"53 Days": A Novel
Georges Perec, the celebrated author of Life A User's Manual (Godine, 1987), was working on this "literary thriller" at the time of his death. He had completed only 11 chapters of a planned 28, but left extensive drafts and notes supplying the rest of the mystery, as well as numerous twists and subplots. From these, Harry Mathews and Jacques Roubaud have assembled the elements of the unfinished mystery, along the way providing a fascinating view into the author's mind as he fashioned his literary conundrum.
Absorbing, allusive, and joyously playful, "53 Days" is the ultimate detective story. The narrator, a teacher in a tropical French colony, is trying to track down the famous crime-writer Robert Serval, who has mysteriously disappeared. Serval has left behind the manuscript of his last, unfinished novel, which may contain clues to his fate. From this beginning, Perec lures the reader into a labyrinth of mirror-stories whose solutions can only be glimpsed before they in turn recede around the corner.
In the tradition of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, Perec's "53 Days" is a supremely satisfying, engrossing, and truly original mystery. Like his previous work, it is also "a kaleidoscope of ingenious juxtapositions" (Le Monde) from one of the century's most inventive and important writers.
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Review: 53 DaysUser Review - Lily - Goodreads
53 Days is a mystery about mysteries. Fictional novels are referenced and play a central role in solving the multifaceted crime. The author himself died in the midst of writing this novel, which is ... Read full review
Review: 53 DaysUser Review - Iwokeinrelief - Goodreads
A fitting final work for one of my favorite writers of the last 50 years. I'm going to discuss the structure of the novel for a moment mostly because it goes a long way to show just what makes this ... Read full review