagines himself actual."
Description: xv pages, 1 unnumbered page, 772 pages ; 24 cm
Responsibility: John Barth.

Abstract:

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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"A work of genius." -- New York Times Book Review "A landmark!... A prodigious and quite remarkable achievement." -- Washington Post Book World "A testament to Barth's tremendous talent and wit... A Read more...

 
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