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Final Fridays

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  5 reviews
For decades, acclaimed author John Barth has strayed from his Monday-through-Thursday-morning routine of fiction-writing and dedicated Friday mornings to the muse of nonfiction. The result is Final Fridays, his third essay collection, following The Friday Book (1984) and Further Fridays (1995). Sixteen years and six novels since his last volume of non-fiction, Barth delivers yet another rema ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Counterpoint (first published April 10th 2012)
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May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gregsamsa by: Mala
Finishing this book is like finishing two and a half beers: you feel smarter, wittier, and more interesting, yet still modest enough to refrain from any attempt to demonstrate.

So: hold on a sec while I kill off that last brew.


A writer of discipline and habit, Barth set each Friday aside to pen pieces of non-ficion as a break from the week's other work of teaching, researching, and fictioneering. The first collection of these was The Friday Book. Ten years later came Further Fridays: E/>
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Final is the third of a trilogy of Fridays collecting the non-fictioning from Mr Barth's pen. It and it's companions -- The Friday Book and Further Fridays -- are required reading for a any fan of Mr Barth's fictioning and a few from the early volumes are required readings. There is less urgency in these latter day Final Fridays and plenty of repetitions of themes and views and motifs from his younger days. Does he repeat himself? Oddly, this piece from The Atlantic did not make it into this volume. ...more
Adam Dalva
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it
pleasantly unessential, sometimes extremely intelligent, repetitive in the manner of essay collections, gains strength as Barth ages and ends with a bang. The essay on Borges/Calvino is a standout.

More later; I'll link my piece on later days Barth here when it's published.
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Barth being Barth. At this point in his career/life, he can be a bit repetitive, and there are a few places that made me wince, but overall, some lovely ruminations. The chapters that are tributes to other authors were particularly good, if always a little shorter than one might wish. And I'm a sucker for every instance of his talking about his Parker 51. A good, but not groundbreaking, read if you like ole JB.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am saddened to find myself saying this, for saying it helps to confirm that I actually felt this way too, but Barth seems to have become that somewhat predictable sage who has done brilliant work but now recycles that brilliance into nearly insufferable redundancy. Granted, many a piece in here was not written for the well-Barthed but more for its occasional context, and so I should not be surprised to find ideas about storytelling, say, revamped for yet another talk on the subject, but I stil ...more
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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
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