Barth's first novel, after two unfinished failures that he describes elsewhere in his nonfiction. Opera
, while a tidy little exercise in experimental '60s nihilism, would probably not have launched a successful career were it not nominated for the National Book Award.
While brimming with the kind of mental energy that filled his later books, The Floating Opera shares little of the fascination with mythology and story-craft that his best fiction does. Much of the book seems dated today — particularly one chapter where Barth makes experimental use of double columns in the text layout.
Amazingly, Barth's editor called the original ending of the book "too dark" and made him change it as a condition of publication. The revised edition (published 1967) put Barth's original ending back.
Also published in The Floating Opera and the End of the Road
Original title: The Floating Opera
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction