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53 Days Hardcover – Jan 15 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: David R. Godine (Jan. 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567920888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567920888
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 15.9 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,303,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By A Customer on May 11 2000
Format: Hardcover
Perec's literary output was as varied as anyone's, comprising everything from encyclopedic novels to comic couplets, but he was consistent in one way--the quality of his writing was always excellent. Each of his works revelled in the myriad delights of language, whatever its subject. In this novel, published posthumously in an unfinished form, he uses the generic elements of the mystery novel, confounding and fulfilling them at the same time. A writer disappears from a fictional French African colony, and an unwilling acquaintance is drafted to study the vanished man's final manuscript for clues. The usual dangerous woman makes an appearance, and there are plenty of veiled warnings that the search should be dropped, but at each turn the narrator, well-versed in fictive custom, recognizes the conventions and turns them on their heads. The chapters abound with references to other works, classics and potboilers alike, and the plot in fact begins to hinge on them. Perec scholars or fans will additionally note a host of allusions to his own oeuvre and coded biographical details. Mystery aficionados will be disappointed that "53 Days" was never completed, but its editors have included the outlines and notes that wrap the story up; anyone with an interest in the writing process should find that these appendices more than make up for what's missing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A coda to a variegated career May 10 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Perec's literary output was as varied as anyone's, comprising everything from encyclopedic novels to comic couplets, but he was consistent in one way--the quality of his writing was always excellent. Each of his works revelled in the myriad delights of language, whatever its subject. In this novel, published posthumously in an unfinished form, he uses the generic elements of the mystery novel, confounding and fulfilling them at the same time. A writer disappears from a fictional French African colony, and an unwilling acquaintance is drafted to study the vanished man's final manuscript for clues. The usual dangerous woman makes an appearance, and there are plenty of veiled warnings that the search should be dropped, but at each turn the narrator, well-versed in fictive custom, recognizes the conventions and turns them on their heads. The chapters abound with references to other works, classics and potboilers alike, and the plot in fact begins to hinge on them. Perec scholars or fans will additionally note a host of allusions to his own oeuvre and coded biographical details. Mystery aficionados will be disappointed that "53 Days" was never completed, but its editors have included the outlines and notes that wrap the story up; anyone with an interest in the writing process should find that these appendices more than make up for what's missing.

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