Tlooth by Harry Mathews
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By Harry Mathews


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Format: Paperback

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Tlooth by Harry Mathews

Book Description

This novel begins in a Russian prison camp at a baseball game featuring the defective Baptists versus the Fideists. There is a plot (of sorts), one of revenge surrounding a doctor who, in removing a bone spur from our narrator, manages to amputate a ring and index finger, a significant surgical error considering that the narrator is, or was, a violinist. When Dr. Roak is released from prison, our narrator escapes in order to begin the pursuit, and thus begins a digressive journey from Afghanistan to Venice, then on to India and Morocco and France. All of this takes place amid Mathews's fictional concern and play with games, puzzles, arcana, and stories within stories.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781564781949
ISBN-10: 1564781941
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 142mm x 14mm)
Pages: 177
Imprint: Dalkey Archive Press
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Harry Mathews

Silences, or a Woman's Life by Harry Mathews Silences, or a Woman's Life, Paperback (January 2013)

When a woman falls into a coma, her daughter accompanies her through six weeks of agony, bearing witness to the prolonged death imposed upon her by the monstrous machine of modern medicine. During this final voyage through the fog, the narrator attempts to reconstruct the portrait of a woman who she deeply loved.

Laurels of Lake Constance by Harry Mathews Laurels of Lake Constance, Paperback (August 2012)

Originally published in French as Les lauriers du Lac de Constance by editions du Seuil in 1974.

Blue of Noon by Harry Mathews Blue of Noon, Paperback (June 2012)

Set against the backdrop of Europe's slide into Fascism, this title provides an account of depravity and violence. Exploring the dark forces beneath the surface of civilization, it is torn between identifying with history's victims and being seduced by the monstrous glamour of its terrible victors.

» View all books by Harry Mathews


US Kirkus Review » Reading Tlooth is like studying a language game underwater. "I lifted the receiver and heard a veiled voice ask, 'Is this Luther one six six oh?' 'No, Melancthon one eight eight six.' (It was really a Loyola number; these were passwords.)" No doubt prank-fiction is a fashionable proliferating genre: Pale Fire, The Octopus Papers, The Crying of Lot 49; and no doubt there will be many profound interpretations offered of Harry Mathews' Kook's Tour of the absurdist landscape. Certainly to turn modern literature's archetypal figure, the wounded male, into a lady dental technician who suffers from an infected ear and other maladies, and then bounce her about through a geographical pastiche, including Europe and the Near East as well as suitably mystifying imaginary terrains, all in the hope of symbolizing, or mocking, our unwieldy concern with the breakdown of personality, the ills of contemporary history, and so forth - well, that takes a courage of sorts. Mathews affects a classic restraint, low-keyed, dead-pan gymnastics, black humor in the guise of updated 18th century prose. Perhaps the heroine is meant to represent a hip Pamela, perhaps her adventures are a picaresque spoof. The possibilities are limitless, but Mathews' talent, alas, is not. Nothing every really sparkles in this drearily subtle first book published by Paris Review Editions. (Kirkus Reviews)

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