The End of the Road

The End of the Road Its first person protagonist Jacob Horner suffers from nihilistic paralysis an inability to choose a course of action As part of a schedule of unorthodox therapies Horner s nameless Doctor has him

  • Title: The End of the Road
  • Author: John Barth
  • ISBN: 9780553242768
  • Page: 208
  • Format: Paperback
  • Its first person protagonist, Jacob Horner, suffers from nihilistic paralysis an inability to choose a course of action As part of a schedule of unorthodox therapies, Horner s nameless Doctor has him take a teaching job at a local teachers college There Horner befriends the super rational existentialist Joe Morgan and his wife Rennie, with whom he becomes entangled in aIts first person protagonist, Jacob Horner, suffers from nihilistic paralysis an inability to choose a course of action As part of a schedule of unorthodox therapies, Horner s nameless Doctor has him take a teaching job at a local teachers college There Horner befriends the super rational existentialist Joe Morgan and his wife Rennie, with whom he becomes entangled in a love triangle, with tragic results The book deals with several issues that were controversial at the time, including racial segregation and abortion from

    • ✓ The End of the Road || ✓ PDF Read by ↠ John Barth
      208 John Barth
    • thumbnail Title: ✓ The End of the Road || ✓ PDF Read by ↠ John Barth
      Posted by:John Barth
      Published :2019-07-07T01:51:27+00:00

    About “John Barth

    • John Barth

      John Simmons Barth is an American novelist and short story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work.John Barth was born in Cambridge, Maryland, and briefly studied Elementary Theory and Advanced Orchestration at Juilliard before attending Johns Hopkins University, receiving a B.A in 1951 and an M.A in 1952 for which he wrote a thesis novel, The Shirt of Nessus.He was a professor at Penn State University 1953 1965 , SUNY Buffalo 1965 1973 , Boston University visiting professor, 1972 1973 , and Johns Hopkins University 1973 1995 before he retired in 1995.Barth began his career with The Floating Opera and The End of the Road, two short novels that deal wittily with controversial topics, suicide and abortion respectively They are straightforward tales as Barth later remarked, they didn t know they were novels The Sot Weed Factor, Barth s next novel, is an 800 page mock epic of the colonization of Maryland based on the life of an actual poet, Ebenezer Cooke, who wrote a poem of the same title The Sot Weed Factor is what Northrop Frye called an anatomy a large, loosely structured work, with digressions, distractions, stories within stories, and lists such as a lengthy exchange of insulting terms by two prostitutes The fictional Ebenezer Cooke repeatedly described as poet and virgin is a Candide like innocent who sets out to write a heroic epic, becomes disillusioned and ends up writing a biting satire.Barth s next novel, Giles Goat Boy, of comparable size, is a speculative fiction based on the conceit of the university as universe A half man, half goat discovers his humanity and becomes a savior in a story presented as a computer tape given to Barth, who denies that it is his work In the course of the novel Giles carries out all the tasks prescribed by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces Barth kept a list of the tasks taped to his wall while he was writing the book.The short story collection Lost in the Funhouse and the novella collection Chimera are even metafictional than their two predecessors, foregrounding the writing process and presenting achievements such as seven nested quotations In LETTERS Barth and the characters of his first six books interact.While writing these books, Barth was also pondering and discussing the theoretical problems of fiction writing, most notably in an essay, The Literature of Exhaustion first printed in the Atlantic, 1967 , that was widely considered to be a statement of the death of the novel compare with Roland Barthes s The Death of the Author Barth has since insisted that he was merely making clear that a particular stage in history was passing, and pointing to possible directions from there He later 1979 wrote a follow up essay, The Literature of Replenishment, to clarify the point.Barth s fiction continues to maintain a precarious balance between postmodern self consciousness and wordplay on the one hand, and the sympathetic characterisation and page turning plotting commonly associated with traditional genres and subgenres of classic and contemporary storytelling.

    671 thoughts on “The End of the Road

    • The Existence of Metaphysics Precedes the Essence of MetafictionBarth’s second novel, "The End of the Road" ("TEOTR"), is now usually packaged as part of one volume with his first novel, "The Floating Opera".In the introduction to the package, Barth gives the impression that "TEOTR" is the lesser of the two, and that both are inferior to his later, more metafictional works. However, there is much of value in both works and especially in "TEOTR".It's a deeply philosophical novel. However, what [...]


