Mickelsson's Ghosts

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New Directions Publishing, 2008 - Fiction - 590 pages
The final novel by John Gardner, Mickelsson's Ghosts, originally published in 1982 just months before his untimely death in a motorcycle accident, is a tour de force. The protagonist Peter Mickelsson, a former star philosophy professor at Brown, relocates to Binghamton University. On the verge of bankruptcy, separated from his wife, in questionable mental health, and drinking heavily, Mickelsson decides to buy a country house in northeastern Pennsylvania. What he encounters there are impassioned and shameless love affairs (one of which results in a regrettable pregnancy), a Mormon extremist cult, small town mythologies, the robbery of a robber, multiple murders, the ghosts of an incestuous family, Plato, and our hero's own possible insanity.

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User Review  - JimElkins - LibraryThing

[A longer version of this, with illustrations, is in the Writing with Images project, http://writingwithimages.com/?page_id=210.] This book is a long novel with just a few illustrations; I read it as ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

One of Gardner's longest novels, most personal, most ambitious—and alas, too, the most shambling and ultimately incredible. Peter Mickelsson is a 40-ish philosopher, a famous ethicist now on the ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

John Gardner (1933-1982) was one of the most provocative American novelists of his generation, garnering critical praise and a popular following for his fiction, including October Light, The Sunlight Dialogues, Grendel, and Mickelson's Ghost, as well as his criticism, the groundbreaking Moral Fiction, and his controversial The Art of Fiction, which has become a standard text in university writing classes around the country.

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