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Snow White Paperback – May 30, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (May 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684824795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684824796
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald Barthelme (April 7, 1931 – July 23, 1989) was an American author known for his playful, postmodernist style of short fiction. Barthelme also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post, was managing editor of Location magazine, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston (1961–1962), co-founder of Fiction (with Mark Mirsky and the assistance of Max and Marianne Frisch), and a professor at various universities. He also was one of the original founders of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
David Barthelme's Snow White, unlike some other specimens of avant-garde fiction, never loses its grip on the plot or the emotions of its characters in favor of retaining its experimental rhythms. One is able to feel sympathy for the many long-suffering dwarves, hope for the romantic leads, and an appropriate sense of the apalling regarding the villains, and still appreciate the puns and absurdities Barthelme was so adept at creating. At first glance, readers of more mainstream fiction might be put off by the seemingly random leaps between viewpoints and styles. However, on closer inspection, one finds a distinct pattern and a remarkable fullness to the prose. Not to mention the often tremendously funny, yes laugh-out-loud funny, episodes sprinkled throughout the book. By the time one reaches the last, very short, chapter, one sees that every line has been carefully crafted to reach this conclusion. It has become inevitable. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in adult faerie tales, experimental fiction, or anyone seeking a diverting, off the beaten path, change of pace from the cookie cutter junk so many authors now pass off as great literature.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "not-me" on May 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that it's easy to get a lot from, and leaves you with endless questions as well. It's one that makes you laugh out loud and makes you say "Huh?" an awful lot.
One of the many things I enjoyed about this book is the interweaving of elements from the original tale and the Disney version (Heigh-ho!) The rhythmn of the narrative almost made me snap my fingers along to the beat. And the originality within a retold story put me in mind of Anne Sexton's work with fairy tales, but with a decidedly comic view.
With layer upon layer (which I can't seem to get enough of) that extends from the solidarity of modern relationships to the questions of "How unique is the American culture? Can it be preserved?" I saw many examples where exploration is encouraged.
But many many many questions linger. First and foremost: Who is the narrator? More like: Which is the narrator? All of the "seven dwarfs", or just one? Are the all facets of one person? I could really go on all day.
This is truly a book worthy of a second, third, and fourth read. There is just too much for my little mind to grasp at once, but definately a novel that entertains as well as, (and I hate this phrase but...) "makes you think."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1997
Format: Paperback
I first read _Snow White_ some time in the '80s, and somehow was unmoved by the wit, the irony, the fantastic stylistic control. Then for some reason I started reading a section of it aloud to a friend, and fell in love with it. Each brief chapter has its own style, its own didactic purpose, and most of all its own mad humor. Barthelme is a worthy companion of Calvino (_If On a Winter's Night a Traveller_) in reinventing comic fiction
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Martin on August 1, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
my introduction to donald barthelme were his short stories. i learned of this book, dove right in and discovered quite a romp! i feel for the other reviewers that may have felt that this was a faithful rendition of grimm classic. it certainly is not!! it is twisted and thought provoking. my favorite passages are the quiz and the end of part one, and the letter that jane (the evil stepmother) writes to a stranger in the phone book, mr. quistgaard. that truly makes you stop and think about the way things are today and how we insulate ourselves in our own plenum. in a rather strange way, it made me want to do the same thing!

i know absolutely nothing about post-modernist literature. i don't even know what it means. what i do know is that barthelme creates and recreates his own personal universe with each story and book. each one unique and provocative. i have read that barthelme is the master. i can believe it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By IRA Ross on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have to admit that it took me quite some time to get into this version of _Snow White_. Batheleme's writing seemed too clever, too facile, too concerned with word play, too designed for the intellectual reader (not to be confused with the intelligent reader). I started to connect, but not entirely, with the far from fairy tale-like characters, who were more like people out of a Dashiell Hammett crime novel. Snow White, a sexy, femme fatale, with long black hair and a body that does not quit. Paul, hardly anyone's idea of a Prince Charming. He seemed incapable of rescuing her. The seven men with whom Snow White lived--who were they? No one could possibly believe that Snow White was merely their housekeeper. Jane, sort of, but not quite a wicked stepmother type, who could mix a mean cocktail.
Batrthelme's cynical, fractured fairy tale is kind of fun, inventively written and diverting, but loveable and warmhearted? Absolutely not!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Walton on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Oh I wish there were some words in the world that were not the words I always hear!" (from Snow White). This book changed my conception of what is possible in literature. Barthelme uses a well-known fairy tale to explore the nature of human relationships, in a satirical, creative, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny way. His literary allusions and facility with language are often as dizzying as the view from the skyscraper windows that Snow White's seven little men wash for a living. I highly recommend this book.
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