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The Book of Ten Nights and a Night: Eleven Stories
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The Book of Ten Nights and a Night: Eleven Stories

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
John Barth, the postmodern master, is back with his sixteenth book and third collection of stories, which gathers for the first time in one volume stories previously published in various journals. Exploring ideas of narrative frames, stories within stories, and the uncanny power that language has in our lives, he offers the thrilling blend of playfulness and illuminating i ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 9th 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2004)
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David Markwell
Feb 08, 2016 David Markwell rated it really liked it
I had never read John Barth before I this. I was drawn to try something of his because of the influence he had on DFW. The Book of Ten Nights and a Night is a compelling meditation on the function of story in a post 11/9 world. Throw in amongst these meditations are some truly phenomenal stories. 9999 and The Rest of your Life were my two favourties from the collection.
Jan 26, 2011 David rated it really liked it
As always, Barth's writing is fun (though requiring some decent mental effort), and almost impossible to talk about. This book of framed short stories/novel/something else entirely is immensely interesting. It's like a couple fiction books had an orgy with some craft books and a series of literary criticism dissertations (along with some other shadowed participants) and a child was born out of the genetic material of all and/or some of the progenitors. Though a short one for Barth, it does not l ...more
Christopher Sutch
Oct 09, 2010 Christopher Sutch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of eleven of Barth's uncollected stories dating from 1960 to 2001, Barth intertwines them with a frame-tale about literary inspiration and a metaphorical Muse. Some of the tales get a little repetitive (Barth has always had his long stretches of time in which he explores the same ideas in different iterations in his published works; stories are less rich than novels for this sort of writing/reading experience). The best of the stories ("The Big Shrink," "9999," "Click") are very goo ...more
Paula C
The framework was great, but the stories I found tedious at times. A number of the stories are about how little story it really takes to make a story, so we're riding the boundary between sort-of-a-story and really-not-a-story all the time. I liked 9999 because it didn't have that same self-consciousness, and I liked the resolution of Click because of the concept of the Centre of Narrative Gravity. ("In a made-up story, the author's narrative viewpoint; in real life-in-the-world, however, the se ...more
Jeff Anderson
Oct 11, 2012 Jeff Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of fun to read. This is a book of short stories tied together by a narrative that is Barth being Barth as his finest. A lot of "Afore-isms" dot the landscape. In general this type of meta-fiction appeals to me greatly and I have a lot of fun reading it. Barth is a master of this stuff and I am always glad to read something of his I have not before. I would have to say that years of reading Barth makes a movie like The Words child's play to follow. The stories are a mixed bag spanning decad ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Bri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I bought this book because I was really in love with the story "Click." Still my favorite, although I can't recall what any of the other stories are about.
Dec 19, 2013 Karyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gave this book a chance but couldn't finish it. Pompous and incoherent writing.
Nov 04, 2013 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great writing , fascinating read
Justin Paszul
Apr 21, 2011 Justin Paszul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read
just really truly bad in every way
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John Simmons Barth is an American novelist and short-story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work.

John Barth was born in Cambridge, Maryland, and briefly studied "Elementary Theory and Advanced Orchestration" at Juilliard before attending Johns Hopkins University, receiving a B.A. in 1951 and an M.A. in 1952 (for which he wrote a thesis novel, The Shirt of Nessus).
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