Thomas Berger

(b. 1924)

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Cincinnati-born author, long resident in New York, whose works include Crazy in Berlin (1958), the beginning of a comic saga about Carlo Reinhart, a happy GI in occupied Germany at the end of World War II, whose fantastic picaresque tale is continued in Reinhart in Love (1961), with the anti-hero back in his conformist Midwest home, and concluded in Vital Parts (1970), in which Reinhart's curiously old-fashioned style appeals to the salesman Bob Sweet, who wants to preserve him through cryonics. Little Big Man (1964) is a fanciful parody of the Old West myth presented through the life of the ancient frontiersman Jack Crabb, kidnapped by Indians from an emigrant wagon and eventually a participant in Custer's last stand. Killing Time (1967) presents through the tale of a mass murderer many questions about sanity and madness, crime and legality. Regiment of Women (1973) fictively treats the dominance of women in the 22nd-century U.S. Sneaky People (1975) comically depicts the diverse involvements and deceptions of a Midwestern family in the 1930s. Who Is Teddy Villanova? (1977) is a parody of the detective novel; Arthur Rex (1978) is a satiric and parodic retelling of Arthurian legendry; Neighbors (1980) is a fantastic account of violent relations, real and imagined, between neighboring families; and Feud (1984) is a fantastic view of life and sudden death in middle American towns of the 1930s. Reinhart's Women (1981) is another novel about his unheroic protagonist, now in his fifties.

Subjects: Literature.

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