Landon, Brooks. Thomas Berger. Boston: Twayne, 1989. First book-length study of Berger draws from the author’s correspondence with Berger to support the thesis that the interpretation of Berger’s novels is the study of his style. Begins with a brief overview of Berger’s career and then analyzes, by conceptual grouping, Berger’s first fifteen novels.
Lethem, Jonathan. Introduction to Meeting Evil, by Thomas Berger. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. Presents a brilliant analysis of Berger’s career, discussing his unique strengths as a writer and his place in American letters.
Madden, David W. Critical Essays on Thomas Berger. New York: G. K. Hall, 1995. Solid collection includes a valuable overview of Berger criticism by the editor, a lengthy interview with Berger, and the text of Berger’s play Other People. Gerald Weales’s 1983 essay “Reinhart as Hero and Clown,” reprinted here, is perhaps still the best single discussion of the Reinhart books available.
Malone, Michael. “Berger, Burlesque, and the Yearning for Comedy.” Studies in American Humor 2 (Spring, 1983): 20-32. One of the most instructive essays in the two-volume Studies in American Humor special issue on Berger, this piece offers a persuasive analysis of Berger’s complexity that also considers why his achievements have not been better celebrated. Malone claims that whatever the novel form, Berger writes comedy, as opposed to comic novels.
Stypes, Aaron. “Thomas Berger and Sheer Incongruity.” South Dakota Review 32 (Winter, 1994): 34-43. An interesting discussion of Berger’s place in American literature and the sources of his comedy.
Wallace, Jon. “A Murderous Clarity: A Reading of Thomas Berger’s Killing Time.” Philological Quarterly 68 (Winter, 1989): 101-114. Offers superb analysis of the philosophical implications of Berger’s use of sources in Killing Time. Wallace is one of the few critics to recognize the interpretive importance of Berger’s style.
Wilde, Alan. “Acts of Definition: Or, Who Is Thomas Berger?” Arizona Quarterly 39 (Winter, 1983): 314-351. Instructive essay on Berger’s work offers a phenomenology that recognizes the inseparability for the author of the concepts of freedom and self-definition. Wilde finds in Berger’s novels, however, a “fear of otherness” that just as easily may be termed “fascination.”