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Mulligan Stew (1979)

by Gilbert Sorrentino

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340360,692 (3.98)21
Widely regarded as Sorrentino's finest achievement, ?"Mulligan Stew"?takes as its subject the comic possibilities of the modern literary imagination. As avant-garde novelist Antony Lamont struggles to write a "new wave murder mystery," his frustrating emotional and sexual life wreaks havoc on his work-in-progress. As a result, his narrative (the very book we are reading) turns into a literary "stew" an uproariously funny melange of journal entries, erotic poetry, parodies of all kinds, love letters, interviews, and lists--as Hugh Kenner in "Harper's" wrote, "for another such virtuoso of the List you'd have to resurrect Joyce." Soon, Lamont's characters (on loan from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Flann O'Brien, James Joyce, and Dashiell Hammet) take on lives of their own, completely sabotaging his narrative. Sorrentino has vastly extended the possibilities of what a novel can be in this extraordinary work, which both parodies and pays homage to the art of fiction.… (more)
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I was fascinated at first but quickly dropped it to read more Nabokov, Joyce, and O'Brien instead of this hash and tepid paraphrase of their works. I mean, this homage.
1 vote idlerking | Mar 31, 2013 |
I first read this nearly 30 years ago, and must have really liked it, since it's survived every book-weeding during every move I've made since then (a LOT). I really ought to read it again! ( )
2 vote | klg19 | Jan 23, 2008 |
A virtuoso performance by a talented writer. ( )
1 vote JPWyatt | Jan 22, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
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Widely regarded as Sorrentino's finest achievement, ?"Mulligan Stew"?takes as its subject the comic possibilities of the modern literary imagination. As avant-garde novelist Antony Lamont struggles to write a "new wave murder mystery," his frustrating emotional and sexual life wreaks havoc on his work-in-progress. As a result, his narrative (the very book we are reading) turns into a literary "stew" an uproariously funny melange of journal entries, erotic poetry, parodies of all kinds, love letters, interviews, and lists--as Hugh Kenner in "Harper's" wrote, "for another such virtuoso of the List you'd have to resurrect Joyce." Soon, Lamont's characters (on loan from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Flann O'Brien, James Joyce, and Dashiell Hammet) take on lives of their own, completely sabotaging his narrative. Sorrentino has vastly extended the possibilities of what a novel can be in this extraordinary work, which both parodies and pays homage to the art of fiction.

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