HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth
Loading...

The Sot-Weed Factor (1960)

by John Barth

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,703306,428 (4.22)93
  1. 41
    Mason & Dixon: A Novel by Thomas Pynchon (thatguyzero, billmcn)
    billmcn: Another sprawling comic picaresque written in 18th century prose
  2. 00
    Assault on Paradise by Tatiana Lobo (Othemts)
  3. 00
    Blindspot by Jane Kamensky (Othemts)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 93 mentions

English (29)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Joel bought me something several years ago for xmas. I already owned it. He kept that copy and asked, teeth gritted, what I wanted. I suggested this and read it over the holidays, particularly one hungover party at my parents'. Punning and ribald, it must be situated just below Pynchon, specifically Mason and Dixon. It is disquieting how polarizing otherwise literate people are concerning Mason and Dixon. One should read the Sot-Weed Factor if at all concerned with the undulating comic possibilities of the Pox.

( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
An interesting book. However, it wavers and meanders to the point that, by the 3/4 point, it loses much of its spark. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining, funny, and witty read. I am not usually a comedic fellow, but this one struck a chord in me. I felt that it had a lot to offer for a writer, a reader, and anyone that appreciates comedy. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 17, 2018 |
This book is a sheer marvel. Set in the 1600s, it's awash in lyrical excess, bawdy humor, historical satire, human vice, roguish fools, epic intent, and pirates and Indians and prostitutes and poets, oh my! The sheer life force of this novel is amazing, the prose is masterful and wickedly funny, and the journey is like nothing I've ever been on before. Now I'll shut up and let the far more eloquent Mr. Barth take over. Here's the opening line:

"In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point." ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
This book is closer to 3.5 stars. I'd give it more... but honestly, I didn't enjoy reading this book MOST of the time. Not because it was bad, but just because I was simply not interested. In retrospect, with the whole epic tale finished, it is really awesome and interesting... but a lot of the time while reading it I was booored. This book is part Quixote (epic tale with stories within stories), part Candide (wide eyed innocent man discovers the truth), part Dickins (the style of writing), all within a historical fiction and a farce.
Maybe this book needs more time for me to chew on it... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
Where to begin describing—let alone commenting on—this postmodern take on the 18th-century farce novel. It is, on its surface, an old-fashioned tale of an overeducated young man's travels and lessons in how the real world works, reminiscent of Voltaire's 'Candide' and, more recently, Toole's 'A Confederacy of Dunces'.

While the language, the plotting, and the characters fit this style quite well, this is clearly a modern novel; it winks at the reader throughout and it plays with form in unexpected ways. Don't be surprised when a simple argument between two prostitutes turns into a six-page list of insults, real and made up, in English and French.

The humor here is juvenile, as base as the lewdest of Shakespeare, and lewder. The plotting is outrageously artificial, full of convenient turns and coincidences and revelations. The characters are fluid, changing their motives, reactions, and even appearances every which way. This all fits the book's implied "age", but it's also thoroughly enjoyable to read.

Between all the gross-out jokes about breeches and members, there's a lot of clever (and even touching) insight into the human condition here. And on top of it, while Barth clearly wrote The Sot-Weed Factor as a tour-de-force exercise in jamming into a novel literally anything and everything he could possibly think of, he didn't forget to make each page fun to read. ( )
1 vote mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and the fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talanted, and yet more talanted than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similies stretched to the snapping point.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385240880, Paperback)

This is Barth's most distinguished masterpiece.  This modern classic is a hilarious tribute to all the most insidious human vices, with a hero who is "one of the most diverting...to roam the world since Candide" (Time ).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This is Barth's most distinguished masterpiece.  This modern classic is a hilarious tribute to all the most insidious human vices, with a hero who is "one of the most diverting...to roam the world since Candide" (Time ).

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.22)
0.5
1 4
1.5 1
2 10
2.5 2
3 24
3.5 14
4 85
4.5 23
5 119

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 137,281,158 books! | Top bar: Always visible