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In this unsettling, shimmering novel, the reader is immediately drawn into the world of a woman who has gone mad because she is the last surviving creature on earth. Sitting at a typewriter in a beach house day after uncharted dayshe keeps no calendar or clocksshe pours out her thoughts on music, art and ancient Greek legends, and remembrances of her travels across the globe in abandoned cars, looking for other living beings. But after a while, some discrepancies creep into her rambling, compelling monologue: an accident that she first says took place in New York now occurs in Leningrad; memories become distorted by imaginings. Were they ever really memories in the first place? By the end of this seamless stream of consciousness, there is no distinction between fantasy and reality, past and present. Markson (The Ballad of Dingus Magee) keeps the reader off balance and finally unsure of even the foundation of his character's madnessperhaps she is alone only because she believes she is.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A work of genius . . . an erudite, breathtakingly cerebral novel whose prose is crystal and whose voice rivets and whose conclusion defies you not to cry." --David Foster Wallace
"Addresses formidable philosophic questions with tremendous wit . . . remarkable . . . a novel that can be parsed like a sentence; it is that well made." --New York Times Book Review
"I can't think of the last time I held my breath when I read a book, waiting for the author to make one slip. Markson is as precise and dazzling as Joyce. His wit and awesome power of observation make this fictional world utterly convincing. I couldn't put this book down. I can't forget it. While Markson himself would deplore the use of a cliche, all I can say is that this book is original, beautiful, and an absolute masterpiece. Anyone who reads it can't think about the world the same way." --Ann Beattie
My rating is a reflection of my literary deficiencies and not of this book's quality. It was simply too abstruse -- well over my head.Published 24 days ago by dyrdee
Awesomely amazing book! I feel I am typing as Kate! I am dragging a stick across the sand! Yes. Me.Published 4 months ago by Patrick Redmond
YES with a capital EMPHATICALLY. I was hypnotized as I read the meandering thoughts of Wittgenstein's Mistress. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Arman
This book is emotionally devastating and intellectually challenging. Markson is known for writing in a disjointed, spare, postmodern style -- all his books are collections of facts... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Erika D. Price
This book has won very high praise but it's stream-of-conscienceness and very difficult to read.
I gave up after 12 pages or so. Read more
Be patient. By the halfway mark you'll have a better sense of what's at play. It's well worth it for sure.Published 15 months ago by Thomas O'Keefe
I like contemporary fiction. I don't believe that one need be constantly entertained to appreciate literature. That's my bias. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Seth Bouchelle
This is not really complicated, although it may seem to be.
Although doubtless I had better get some help with this difficulty, being what I was finally forced to think. Read more