Life: A User's Manual (Verba Mundi #18) (Paperback)

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Life: A User's Manual (Verba Mundi #18) Cover Image
By Georges Perec, David Bellos (Translator)
$22.95
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(FICTION--GENERAL)

Other Books in Series

This is book number 18 in the Verba Mundi (Paperback) series.

Staff Reviews


Not much useful life advice here, but this delightful book about a Parisian apartment building and all the people and objects that have inhabited it, is one of the most unusual and fascinating novels I've ever read.

— From Stephen

Description


"One of the great novels of the century. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the late 20th century has produced a novel on the level of Joyce, Proust, Mann, Kafka, and Nabokov."--Boston Globe

Structured around a single moment in time -- 8:00 p.m. on June 23, 1975 -- Perec's spellbinding puzzle begins in an apartment block in the XVIIth arrondissement of Paris where, chapter by chapter, room by room, like an onion being peeled, an extraordinary rich cast of characters is revealed in a series of tales that are bizarre, unlikely, moving, funny, or (sometimes) quite ordinary.
From the confessions of a racing cyclist to the plans of an avenging murderer, from a young ethnographer obsessed with a Sumatran tribe to the death of a trapeze artist, from the fears of an ex-croupier to the dreams of a sex change pop star to an eccentric English millionaire who has devised the ultimate pastime, Life A User's Manual is a manual of human irony, portraying the mixed marriages of fortunes, passions and despairs, betrayals and bereavements, of hundreds of lives in Paris and around the world.
But the novel is more than an extraordinary range of fictions; it is a closely observed account of life and experience. The apartment block's one hundred rooms are arranged in a magic square, and the book as a whole is peppered with a staggering range of literary puzzles and allusions, acrostics, problems of chess and logic, crosswords, and mathematical formula. All are there for the reader to solve.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781567923735
ISBN-10: 1567923739
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Publication Date: July 1st, 2009
Pages: 661
Language: English
Series: Verba Mundi (Paperback)