William Gaddis: J R

(398 words)
  • Peter Dempsey (University of Sunderland)

Twenty years after his first novel, and after twenty years of working for the government and big business, Gaddis produced his highly acclaimed second; the prize-winning J R, another huge book of 726 pages containing very little except dialogue. A number of critics have said that this is the novel which comes closest to catching the varieties of spoken American English, while another has called it “the greatest satirical novel in American literature”. The first line of the novel gives us its theme: “– Money...?”.

J R is a satire on corporate America and tells the story of the eleven-year-old schoolboy JR Vansant who builds an enormous economic empire from his school's public phone booth, an e…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Dempsey, Peter. "J R". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 December 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4434, accessed 30 July 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. Postmodernist American Fiction