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The Teachings of Don B.: Satires, Parodies, Fables, Illustrated Stories, and Plays of Donald Barthelme
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The Teachings of Don B.: Satires, Parodies, Fables, Illustrated Stories, and Plays of Donald Barthelme

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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  339 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
A Batman episode slowed to soap-opera speed; a game of baseball played by T. S. Eliot and Willem de Kooning; an illustrated account of a scientific quest for God. These imaginative riffs on reality could only have been generated by the brilliant bad boy of American letters, Donald Barthelme. Here, 63 rare short works by Barthelme — satires and gables, plays for stage and r ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 28th 2008 by Counterpoint (first published 1992)
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Eric Cartier
This is a curious, uneven, posthumous collection that includes Barthelme's signed and unsigned letters to The New Yorker, recipes, short-short stories, photo/illustration collage stories, variations of stories that appeared in Guilty Pleasures and Overnight to Many Distant Cities, and plays that were never produced. Barthelme newcomers ought to begin with either aforementioned book, because the works here run the gamut from treasures to dreck. What's worthy is wonderful, though, and this book wa ...more
Iletrado
Mar 03, 2015 Iletrado rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Algunos de los relatos de Barthelme son simple y llanamente extraordinarios. Parece que se ría de todo, de todos, con una imaginación que raya en la locura. Es raro, raro de narices en muchas ocasiones, y eso quizá pueda molestar a aquellos lectores que nunca esperan nada cuando se encuentran con un libro entre las manos. Si algo tiene Barthelme, y en este compendio de textos uno se da perfecta cuenta, es que hace de la escritura un juego. Me he reído bastante, como en sus relatos 'El salto', 'A ...more
Nathan Jerpe
A little uneven but there are several uproarious peaks.

My Favorites :

Stories/Essays
-Three Great Meals
-The Palace
-The Joker's Greatest Triumph (yes, that Joker)
-The Art of Baseball (with T. S. Eliot @ shortstop)

Plays
-The Friends of the Family

Collage Pieces
-there are about six of them and really I liked every one, The Nation of Wheels is about exactly that and is the zaniest of them all.

There were a number of shorts I couldn't make heads or tails of, and the other two plays left me bemused. Still
...more
Jeff Jackson
Despite what the wonderful introduction by Thomas Pynchon claims, this is not 'vintage Barthelismo.' There are some choice odds and sods - including dynamite recipes - for the delectation of fans, but the curious should start with '60 Stories.'
wally
Apr 07, 2011 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: barthelme
this collection is a delight. collage. good word for what barthelme has here.

cue the soundtrack: rescue me! doobie doobie doo! rescue me! pretend i'm a pony.



"the teachings of don b: a yankee way of knowledge"
--i think this is a story about how to get published. beware the michelin man.

"i wrote a letter..."
--to the president of the moon. a friend pointed out marilyn once to me. she's straight up and down in iowa, but up here, she tilts.

"challenge"
---ummmm
----the japanese-made book review----

"t
...more
Jim Elkins
Oct 09, 2012 Jim Elkins rated it it was ok
Shelves: american
The consensus on Barthelme is that he launched the postmodern short-story form in the US. A very thoughtful review by James Wolcott ('Bookforum,' February / March 2008, pp. 9-10), sums it up very well:

'Today, I would hazard... the track marks of Barthelme's suave, subversive cunning are to be found less in postmod fiction -- although David Foster Wallace's dense foliage of footnotes suggests a Bathelmean undergrowth and George Saunders's arcade surrealism has a runaway-nephew quality -- than in
...more
Amanda
Jan 28, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don B.!!! The big standouts here for me were the recipes, weird jottings about the President, and other stuff that feels like it came directly from the author's Moleskine notebook with no edits whatsoever. One essay about the Ed Sullivan Show made me laugh aloud at every sentence, the way only Barthelme's prose can. Other things I enjoyed were the illustrated story "Brain Damage," the play version of a story called "The Conservatory," which is one of my faves in 60 Stories... and everything else ...more
Shani Jayant
May 03, 2014 Shani Jayant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barthelme is a master. Guaranteed laughs, pangs of heartache, and resignation come with his portrayal of the state of Western culture, politics, science, and love. One of my top 3 favorite authors. Mind you, a couple of his stories still fall flat or beg to be skimmed over, but that's a small price to pay for a man who takes risks in his writing.
Mykle
Jan 04, 2008 Mykle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a posthumous release, and while it's got some great stories in it, it somehow doesn't quite have the magic-lyrical quality that some of his other story collections do. Enjoyed and recommended nevertheless.
David Markwell
Feb 08, 2016 David Markwell rated it liked it
A good group of stories (with pictures!) from Barthelme. If you haven't read Barthelme you absolutely should. Not sure? Check out McSweeney's Issue 24 which contains an elegy for the man from a group of great authors, and a good group of stories from authors inspired by Don B.
Ian Evans
Jan 25, 2008 Ian Evans rated it liked it
Donald Bathelme was a strange and wonderful writer, and that's all reflected in this here book. A great gift for any friends about to go off the deep end into Carlos Casteneda-style New Age weirdness.
Matt
Nov 01, 2007 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
previously uncollected stuff. This may be OOP now. It's got a great, lengthy intro written by Pynchon, in his inimitable style.

The first, I believe eponymously-titled, story is a hoot, as are the 'recipes'.
Lee
Mar 30, 2009 Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: american-lit
A hodgepodge, but a fun one. Highlights include "Wasteland" the musical, a reimagining of an episode of Batman, and of course, every illustrated collage piece. Still, probably for diehard Barthelme fans only.
Michael
Probably not the place to go to start reading Bartheleme, which is what I did. There were a few pieces I liked, but I never was able to finish it.
Anne Francia Chavez
One of the craziest books i have ever read. some parts made absolutely no sense, but some parts were absolutely hilarious.
Robert
Apr 08, 2008 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read Barthelme in so many years that I think I'd forgotten what a great writer he was, funny in a "New Yorker" casual way, yet also inventive and wise.
Luke
Dec 08, 2007 Luke rated it liked it
The title story is pretty hilarious but a lot of this is half-funny detritus. I should read more Barthelme, I have a feeling that his other stuff is better.
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Donald Barthelme was born to two students at the University of Pennsylvania. The family moved to Texas two years later, where Barthelme's father would become a professor of architecture at the University of Houston, where Barthelme would later major in journalism. In 1951, still a student, he wrote his first articles for the Houston Post. Barthelme was drafted into the Korean War in 1953, arriving ...more
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