A Void

Front Cover
David R. Godine Publisher, Nov 1, 2005 - Fiction - 284 pages
14 Reviews
The Year Is 1968, and as France is torn apart by social and political anarchy, the noted eccentric and insomniac Anton Vowl goes missing. Ransacking his Paris flat, his best friends scour his diary for clues to his whereabouts. At first glance these pages reveal nothing but Vowl's penchant for word games, especially for "lipograms," compositions in which the use of a particular letter is suppressed. But as the friends work out Vowl's verbal puzzles, and as they investigate various leads discovered among the entries, they too disappear, one by one by one, and under the most mysterious circumstances... A Void is a metaphysical whodunit, a story chock-full of plots and subplots, of trails in pursuit of trails, all of which afford Perec occasion to display his virtuosity as a verbal magician, acrobat, and sad-eyed clown. It is also an outrageous verbal stunt: a 300-page novel that never once employs the letter E. Adair's translation, too, is astounding; Time called it "a daunting triumph of will pushing its way through imposing roadblocks to a magical country, an absurdist nirvana of humor, pathos, and loss."

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Review: A Void

User Review  - Chuck LoPresti - Goodreads

Bleatless dizzying bliss. Creation by omission. Literary Renaldo and the Loaf. Delicious as any Hambu Hodo I've ever heard. Krasznahorkai with a better sense of humor. There is a plot that involves a ... Read full review

Review: A Void

User Review  - Jeff Buddle - Goodreads

“A Void” is a lipogram. Though all consonants stay up for grabs, its author stubbornly sticks to just A, I, O, U (and occasionally Y) but still brings off a satisfying fiction. That this book is a ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

George Perec was born in Paris on March 7, 1936 and was educated in Claude-Bernard and Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire. Perec was a parachutist in the French Military before he began publishing his writing in magazines like Partisans. Perec also wrote the book, Life: A Users Manual. Perec is noted for his constrained writing: his 300-page novel La disparition (1969) is a lipogram, written without ever using the letter "e". Georges Perec died on March 3, 1982.

Gilbert Adair was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on December 29, 1944. He wrote numerous books during his lifetime including A Night at the Pictures, Myths and Memories, Hollywood's Vietnam, Flickers, and Surfing the Zeitgeist. His novels, Love and Death on Long Island and The Dreamers, were adapted into films, the later by Adair himself. He also helped write the screenplays The Territory, Klimt, and A Closed Book. He won the Author's Club First Novel Award for The Holy Innocents in 1988 and the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize for his book A Void in 1995. During the 1990s, he wrote a regular column for the Sunday Times. He died in early December 2011at the age of 66.

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