I just finished reading this book and I thought it was really ingenious and creative. I have two questions though. 1) What was the story with the ship about? The guy stuck in the darkness of the ship next to a crate with stuff that could've prevented the explosion? 2) What was the last story about, the baby dying? Was he imagining what it would've been like if he had died at birth? Was it a hint that he committed suicide? I'd be happy if anyone had any theories. :)
I don't know about the ship, but the baby could be a metaphor for the book itself. Throughout the novel, Johnny acknowledges the inferiority of both Zampano's creation and his own annotations. The baby has holes in its brain and can't live off life support, just as the book is riddled with unanswered questions and can't truly function as a novel on its own. Note, also, that the baby's death is the last thing that happens in Johnny's part of the text; just as the book comes to an end, so does its metaphor.