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

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Life a User's Manual (Verba Mundi #18) By Georges Perec, David Bellos (Translator) Cover Image
By Georges Perec, David Bellos (Translator)
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This is book number 18 in the Verba Mundi (Paperback) series.

Staff Reviews

Perec finished Life A User’s Manual just a few short years before he died in 1982. It is truly a high point to finish such an epic and complete a novel -- not to mention see it published -- and to cap a lifetime of literary genius. Most known before Life was A Void, his funny, witty novel written completely without the letter “e.” Life is structured after a puzzle-maker but expands into the lives and rooms of an apartment block of Paris. after 20 years, Godine has updated this masterpiece (with a beautiful cover as well as corrections to the translation). You will love this book!

— Nick


"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 individual stories; 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: Verba Mundi
Publication Date: July 1st, 2009
Pages: 661
Language: English
Series: Verba Mundi (Paperback)