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The end of the road by John Barth
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The end of the road (1958)

by John Barth

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זה הספר השני שבארט כתב והשני שאני קורא שנית לאחר כחמישים שנה מהקריאה הראשונה. זה ספר יותר טוב מהאופרה הצפה וכנראה שמשום כך גם זכרתי ממנו יותר, בפרט את הסוף המצמרר. זה ספר קר, אכזרי ומצמרר שאני חושב שהשפיע עלי לא מעט. למעשה אני חושב שלבארט היה תפקיד לא טריויאלי כלל בעיצוב האישיות שלי ומה אני חושב על עצמי ועל אנשים ועל איך ולמה הם עושים דברים. ( )
  amoskovacs | Nov 19, 2016 |
The End of the Road by John Barth - Hated it!

Hate, hate, hated this book! Hated the characters, hated the storyline, just horrible. Not that it's badly written you understand. In order to engender that level of emotion, it must have some redeming factors, but I fail to see why it is listed in the 1001 books you must read before you die

http://www.listology.com/list/1001-books-you-must-read-you-die

So, the characters:

Jacob Horner is our central character, obnoxious in the extreme with little care for the people around him. He uses and discards as he feels fit.

Joe Morgan, a colleague of Jacob. An awful bully of a man who actually thinks that hitting his wife is a good thing as it will straighten her out.

Rennie Morgan, his downtrodden wife. So completely dominated that she agrees that his hitting her has helped her see more clearly.

Peggy Rankin, a pick up of Jacob's. Middle aged, single, desperate. Let's Jacob mimic Joe by allowing herself to be bullied. Now that's a little judgemental of me, but after the first encounter with Jacob, she has no need to allow him back into her life, she has a choice.

Finally, 'the doctor'. He's been treating Jacob for, what I presume to be, manic depression. He's somewhat unorthodox (under statement) and also seems to have little to redeem him.

The plotline of marital infidelity on a college campus in the 1950s (first published 1958) didn't have much in common with the blurb on the back of the book: "a spectacularly black comedy of marital infidelity on a college campus echoing with dark, cruel laughter. In Jacob Horner, whose ludicrous and scandalous antics wreck lives and marriages, he has created one of the most memorable dreadful 'heroes' to appear for many year"

Well I didn't do any laughing, cruel or otherwise, but Jacob Horner is definitely memorably dreadful.


( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
An overall odd book....an odd slightly troubled fellow, treated by a slightly creepy, quacky under-the-radar doctor, makes friends with an obsessive married couple and the further unraveling of their very odd lives picks up the pace. I really did not like any of the characters in this book, and my 3 stars may be generous, yet i still anxiously followed along, wondering where it could possibly be heading - oh.....I get it.....the end of the road......... ( )
  jeffome | Nov 24, 2014 |
This is a dark...very dark comedy, showing how application of extreme existentialism and relativism combined with a will to dominate others can destroy. This is the story of three people: Horner, who is a blank slate, Morgan, who is an extreme existentialist, and Rennie, married to Morgan, and who is a super-rationalist who is easily manipulated. There is a fourth person, as well, the Doctor, who is, in a sense the puppet master, beginning and ending the series of events. This novel is powerfully written, very depressing, and very thought-provoking. ( )
  LJT | Mar 19, 2010 |
This book was a surprise--a romp for the first hundred pages, and a far more serious story for the rest of the novel. I enjoyed the philosophical discussions of the characters and really got involved in their problems. ( )
  Prop2gether | Aug 13, 2008 |
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In a sense, I am Jacob Horner.
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