Though Perec (1936-1982) is "experimental" in the tradition of Joyce and Nabokov, his work is rich with word games and acrostics that reveal the secret life of language this euphoric novel, winner of the Prix Medicis, will enchant a range of readers. The serial storytelling within the framework narrative is as beguiling and inexhaustible as Scheherazade's. The facade is removed from a Parisian apartment house on the Rue Simon-Crubellier, permitting us to spy on its tenants in the grid of rooms and to examine their pictures and bibelots. Books, letters, clippings and announcements add to the textual welter, all interlocking like pieces of a puzzle, the novel's chief metaphor. Tales told in stylishly reinvented genres, romance, detection, adventure, constitute what is experienced, read about or dreamed up by an array of restaurateurs, mediums, cyclists, antique dealers and pious widows. A quester for the Nile tries to rescue a beautiful German girl from a harem. A judge's wife, whose sexually thrilling thefts result in a sentence of hard labor, ends as a bag lady on a park bench. Meanwhile a team of eccentric artists, Bartlebooth, Winckler and Valene, enact the creative process, painting watercolor seascapes, cutting them apart with a jigsaw and reassembling them as smoothly as "an oily sea closing over a drowning man." The image of a splendidly wrought table, its interior fretted by patient worms, succinctly and differently restates the process. This is a classic of contemporary fiction.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The eye follows the paths that have been laid down for it in the work," begins Perec's encyclopedic novel, which details everything, animate and inamimate, in an imaginary apartment house. His characters unfailingly do the least expected: Laurelle, killed at her own wedding by a falling chandelier; Ingeborn, who casts a white actor as Otello; Gregoire, fired from a vegetarian restaurant for pouring beef extract in the vegetable soup; a judge's wife sentenced to hard labor. The author reserves the greatest irony for Percival Bartlebooth, like himself an artist. Bartlebooth paints watercolors that are made into jigsaw puzzles, then reverses the process until he has a perfectly blank sheet. Creation and dissolution are the themes in this highly entertaining work, itself a puzzle. Lisa Mullenneaux, Iowa City, Iowa
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Georges Perec is a genius. This novel ranks among my top ten.Published 13 months ago by Michael Cowen
I read this book when it was first translated in the USA - I saw the title on a shelf in our library and couldn't resist it. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2002 by W. David Wilkins
This is a masterpiece.
Georges Perec is a master.
Read this book.
Read Void. (Why is void out-of-print -- a disgrace)
Read W or the Memory of Childh. Read more
THIS IS A REREADABLE BOOK. A MAN WHO WROTE THE LONGEST PALINDROME IN THE WORLD AND A 3000 WORD BOOK WITHOUT THE LETTER E CAN DO ANTHING WITH LANGUAGE AND PEREC DOES. Read morePublished on June 20 2002 by Daniel
It took me 2 weeks of focused effort to read this book...it's quite a project. But it was well worth it. One of those great books that can teach you a great deal.Published on Nov. 18 2001 by Gregg Horras
If you read the first few pages of this book after seeing all the glowing reviews on Amazon, you may wonder what we are so excited about. Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2001 by Zeldock