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Three by Perec (Verba Mundi) Paperback – July 28, 2004

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Three by Perec (Verba Mundi) + Thoughts of Sorts (Verba Mundi) + An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris
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Product Details

  • Series: Verba Mundi
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine (July 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567922546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567922547
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,356,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Perec's artistry has achieved a perfect balance between allure and imponderability. --Richard Eder, LA Times

Astonishingly rendered into English. --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

One of the most singular literary personalities in the world. --Italo Calvino

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Russell on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Three by Perec is a collection of three novellas written by the outstanding French novelist Georges Perec, translated by Ian Monk, and published David R. Godine. For the purposes of this review I will focus on the first novella in the collection, `Which Moped with Chome-plated Handlebars at the Back of the Yard?'

For those who are unfamiliar with Georges Perec (1936-1982), he is one of the most amazing writers of the 20th century, author of Life: A User's Manual, a 500 page masterpiece of many levels that can be viewed in terms of an intricate jigsaw puzzle (puzzles being one of Perec's passions), A Void, a 300 page novel written without using the letter `e', and a number of other literary jewels, including not only novels but stories, essays, scripts, plays, reviews and collections of crossword puzzles. At certain times, one is reminded of the writing of Raymond Queneau or Vladimir Nabokov.

So, looking at `Which Moped with Chome-plated Handlebars at the Back of the Yard?', the storyline is as simple as simple can be: One Sergeant Henri Pollak divides his time between sergeantly military life in Vincennes and bohemian civilian life in Montparnasse, living among his books, girlfriend and mates, one of his mates being the narrator of the tale. When a buck private by the name of Karamanlis or Karawak or Karawash or Karapet (or a dozen other similar names used by the narrator) is called up to go fight in Algeria, he asks Henri Pollak to run over his foot with a truck so as to escape combat. Henri vacillates and, in turn, asks his mates for help. The story moves from there.

But the author gives us much, much more than a simple story line.
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