“One of these paired novellas (‘Skinner Boxed’) is nonpareil, among the funniest things I’ve read. The other (‘Love’s Alchemy’) is a literary puzzle requiring some light reverse-engineering by the reader…” —Art Winslow, former Literary Editor at The Nation
“…a zany zagging yarn, crowded with MacGuffins and red herrings … I enjoyed White Mythology (especially Skinner Boxed, which, typing this out, I realize I’d like to read again)…Good stuff.” —Biblioklept (“White Mythology“ and “Sixteen Books I Wish I’d Written More About In 2016“)
“I was particularly impressed by the first of the two texts collected here – ‘Skinner Boxed’ – whose humour, stylistic inventiveness and – eventually – pathos utterly won me over. Its narrative voice resembles the pedantic precision and ironic distance of 18th- and 19th-century novels sent kaleidoscoping through a mesh of postmodernity which serves to explode its very foundations. Certainty and predictability are what our protagonist, the psychiatrist, Dr. Ed, has attempted to make the cornerstones of his own life, and his own stratified consciousness. The book follows the gradual disintegration of these strata over the course of three days. Clarke plays with and questions ideas of the traditional narrative arc, revelatory change in fictional characters etc., drawing self-consciously on the archetypical instance of Scrooge in ‘A Christmas Carol’, only to leave us uncertain if revelations truly reveal or are themselves constructs – further, obscuring layers of a great fiction.” —Sam Pulham, Sherdstube Podcast
“…ultimately, the reading of a book is a one-way dialogue and it’s not so much a cure for loneliness as a cosmetic treatment of a symptom. We might consider this when reading WD Clarke’s two novellas, White Mythology, and the role that books, especially novels as distinct from books or narrative, play in the text…” —Chris Beausang, Analogue Humanist
“The wordplay and the unusual approach of taking a linear thinker used to a black-and-white world and pinpointing the moments of his change are exquisitely presented” —Midwest Book Review
“Implicit in Clarke’s argument, [is] that accumulating rational acts total not to a supreme rationality but to a supreme unreasonableness that is cruel, lifeless, and loveless. Tom Bowden, “I Arrogantly Recommend” at TheBookBeat.com, where there is also an interview with the author about White Mythology.
Goodreads reviews for White Mythology: