A strange and monumental novel that took William Gass three decades to write. When a Midwestern historian sits down to write the introduction to his magnum opus study of the Third Reich, he instead writes a chaotic, obscure and labrynthine exploration of his personal history. Then he begins digging a tunnel from the basement of his house. The writing, the digging, and the reader's reading blend into one profound meditation on history, evil, the living and the dead. PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist.
This long-awaited magnum opus by the dean of American prose modernists, 30 years in the making, is a terrible disappointment. In this endless ramble of a novel, Gass (Omensetter's Luck; In the Heart of the Heart of the Country), though here, as always, possessed of a bewitching and spectacularly fluid and allusive style, fails to find a suitable home for his narrator's wickedly dyspeptic views of history, marriage and culture. William Kohler is a Midwestern academic historian working on an introduction to his life's work-a massive study of "guilt and innocence in Hitler's Germany." This, however, and the fact that Kohler begins to secretly dig a tunnel out of his basement, are the only shards of plot in this otherwise formless book. Gass, as readers of his fiction and gorgeous literary essays will know (On Being Blue), can turn a phrase and render lyrical descriptions that have not only music to them, but also shape and weight. But in portraying the failed career and life of Kohler, these gifts are brought to bear on such a litany of sour rant-about his aging body, his wife's widening girth, the fatuous enthusiasms of his colleagues and mentors-that the reader will beg for a way out of this dark and airless space. Unfortunately, there is no light at the end of The Tunnel, and the promise of a new perspective on our century's most heinous crime-the Holocaust-is very much a forgotten vow.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
If you can manage to make it through this 650 page ode to ego,triviality,not-so-deep insights and out-of-this-world pomposity,then you must have a strong stomach and one dirty... Read morePublished on April 1 2002 by timothy hilliard
I saw the K tunnel once. I was at a rave in an old, decrepit laser tag arena. Everyone was strung out and the music was pretty bad, but all in all I didn't have a bad time. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2001 by Amazon Customer
Ridiculous, pretentious, pompous, self-important, self-indulgent, altogether vile waste of paper, ink, time, and effort. Don't bother.Published on Sept. 18 2001
This novel is utterly compelling, and once you accept the unstoppable nature of Gass's prose, you will be hooked on his unhinged and distressed language. Read morePublished on March 26 2001 by gladfly
One of the most daring, original works of literature I've read, if not THE most. The Tunnel's prose is massively rich, challenging and rewarding on numerous levels, making... Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2001
Never have I read something so ostentatious and empty as this novel borne from the bowels of Gass' not-so-ponderous mind. All style, no substance. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2001 by Ponderous one