Satirical journey in the style and language of an old American historical novel set in the late 17th century, by John Barth. Published in 1960, and later abbreviated in 1987.
It has been called "serious comedy"; in all its pirates and raunch there are jests about swiving tree-holes, but there are also deep insights into the chaos that is reality.
In covering the haphazard and sometimes pointless journeys of Ebenezer Cooke, a wannabe poet, it punches the reader in the face with tributes to every vice they see in themselves.
Here's an excerpt of the book round-a-bout-ly insulting itself:
"Perversity, Mr. Mitchell!" the Laureate scolded. "You've parted company now with Plato and Shakespeare, and with every other gentleman as well!"
"Europa, Leda, and Pasiphaë are my sisters; my offspring are the Minotaur, and the Gorgons, and the Centaurs, the beast-headed gods of the Egyptians, and all the handsome royalty of the fairy tales, that must be loved in the form of toads and geese and bears. I love the world, sir, and so make love to it! I have sown my seed in men and women, in a dozen sorts of beasts, in the barky boles of trees and the honeyed wombs of flowers; I have dallied on the black breast of the earth, and clipped her fast; I have wooed the waves of the see, impregnated the four winds, and flung my passion skywards to the stars!"