Mike Lovett rents a room in a Brooklyn boarding house with the intention of writing a novel. Wounded during World War II, Lovett is an amnesiac, and much of his past is a secret to himself. But Lovett's housemates have secrets of their own. As these mysterious figures vie for Lovett's allegiance, Barbary Shore plays havoc with our certainties, combining Kafkaesque unease with Orwellian paranoia and delivering its effects with a power that Mailer has made all his own.
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