After several weeks, quite possibly more than a month, I have finally finished reading John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse. The time span is not due to lack of interest, but more the lack of time.
In attempting to decipher the cerebral within the relatively simple, I believe I over-thought some of the simpler stories, but perhaps not.
An always clever and interest inciting writer, Barth weaves the reader through a funhouse of stories whose rooms change shape and theme with every step.
Barth explores the struggle of life, the connection of family, and the companionship of creation. Each of these themes are handled separately, yet intertwine subtlety if you pay attention to the broader details. At the same time, the struggle and meaning of life may be a theme that graces the pages of all novels, at all times.
Overall, the stories are very much autonomous. The reader moves jarringly from one to the other with no closure, catharsis, or escape. Each new chapter throws the reader into a new room with different shaped carnival mirrors. In attempting to connect them and keep track of what medium each was written for, I myself felt lost within these rooms staring into funhouse mirrors.
This is not a beach read. For the reader looking to meander in a self-created maze, pick up Lost in the Funhouse and tell me what you saw in the mirrors.
Warning: If you do not consider yourself part of the literati, you may want to read with a dictionary on hand.