Episode 327 — Frederick Barthelme

   
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Frederick Barthelme is the guest. His latest novel, There Must Be Some Mistake, is available now from Little, Brown & Co.

David Shields says

Very nearly alone among his peers, Frederick Barthelme has, over the last thirty-five years, written fiction about what it actually feels like to live in contemporary post-religious, hyper-mediated America. And—even more of a rarity—he works hard to find a way to somehow tolerate/celebrate, with enormous subtlety and without an ounce of sentimentality, our bare-bones existence. In There Must Be Some Mistake, Barthelme has distilled his brutal, crucial vision into useable essence.

And Publishers Weekly says

Barthelme, a master of minimalist suburbia-set fiction, returns with a buoyantly offbeat murder tale that doubles as a meditation on everything from contemporary art to Google to mortality… Throughout the novel, his narration provides punchy, wry commentary on the banality of pop culture, but the tone is, ultimately, infectiously optimistic.

Monologue topics:  mail, food, animal rights, Sarah Gerard, not voting, apathy, George Carlin.