The End of the Road by John Barth

The End of the RoadThe End of the Road by John Barth

The first quarter of this book was as good as the last was bad. The opening two chapters were hilarious (and I don’t use that word lightly), but then my enjoyment started to deteriorate until it reached bottom with the introduction of THE GUN. Of course all existentialistic novels deal with death in some way or another, sooner or later, however to bring it up just like that, like nothing had happened, with a casual emergence of this silly object that just shows up and occupies all the minds of all the characters, is just too much. The little essence they haven’t lost up until this point is gone and all that is left are the mannequines of author’s copied philosophical ideas. I always hate when ideas become predominant and make the story itself unimportant and incoherent, yet it is rarely done in such a transparent way.

11 Comments

  1. I’m afraid I haven’t read any of these books but I do admire those that seek out ambitious literature. Thank you for following my blog ~ I hope your good taste rubs off on me!

    • Oh I don’t think they are as ambitious as they are little known:) Thank you for following back, I enjoy your posts and can’t wait to read more of them!

  2. This is a spot on assessment, in my opinion.

  3. Have you read any good books?

  4. As a writer, I appreciate you saying that the ideology becomes predominant and the story becomes unimportant and incoherent – a wonderful reminder for the author to not insert self in a work of fiction. Thanks for stopping by “Write LIght.” I look forward to reading more of your blog entries.

  5. I’d found this book’s companion novel, “The Floating Opera,” to be not only a funnier book (as intended), but also a much better read.

    • Thanks for letting me know. I was planning to read it, but I kind of lost motivation after finishing this.. Now it’s back, thanks to you. If it’s anything like the beginning of this one, I know I will enjoy it.

      • Hi Frona,

        It is interesting to me that you started with “The End of the Road”. This has remained, in my mind anyway, one of the great works of fiction. It helped to inform my youth. The question to be answered with any book is: “Has it changed me is some way?” This book did change me. Yes, there are problems with the work, but I think how good any book might be is not found in the writing, but rather how the reader interprets the words. Can the reading be more important than the writing? I think so. To read words and then act upon them is the thing, otherwise we are frozen upon the sidewalk. By the way, your most recent post by Cusk and the first part of “TEOTRoad” are the same. Thanks. Duke

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