I just read James Schuyler's What's for Dinner?, which I found at a used book store. It is as though Schuyler were going through the motions, writing a novel but not taking the form at all seriously. It seems to be a parody of a type of novel that I myself have no acquaintance with. That is, I'm sure there are dreadful novels that are just like this, but written with less tongue-in-cheek intent. All in all, it is quite a good book. Some of the scenes in the mental hospital drag a bit, and the archness of the tone can get wearisome after a while, but the narrative picks up at the end and you realize he knew what he was doing all the time. The novel is not in the least "experimental." It is a campy comedy of manners. After a while you realize that he really did mean to write a real novel, with believable characters and all the trappings, and he pulls it off better than many "real" novelists. It's like the anti-Updike novel of suburban alcholism and adultery. Did people really talk like that? Schuyler has quite an ear for slightly unbelievable and hilarious dialogue. And that very ungainly sentence that works at being awkward. "Mary C. Taylor--the laughing Charlotte of the class of 19**--found the sweet mood brought on by contemplation of the spick-and-spanness in which her husband Norris perused and, presumably, memorized the evening paper, soured." Schuyler is assuming the reader will realize that he's doing this on purpose.