Forty Stories

Forty Stories

Book - 1987
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Publisher: New York : Putnam, [1987]
Copyright Date: ©1987
Branch Call Number: FICTION BARTH
Alternative Title: 40 stories


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Nov 18, 2013

Dave Eggers writes an unbearable introduction for this collection, but it's totally fitting as this is basically ground zero for the McSweeney's (and George Saunders) house style: deeply ironic, po-mo and slightly absurd. Barthleme did it first and did it better, without the twee-ness and self-consciousness that mars the work of his successors. This is post-modern writing at its most playful and witty, with stories about Goethe, Paul Klee, armadillos and Bluebeard. "Sentence" is exactly that: a story made up of a single sentence. "Conversations with Goethe," "Porcupines at the University" and "Some Of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby," in which a co-worker is hanged, could be published today and would not seem dated at all. A master.


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