Synopses & Reviews
This is, in short, a complete, unsettling, and frequently exhilarating vision of the world, starting with the voyage of Noah's ark and ending with a sneak preview of heaven
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"The author of the acclaimed Flaubert's Parrot is an essayist disguised as a novelist—that is, a postmodernist. As a novel, Flaubert's Parrot was weak; as an essay on Flaubert, on the limits and ironies of historical reconstruction, it was witty, provocative, and highly amusing. In this series of essays and skits, Mr. Barnes spreads himself too thin. Although we follow the peregrinations of woodworms through history from Noah's ark to Gericault's Raft of the Medusa, these essay-fictions do not cohere. There is some amusing satire—as of heaven as golf, shopping, and making love to famous people—but the bite of the author's satire is dissipated by his decision to work on too broad a canvas. The essay on Gericault is exceptionally good, however, and approaches the cunning of the Flaubert 'novel.'" Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)