“There is no one writing today who has the resources of his imagination or the depth of understanding about the nature of narrative.”
— Richard Lehan, Los Angeles Times Book Review
Written when John Barth was 24 years old, The Floating Opera is his first novel, published in 1957. It is a first-person reminiscence of the day Todd Andrews decided to commit suicide. Having picked up some sense of the French Existentialist writers from the postwar Zeitgeist, this novel questions life’s value through the eyes of a 37-year-old man.
“His ability to contrive a really preposterous situation is impressive. His gift of gab is impressive, too.” — New York Times
“Barth can pick literature apart in a narrative, play with it, and finally make restoration just in time for it to accomplish its ancient purposes of amusement and revelation.” — Jack Richardson, The New Republic