    • When The People speak, "N.R." listens. This Float which you are experiencing is an Honest Float. There is no cheek and, as Geoff will attest, the tongue is thoroughly chew'd through. On the other hand, I understand that the people (lower case) have already voted to abort this "R"e(re)view. So be it.So we should take our lead quoting Barth quoting a film critic when that critic declared that while the book ends with an abortion the film is an abortion from beginning to end (durchaus, thoroughly). [...]



    • The first quarter of this book was as good as the last was bad. I literally laughed out loud during the first two chapters, which is a state I don't often find myself in while reading. But then my enjoyment started to deteriorate until it reached the bottom with the introduction of THE GUN. Of course all existentialistic novels deal with death in some way or another, sooner or later, however to bring it up just like that, like nothing had happened, with a casual emergance of this silly object th [...]


    • When Existentialism is not a Humanism anymoreI’m still not sure whether it was a good thing to read The End of the Road immediately after The Floating Opera, even though they are often discussed together and the author himself decided to put them in one volume. Of course, there are some reasons for this decision: not only both novels illustrate the first stage in John Barth’s creation, but they have also some similar themes, motives and structure – existentialism, nihilism, suicide, adulte [...]


    • Qui si narra dell'incontro dirompente tra due opposti, “l'Irrazionale o il Non-Essere” qual è per autodefinizione il narratore, l'insegnante Jacob Horner, e “la Ragione o l'Essere” quale si rivela, con radicalità estrema di pensiero e azione, il suo novello collega di lavoro Joe Morgan: presa in mezzo, sarà la moglie di quest'ultimo, Rennie, a farne le spese Il romanzo parte in sordina, con rivolti chiaramente paradossali che si impongono via via, quindi procede in crescendo e sfocia [...]


    • I first read this awful book when I was sixteen and Cole Ingersoll loaned me an old paperback copy which I treasured and tore through and then loaned to someone else, forgetting all about it till my twenties when I stumbled across another old well-worn edition in some little used bookstore in northeast Florida and thought, "Isn't this that awful book?" And so on and so forth, every few years or so I come upon a copy and remember how brutal it is, and wonder if it's still as brutal, and pick it u [...]



    • In 1951, on the day after his 28th birthday, with his oral exams passed but his master's thesis not even begun, Jacob Horner finds himself in a Baltimore train station, asking the ticket agent where he can go for $30. Cincinnati, Ohio? Crestline, Dayton or Lima, Ohio? He retreats to a bench to make up his mind, but there realizes he has no reason to go anywhere -- not to Ohio, not even back to his apartment. "I simply ran out of motives, as a car runs out of gas," he says. "There was no reason t [...]


    • I'd had this book's translation on my laptop for several years and wasn't even planning on reading it. I knew it was good but had other things on my mind (including several untouched paperbacks).This book strikes me with: 1. the characters' mysoginistic attitudes 2. its brilliance and subtext.I read the book quickly postponing a lot of stuff but I would only advise it to experienced readers not ridden with sexism. Otherwise you may get infected with some very questionable ideas that come up in t [...]




    • I picked up The End of the Road on a whim, on a visit to my father's house when I was looking for something to read on the bus ride back to New York. I remebered having liked the Barth that I had read, it was short enough to read on the five-hour Fung Wah trip, and it had a quaintly dated looking cover that appealed to me. Sadly, the novel contained within was also quaintly dated to a degree that rendered this one a largely unenlinghtening relic from a different era, full of observations about r [...]


    • "Whereas the book ends with an abortion, the film is an abortion from beginning to end." --John Barth endorsing a reviewer's judgementdb/title/tt0065692/?[Have not seen the film yet. Likely it will never be dvd-released. Probably no need to do so]



    • An excerpt from my book journal on "The End of the Road"Jake and JoeThe two characters, both Jacob Horner and Joe Morgan, are obviously deranged, highly functional madmen who have come to grips with their manias enough to wield them as tools. The fact that these two men met each other is a cosmic comedy in of itself, but it is a testament to Barth's writing that he avoids making these two characters the most deplorable creatures (at least in my opinion). In many ways, they are animals who roam u [...]


    • This is the only John Barth book I have read, and I understand that it pre-dates the more experimental writing style - starting with The Sot-Weed Factor, in 1960 - for which he is best known. Originally published in 1958, the book was revised in 1967; revisions included a new ending. Though the novel may not be representative of Barth's aesthetic, I found it to be fresh and invigorating, until, at the very end, it took the existential crisis of its main characters one step too far, and lost me. [...]


