Ben's Reviews > Lost in the Funhouse

Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth
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's review
Nov 18, 2011

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Read in November, 2011

If I were reviewing only the first half of this book, I’d give it five stars, but the second half is really flat (maybe intentionally so). Several of the later stories deal with Greek mythology, but feel self-indulgent. Very little in the way of emotion or plot. Who knows? Maybe I’ve been spoiled reading more recent mythic-reinventions like Autobiography of Red or Everything Ravaged Everything Burned. For whatever reason, I found myself skimming past Menelaus and his wooden wants and needs, etc.

Still, the set is definitely worth checking out for everything up to and including the title story, Lost in the Funhouse. The writing is fun and innovative and emotionally charged. It’s not really a short story collection; it has elements of the novel: arcs, themes, etc. And the characters are spun out of the strangest narrative twists—even instructions to cut out portions of the book and tape it back together.

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