Skip to content
Paperback The Dead Father Book

ISBN: 0140086676

ISBN13: 9780140086676

The Dead Father

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

Save $6.76!
List Price $10.95

2 Available

Book Overview

"The Dead Father "is a gargantuan half-dead, half-alive, part mechanical, wise, vain, powerful being who still has hopes for himself--even while he is being dragged by means of a cable toward a mysterious goal. In this extraordinary novel, marked by the imaginative use of language that influenced a generation of fiction writers, Donald Barthelme offered a glimpse into his fictional universe. As Donald Antrim writes in his introduction, "Reading "The...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Funny in a funny way

Barthelme makes humor and complexity look simple in this perfect little book. One wonders what it might have been like to be a creative writing student of his. His use of Post Modern conventions is genuinely unique and he wields a story of just enough depth to keep the reader guessing where it might take him next, but always comfortable in the passenger seat of Barthelme's vehicle. The book takes the reader on a journey wherein a god is disposed of, simply that. But the humorous way it transpires captivates and complicates things. The word play is delicious. The style is clever, but not too much so for its own good. The book is a veritable delight.

Classic Barthelme

"The Dead Father" is a novel by Barthelme who is far more famous for his short stories. But fans of his short stories won't be surprised by anything in The Dead Father. All his trademarks are there: Long pages of odd dialogue, humorous lists, deadpan humor, metafiction, etc. If you are new to Barthelme, I'd recommend "60 Stories" first (his short fiction is better), but "The Dead Father" is certainly the best of his 4 novels.

funny angry profane absurd

This is far and away Barthelme's most trenchant and acidic work. The gargantuan Dead Father is being dragged to his burial ground by some dispassionate former worshippers. Along the way they navigate the country of the Wends, who father themselves, and read the hilarious and savage A Manual for Sons. There has never been anything like this book. Barthelme nearly matches Voltaire for satiric violence and wit.

Caustic Brilliance

I hate experimental fiction. Don DeLillo and his ilk, they bore me; it's just a lot of fake cleverness. But this book, while you can't deny the avantness of its garde, is...well...the first page brings up the question of just what exactly is lodged in the supine, mile-tall Dead Father's teeth. "Mackerel salad. At least we think it is mackerel salad. In the sagas, it is mackerel salad." Wildly fantastic, caustically funny ( the sex scenes will make you fall out of your chair), prosodically innovative ( I believe Barthelme has invented his own verb tense) and yet, easy to follow and, really, with an old-fashioned plot. It is a parable about the overthrow of old tyrannies -- and in spite of all the literary smartaleckitude it is tender and genuinely moving. You have never read anybody like Barthelme, and if you can find this book anywhere (out of PRINT! how DARE they? ) treasure it. Nothing like it has ever been written or will be again. Sixty-eight stars (if they would allow it.)

Fun to read

Barthelme's best novel. As with all of his novel's there is not so much a plot as wonderful word play, black, absurdist humor, and a terrific sense of irony. This is the outrageous story of a small group of people toting their dead ruler--The Dead Father--to his burial ground. Both a pathetic and frightening character, The Dead Father only vaguely suspects what is happening to him, continuing to believe that he is being taken somewhere to be restored to life. This is the kind of novel you could get away with writing in the mid-20th century, a time of great experimentataion in literature. Unfortunately, those days appear to be over.
Copyright © 2020 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured