From Library Journal
Benabou writes like Borges in love. The book's title is a ruse: this is a playful, gentle, and wondrous tale of a writer in search of both true love and truth in print. Benabou is a cult author in France, where he is "definite provisional" secretary of the experimental writers' group OuLiPo (which has boasted Marcel Duchamp and Italo Calvino as members); American academic journals have devoted whole issues to him. This book is a chamber piece in four movements, framed by a clever overture and stunning coda and telling the story of a man obsessed with the meaning of an obscure text. Like Umberto Eco's sprawling mysteries, Benabou's slim volume is packed with witty references to various other texts, whether arcane, obvious, or entirely invented. But erudition here does not get in the way of a strong narrative voice. This sweetly melancholic book is a real find for anyone who considers reading an activity and who rejoices in the fusion of high modernism, cabala, textual sleuthing, and a healthy dose of self-irony. Recommended for larger public libraries and all academic libraries. Ulrich Baer, NYU
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"... a provocative analysis of how author and reader conspire to create the experience of perusing and inhabiting a text. Meanwhile, Rendall's witty and resourceful translation is a rare pleasure unto itself. Great fun." - Kirkus Reviews