J.P. Donleavy’s final book bears no relation to its title, unless someone at the Ivy League university advised the author to toss this confusing word salad. Wrong Information is Being Given Out at Princeton relates the tale of Alfonso Stephen O’Kelly’O, an aspiring composer swept into a strange and brief marriage with heiress Sylvia Triumphington and a subsequent affair with his kinky mother-in-law, Drucilla. The narrative offers a striking lack of grammar, non-existent sentence structure, and complete absence of the slightest semblance of plot. Upon its 1988 publication, Publishers Weekly noted that, “[l]ike Stephen’s character, this novel is a muddle that’s lewd without purpose and mean-spirited without irony.”
A confused confection on a literary par with the film Eraserhead, Donleavy is an acquired taste. A hard-won flavor, to be sure.