William Gaddis: Carpenter's Gothic

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

While Carpenter's Gothic (1985), picks up and develops themes from Gaddis's earlier fiction, this much shorter (262 pages) and relatively accessible novel proved the most commercially and critically successful work of the three he had thus far published. That said, it offers us a world without love, a world of religious chicanery and political cynicism. The novel describes the last few months in the life of Elizabeth Booth. Elizabeth and her husband Paul have rented a house from a mysterious ex-CIA man and writer, McCandless. Paul is working as a media consultant to a religious demagogue, the Reverend Ude and cynically attempts to turn the accidental drowning of a child into a miracle that can be trumpeted around the globe for …

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Dempsey, Peter. "Carpenter's Gothic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 December 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6119, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Postmodernist American Fiction