The Dead Father

By Donald Barthelme,

Book cover of The Dead Father

Book description

The Dead Father is a gargantuan half-dead, half-alive, part mechanical, wise, vain, powerful being who still has hopes for himself--even while he is being dragged by means of a cable toward a mysterious goal. In this extraordinary novel, marked by the imaginative use of language that influenced a generation of…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Dead Father as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I studied the post-modernists in college, and find Barthelme to be the funniest and most likable of that group. His collection of short fiction, Sixty Stories, is my desert island book, but he also wrote a few novels that I like, especially The Dead Father. The dead father looms large in the ethos of his society, and is also literally big—3,200 cubits long. And the dead father is not really dead—though all agree he’s past his prime. So, a road trip is organized: nineteen of his followers attach a cable to drag the massive, complaining figure to a…

From James' list on literary fiction to laugh out loud.

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