    • Wack! Part of the time I had no solid idea what was going on. Our main character Jake is manic depressive but often finds himself in states where he feels nothing at all. He likens his mind to "weather" and when it is void and there is nothing going thru it at all, he sits in his chair and rocks and nothing happens for hours on end in his head or with his person. He is in a state of paralysis. Sounds Buddhist in today's parlance but I don't think that's what's going on for Jake. Nutter that he i [...]


    • It's a mark of the novels the list has been throwing me recently that a novel this dark and this existential could act as a refreshing interlude! Jacob Horner (the boy in the corner?) is the disaffected youth, paralysed by the choices he feels he's supposed to make, when he bumps into the mysterious Doctor in a train station. The Doctor prescribes an unusual treatment, and Jacob finds himself on the way to the small town of Wicomico and a job at the teacher training college there. Jacob isn't a [...]


    • Once in highschool, I asked one of my more blowhardish teachers (with all the earnestness of a truly desperate cult adherent), "What do I read when nothing in life seems to matter?" His prescription for my malady was John Barth's End of the Road -- and I'm still recovering from his misdiagnosis. I asked how to get away from that crushing, all-consuming, momentum-sapping conviction that life is meaningless and absurd -- not a half-assed modernist vindication of it! This book describes a protagoni [...]


    • To quote the author, "I wanted the adventure to teach me this about myself: that regardless of what shifting opinions I held about ethical matters in the abstract, I was not so consistently the same person (not so sufficiently "real") that I could not involve myself seriously in the lives of others without doing damage all around, not least to my own tranquility; that my irrational flashes of conscience and cruelty, of compassion and cynicism - in short my inability to play the same role long en [...]


    • Most useful book I own. I started reading existential literature when, at age 17, I got the U of Illinois pre - enrollment summer reading list. Kafka and Beckett and a host of other existential writers posit persuasively the meaninglessness of human actions / decisions / effort. To quote the the old poem "you are a fluke of the universe give up". Most existential writing (I'm thinking of Metamorphisis and Godot here) recommend giving up. Barth poses 3 decision rules to allow us to choose among [...]


    • Sometimes even the most awful people reflect directly back into you. Jacob Horner is the most vile character ever written. This book will crush your soul - will leave you feeling empty - horrible - you'll be in despair you will marvel at Barth's skilled hand. Barth can write. If you can read, read this. It is a literary experience the way such experiences should be. I can't say anything regarding plot points because ever turn of the road is important for you to navigate with a fresh mind.


    • Hmmn. Barth sometimes you see an author, you see the talent, just not sure it's your cup of tea. That's happening here. Good stretches, a touch of humor, but also some tedious ramblings and it is a bit disturbing around the end.One of my motivations for picking up this book cheap when I saw it is that I've had Giles Goat-Boy laying around forever, and just have not gotten to reading it, figured this could help me see if I want a larger dose of Barth. Not sure I do.


    • Again, just a micro review. Enjoyed it a lot, don't know why it took me so long to get around to it.There's a memorable and merciless scene involving a boy scout uniform that has stuck in my mind for years. 'Nuff said.



    • My favorite existentialist novel. Of course, it doesn't really matter that it is my favorite. Nothing really matters


    • *3.75 stars.Pages will not match the edition I chose for this review (which really just consists of quotations I like):"every piece was immensely competent. The adjective competent came at once to mind, rather than say, efficient. This furniture had an air of almost contemptuous competence, as though it were so absurdly well able to handle its job that it would scarcely notice your puny use of it. It would require a man indeed, a man's man, to make his presence felt by this furniture. I was impr [...]


    • In the beginning the book was very boring, so much so that I read the book on and off having to start over several times. The main characters Jake Horner, Joe Morgan and his wife Rennie Morgan debated/argued over the dumbest insignificant things, for example: "Hello?" "Jacob? This is Rennie Morgan. Will you have dinner with us tonight?" "Why, for God's sake?" This Jacob Horner was an irritable type. "Why?" "Yes. Why the Hell are you all so anxious to feed me dinner?" "Are you angry?" "No, I'm no [...]


    • Un tipico triangolo amoroso sullo sfondo di una cittadina universitaria della East Coast americana è il protagonista del mio primo incontro con John Barth. Un lui, Mister Morgan, inflessibile e autoritario, una lei, Miss Morgan, sciatta e (apparentemente) legata al marito come lo è una striscia di scotch a un pezzetto di carta, e infine lui, il terzo incomodo: Jacob Horner, l'antieore più antieroe, fastidioso, irritante, disfattista, che io abbia mai incontrato nelle mie letture. Un ignavo, c [...]


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