This book is a collection of short stories, not written together, but chosen because in some way or another they intertwine. The most common theme throughout all the stories is the difficulty of writing. How do you write a new story when everything has already been said? That’s the question that Barth tries to tackle with these stories which consciously show the reader the difficulties of the writing process. The collection also contains some stories that are retellings of classic Greek mythology and literature (such as the Iliad) from different points of view.
I think that these stories are excellently crafted and worth reading, but you have to be prepared to work to get through the story. Barth does everything in his power to break away from the conventional short story and he succeeds. This book is not for everyone, but only for those who are ready to venture into the fun house.
Review Submitted by: Lauren Grey
Rating: Recommended with Reservations