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Like the title says, here are 40 short works culled from across Barthelme's career. Along with the similarly titled 60 Stories, this book provides one of the best samplings currently in print of Barthelme's unrivaled humor, his melancholy, the poetry of his line, and his considerable intellect. It includes pieces such as the famous "Sentence," (a single, several-page-long, unfinished sentence), "The Flight of Pigeons From the Palace," one of the writer's illustrated stories, and "Overnight To Many Distant Cities." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This collection of pithy, brilliantly acerbic pieces is a companion to Sixty Stories, Barthelme's earlier retrospective volume. Barthelme spotlights the idiosyncratic, haughty, sometimes downright ludicrous behavior of human beings, but it is style rather than content which takes precedence. He plunges into each situation without preamble, then utilizes sinewy, staccato prose to snare our attention. In "The Genius," a man of extraordinary intellect receives endless accolades and homage, but privately, he is just an eccentric inebriate who loathes children and totes important papers in a green Sears, Roebuck tool box. "Concerning the Bodyguard" is a fusillade of typically gossipy questions about those who shield the famous and mighty: "How much does pleasing matter?" "Is the bodyguard sufficiently well-paid?" "Is there a pension?" In "Conversations with Goethe," Barthelme dethrones the renowned German author, who here spouts comical aphorisms such as "Art is the four percent interest on the municipal bond of life," and "Actors are the Scotch weevils in the salt port of honest effort." As demonstrated throughout this volume, Barthelme's manner of expression is strikingly unique, and his insights are consistently on target.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Utter nonsense or great literature? You ask yourself this while reading. It's like when someone glues a bottle cap to a wall and says it's art and charges $200,000.00 for it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Earnest
I find Barthelme to be funny, witty, and surprising which to me equals entertainment. Be warned, though, this is that beyond post-modern almost gonzo fiction stuff that some may... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Pharmer
Donald Barthelme, Forty Stories
introduction by Dave Eggers (2005)
Short fiction is capable of drastically more than we use it for. Read more
All I can bear is to listen to Erik Satie in the early afternoon. Bartheleme has ruined everything. Best read "Rock Springs" by Richard Ford.Published 18 months ago by John Harmon
While very challenging and insightful, I found many of the stories to be superficially "cute" and a little self-indulgent. Not as satisfying as I thought it would be.Published on December 29, 2007 by Angus M. Kennedy
The Marx brothers and origami have an affair. They name the bastard Donald barthelme.Published on August 29, 2005 by kaygatto
As an aspiring writer, these stories by Barthelme give me hope that experimental literature still thrives in this sound byte-, laugh track-, talking head-prompted, fast-paced MTV... Read morePublished on August 22, 2005 by J. Jewell