Books: Fables for People Who Can Hear with Their Eyes

LOST IN THE FUNHOUSE by John Barth. 201 pages. Doubleday. $4.95.

Many things can happen in John Earth's funhouse, but getting lost is not likely to be one of them. Whenever the rubber spiders and indiscreetly aimed jets of air become too threatening, the lights suddenly flash on and Proprietor Barth himself ambles in and starts explaining about the machinery. Those who take their funhouses seriously may grow confused and exasperated. But readers of The Sot-Weed Factor and Giles Goat-Boy are familiar with Barth's impulses toward farce, his intellectual mobility, shaggy doggerel and merry nihilism. These people are apt to accept the...

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