Coming Soon!!! by John Barth

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Synopsis

In a novelistic romp that is by turns hilarious and brilliant, John Barth, the dean of postmodern fiction, spoofs his own place in the pantheon of contemporary fiction and the generation of writers who have followed in the wake of his literary trailblazing.
Barth's first novel in ten years, COMING SOON!!! is the tale of two writers: an older, retiring novelist setting out to write his last work and a young, aspiring writer of hypertext intent on toppling his master. Inspired by a gently sinking showboat replica called The Original Floating Opera II, grounded on a shoal somewhere in Chesapeake Bay as a hurricane (and Y2K) approaches, they race each other to write a novel about a floating opera -- a reprise of the fictional mentor's first novel, of Barth's own first novel, of Edna Ferber's literary monument Show Boat and its spawn of musicals and films. In the heat of their rivalry, the writers navigate, and sometimes stumble over, the cultural fault lines between print and electronic fiction, mentor and mentee, postmodernism and modernism.
At a time of intense renewed interest in postmodernism, COMING SOON!!! spotlights its legacy with the wit and irreverence that mark Barth as one of our most highly regarded writers. It is an extraordinary addition to, and a playful riff on, Barth's oeuvre, a series of books that have shaped contemporary literature.
 

About John Barth

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JOHN BARTH’s fiction has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. For many years he taught in the Writing Seminars at John Hopkins University. He is the author of such seminal works as The Sot-Weed Factor, Chimera (for which he won the NBA), and Giles Goat-Boy. “Toga Party,” an excerpt from The Development, appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2007, edited by Stephen King.
 
Published January 1, 2001 by Unknown. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Coming Soon!!!

The New York Times

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Hop suggests the older man join the show so they can each write novels about the other writing a novel: ''Novelist Aspirant versus Novelist Emeritus, First Novel versus Last, e-fiction versus p-, all played out aboard TOFO Two!

Nov 04 2001 | Read Full Review of Coming Soon!!!

The Guardian

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It revisits Barth's first novel, The Floating Opera (1956), which used the 'Show Boat' of Edna Ferber's bestselling novel as a metaphor for the book itself, 'which floats,' Barth explained, 'willy-nilly on the tide of my vagrant prose.' Showboating - the love of the tour de force - is also Ba...

Mar 10 2002 | Read Full Review of Coming Soon!!!

Publishers Weekly

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A Möbius strip of a narrative, the novel begins with the discovery by Ditsy, a transgendered boat captain, of a computer disk containing a novel, Coming Soon!!, by Johns "Hop" Johnson, an aspiring novelist whose specific aspiration is to use this novel, with its hypertextual accoutrements, to get...

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