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Snow White [Paperback]

Donald Barthelme
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 May 1996
An inventive, satiric modern retelling of the classic fairy tale provides an incisive and biting commentary on the absurdities and complexities of modern life. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

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Snow White + Sixty Stories (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone Books (30 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684824795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684824796
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
SHE is a tall dark beauty containing a great many beauty spots: one above the breast, one above the belly, one above the knee, one above the ankle, one above the buttock, one on the back of the neck. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A painfully good read. 24 Dec 1998
By A Customer
David Barthelme's Snow White, unlike some other specimens of avant-garde fiction, never loses its grip on the plot or the emotions of its characters in favor of retaining its experimental rhythms. One is able to feel sympathy for the many long-suffering dwarves, hope for the romantic leads, and an appropriate sense of the apalling regarding the villains, and still appreciate the puns and absurdities Barthelme was so adept at creating. At first glance, readers of more mainstream fiction might be put off by the seemingly random leaps between viewpoints and styles. However, on closer inspection, one finds a distinct pattern and a remarkable fullness to the prose. Not to mention the often tremendously funny, yes laugh-out-loud funny, episodes sprinkled throughout the book. By the time one reaches the last, very short, chapter, one sees that every line has been carefully crafted to reach this conclusion. It has become inevitable. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in adult faerie tales, experimental fiction, or anyone seeking a diverting, off the beaten path, change of pace from the cookie cutter junk so many authors now pass off as great literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great treasures of modern fiction. 17 Sep 1997
By A Customer
I first read _Snow White_ some time in the '80s, and somehow was unmoved by the wit, the irony, the fantastic stylistic control. Then for some reason I started reading a section of it aloud to a friend, and fell in love with it. Each brief chapter has its own style, its own didactic purpose, and most of all its own mad humor. Barthelme is a worthy companion of Calvino (_If On a Winter's Night a Traveller_) in reinventing comic fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High concept ho... 23 Nov 2008
By Sporus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Barthelme (1931-89) is generally held to be one of Postmodernism's torchbearers (but he's better than that), and to be more adept at short stories than longer forms of fiction (but he's better than that too). 'Snow White' is hardly, you can at least assume, the traditional tale retold. In a series of short chapters the captious heroine is obliquely revealed as a woman regularly pleasured in a shower cubicle by the seven dwarves for whom she performs 'horsewifely' duties; the prince is a fop, and the stepmother is almost an incidental presence in relation to the potently amoral Hogo (one of several 'introduced' characters to the fable). But the characterisation, no more than the narrative, is largely beside the point. The real pleasure of Barthelme's fiction is in the curiously mutating narrative position (large chunks of the story are told by various dwarves) and the flash of succinct sentences that seem to circumscribe an original world view ("...those girls who, right this minute, are trying to find the right typewriter, in the correct building"). This is quite an early book (1967) and perhaps more playful than his later pieces. Intelligent and excellent, it harbours no designs to change your life: that, after all, would be altogether TOO uncool...
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