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Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep (Verba Mundi) Paperback – July 16, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two intriguing and poignant novellas, Perec's first published works, show him forging the iconoclastic literary style that fully emerges in his magisterial Life: A User's Manual --the technique of crowding fictional space with an almost rococo wealth of detail and decor. Things (1965) coolly pinpoints the yearnings and malaise of young Jerome and Sylvie, market researchers who analyze their interviewees' needs just as Perec inventories their own. Media slogans and trendy magazines dictate the luxuries they would buy if they had money. To escape the consumerist mythology, they move to Sfax, a drab desert outpost in Tunisia. But although they locate a beautiful villa, their dream eludes them. The narrative slips into future tense: "They will pine for Paris," go back and recall Sfax with nostalgia. In A Man Asleep (the basis of a 1973 award-winning film), an introspective graduate school dropout denies the pressures of time, first by examining each instant as he lies in bed, then by drifting through Paris streets in an imitation of sleep's shadowy oblivion. Despite his characters' trapped, "decelerating" lives, Perec's fertile imagination is fresh and surprising.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Required reading for anyone interested in the evolution of this modern master" -- Andrew Motion Observer "As a witty attack on consumerism Things is as much a parable of the Nineties as it is a story of the Sixties" Sunday Times "Perec's first novel is a masterpiece of elegaic mockery" Financial Times "Things, Perec's first novel, is an innovative, perceptive and even moving study of corrosive consumerism" Independent "[A Man Asleep is] grimly obsessing...one turns the pages with unlikely fascination" --Euan Cameron Sunday Telegraph

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Product Details

  • Series: Verba Mundi
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine; Reprint edition (July 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567921574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567921571
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James C. Casterline on September 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is good literature and in this case I agree. Both of these short novels talk about postwar France. They were originally written in French. I read them because they were recommended in a book I have that has been guiding my reading. This is interesting enough and doesn't take much time.
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
We tend to forget,in our "rat race" for things that money can buy, that happiness can only come from within. We may race for the things that money can buy, but very often we forget to enjoy the ride.
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2 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Rolex,BMW,VERSACE,DKNY,LACOSTE,RR,... tHINGS... WE'RE SLAVE TO THINGS... IDEALISM IS DEAD... 'CAUSE WE'RE LIVIN' IN SYNTHETIC TIMES...
POST-CRITICUM: PAINFUL...'CAUSE ýT'S TRUE
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Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep (Verba Mundi)
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