Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Middle C Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 12, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Joseph shares the same gloomy outlook on humanity as his father. He fears humanity will not disappear. He experiences people as a blight. But he regards himself as a fake, a questionable teacher of music and a quixotic music critic. Here he lives in Ohio, in the middle of the country, with a population that are all unequal. He is haunted by crimes against humanity, founding an Inhumanity Museum. Joseph lives in his mother's garden, amongst the rules of nature, and even here he can feel the fraud.
The book revolves around riffs of philosophy, musicology, perhaps the quest for the middle. The language is playful, then devastating, then prosaic. This book has been reviewed as difficult to read, post modern, and uneven. These reviews scared me off for a while, but I was intrigued with the Austrian pretending to be a Jew. I found the writing accessible, mesmerizing, and fantastic in the true meaning of the word. I like Joseph and his quest for the middle that even in music, never sounds alone. I urge you to make the jump, disregarding the warnings. Not much is new in the literary sun, but this book has much that is novel, in the true meaning of the word.
The writing is often dense which, for me, definitely detracted from the pleasure of reading, but Gass is so knowledgeable and intellectual that he kept me going. His humor ("At first Joey appreciated her apparently genuine vulgarity in such a crowd of stodges."), his odd characters (the unforgettable Miss Spiky who Skizzen and I couldn't help but like) and an unusual story with plenty of deep thoughts to ponder carried me through to the end. I don't expect to see "Middle C" at the top of "The New York Times" Best Sellers list, but a big bravo to Gass and Knopf for publishing it.
In some of the early chapters (3, 6), Gass relates, with considerable relish, a great many details of horrific murders of people by other people. Not since William Burroughs (Naked Lunch, but especially Thanksgiving Day Prayer) have I seen inhumanity related with such deadpan glee. I don't pick up any sense of outrage, or even disgust, from Gass. He seems almost bored with it. This is the way it is, the way it always has been. The bewildering thing is that somehow people in general continue on, civilization walking around in an incredible, indelible, fantasy of its goodness and mercy. But if Gass thinks he's the first with that news, he's sadly mistaken.
At one point our hero, in his quest to avoid human affairs, mentions: "I am lonely." But it's very late in the book, and that thought is not explored or developed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Experiments don't always work. This one failed abysmally. There is no plot on which to hang the readers' hopes while slogging through the writer's directionless prose. Read morePublished 7 months ago by F. Stop Fitzgerald
Sooooo hard to read. I enjoyed the high quality literary style, but I did not enjoy that the 'story' dragged on and on and on. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Debbra Richards
Masterwork of modernist fiction with respect to plot and character perspective, but readers who want the descriptive details and suspense of conventional novels will be greatly... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Paul G Anderson
A gift, person wasn't that thrilled by it.I don't know anything about it.Published 21 months ago by mysreader
I have gotten this book 4 different times from my library , but have been unable to finish it so far because the characters and the story don't hold my continuing interest. Read morePublished on May 27, 2014 by Star of the Sea
I sort of liked the half of the book in which things actually happened. The other half, in which the main character goes on and on about his fear and loathing of humanity, was... Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by jyw
Storytelling is hard to do Mr, Gass makes it feel simple. A enjoyed the depiction of his Mom i dont like spoilers well done.Published on December 17, 2013 by John Esposito
There are sections of this book that fall somewhere between poetry and hallucination when Gass describes music. Read morePublished on December 15, 2013 by Jos.A. Smith
This intriguing coming-of-age novel weaves together the Blitz, classical music, gardening, academia, literary collecting, sibling rivalry, and the mystery of a family loss. Read morePublished on December 10, 2013 by K. Egan