John Barth

John Barth is an American author known for his postmodernist and metafictional novels. His works are characterized by their playful, experimental style and their exploration of the nature of storytelling. Notable works include 'The Sot-Weed Factor,' 'Giles Goat-Boy,' and 'Lost in the Funhouse.' Barth's writing has earned him critical acclaim and several awards, including the National Book Award for Fiction.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Sot-Weed Factor

    "The Sot-Weed Factor" is a satirical, picaresque novel set in the late 17th century, revolving around an innocent poet from London who is tricked into becoming a tobacco sot-weed factor in Maryland. The protagonist's misadventures, filled with mistaken identities, pirates, Native Americans, and a wide array of eccentric characters, mirror the challenges and absurdities of America's early colonial period. The narrative, rich in historical detail and parody, explores themes of identity, truth, and the nature of reality.

    The 911th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Floating Opera

    The novel is a first-person narrative told by an aging man who contemplates suicide on his birthday. He recounts the events of his life, including his love affairs, his law career, and his relationships with his friends and neighbors in a small Maryland town. As he reflects on the absurdity of life, he questions the value of existence and the nature of reality, resulting in a darkly humorous and philosophical exploration of the human condition.

    The 1431st Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Giles Goat-Boy

    The novel is a satirical epic that tells the story of George Giles, a boy raised as a goat, who discovers his true identity as the Grand Tutor, the prophesied savior of the world. He embarks on a journey to the university, a microcosmic representation of the world, where he must navigate through complex political and social structures, engage in philosophical debates, and confront his own identity and destiny. The narrative is filled with allegorical interpretations of religious and mythological themes, and explores various philosophical and existential questions.

    The 2443rd Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Chimera

    "Chimera" is a collection of three novellas that explore and deconstruct traditional narrative forms. Each story reimagines a different myth: the first is a retelling of the Arabian Nights, the second presents a modern interpretation of the myth of Perseus and Andromeda, and the third is a reworking of the story of Bellerophon and the Chimera. Each story is filled with philosophical musings, metafictional devices, and a deep exploration of the nature of storytelling itself.

    The 4814th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The End Of The Road

    The novel is a darkly humorous exploration of existential themes, following the story of a man who, after a suicide attempt, is rescued by a doctor specializing in "mythotherapy." He embarks on a journey of self-discovery, taking a job at a car dealership in a small town and becoming entangled in a complex love triangle with a fellow teacher and his wife. The narrative delves into the characters' psychological struggles and the absurdity of their attempts to find meaning in life, culminating in a series of bizarre and tragic events that force the protagonist to confront the consequences of his actions and the limitations of his philosophical musings.

    The 7168th Greatest Book of All Time