Awhile back, I posted a little bit about John Gardner (and how the literary world needs more big ideas fisticuffs). Jeff Ford, who was once a student of his, has a post today about New Directions Press bringing back one of his books that I’ve never heard of called Mickelsson’s Ghosts. Jeff describes it thus:
It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing – hallucinogenic, apocalyptic, complex, paranoid and powerful, written in a style consciously borrowed, as Gardner attests to in his intro, from contemporary realist writers like John Updike. It takes place in The Endless Mountains in Pennsylvania and New York. Down on his luck philosophy professor Peter Mickelsson buys an old farm house he can little afford out in the mountains, away from the university, in a desperate attempt to change his life for the better. The character of Mickelsson is one of the most intensely rendered I’ve ever read, deep and deeply comical. There are long passages about philosophy, primarily Nietzsche, Mickelsson’s specialty. Ghosts and witches, evil Mormons, UFOs, murder, and somehow effective flash backs through the professor’s life where other kinds of ghosts lurk. A good portion of it was based on Gardner’s life at SUNY Binghamton, but heavily fictionalized, of course. Honestly, I don’t believe there’s another novel quite like it. The end’s a mind blower.
There’s more at the link above, but consider me sold. Sounds fabulous.
2 thoughts on “Gardneria”
I’ve never heard of it either, but agree that it sounds amazing. In fact, it sounds like a novel I’ve been working on for a while. I’m almost worried I may have plagiarized. (no, I’m not really worried… much…)
I’m actually reading this book right now! It’s amazing. Hallucinogenic. Huge. And really satisfying.
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