The Floating Opera by John Barth
The Floating Opera is a novel by American writer John Barth, first published in 1956 and significantly revised in 1967. Barth's first published work, the existentialist and nihilist story is a first-person account of a day when protagonist Todd Andrews contemplates suicide. Critics and Barth himself often pair The Floating Opera with Barth's next novel, The End of the Road (1958); both were written in 1955, and they are available together in a one-volume edition. Both are philosophical novels; The End of the Road continues with the conclusions made about absolute values by the protagonist of The Floating Opera, and takes these ideas "to the end of the road". Barth wrote both novels in a realistic mode, in contrast to Barth's better-known metafictional, fabulist, and postmodern works from the 1960s and later, such as Lost in the Funhouse (1968) and LETTERS (1979).