by John Gardner (1985). An extended, turbulent and sprawling philosophical ghost-story that descends into campus politics, an ancient incest-murder, a much more recent murder, a maybe murder, a suicide, drunkenness, divorce and madness of one Peter Mickelsson, a once well-known philosopher who has now fallen on hard times at Binghamton University in upstate New York. He misses his college-age children (sic), has various affairs and muses on Kant, Nietzsche (mainly) and Wittgenstein. Pursued by the IRS for failing to pay taxes, his alimony-hungry ex-wife and unpaid bills, he manages to acquire a dilapidated ancient farm house that may, or may not, have once housed Joseph Smith, the founder and prophet of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons originated from this part of the woods). Mickelsson, not the most sympathetic of protagonists, encounters plenty of ghosts, some apparently real, some a figment of his overheated and brooding imagination and some that may be engaged in real criminal enterprises. Murakamis’ A wild sheep chase written a few years later, must have borrowed some elements from Gardner. My version of the book is literally falling apart – the 590 pages are not well glued together and this is the 2. time I’ve read it. Although not lite reading, I highly recommend it. It has much quotable material. To wit: “Such was the fruit of all those eons of evolution, from hydrogen to consciousness: galaxies wailing their sorrow. Music of the spheres.”