A lain Robbe-Grillet's novels -- groundbreaking works combining suspense fiction, high literature, and philosophical exploration -- have made him one of the most influential writers of the last half century. Repetition, the first novel he has written in twenty years, is a triumphant accomplishment, an extraordinary tale of violence, espionage, and tricks of perception.
Set in the bombed-out Berlin of 1949 and rendered with an atmosphere reminiscent of Orson Welles's The Third Man, Repetition follows Henri Robin, a special agent of the French secret service who arrives in the ruined city, to which he feels linked by a vague but recurrent memory. The real purpose of his mission has not been revealed to him, and nothing is what it seems. There is a shooting, a kidnapping, druggings, encounters with pimps and teenage whores, police interrogations, even torture. As Robin slowly becomes aware that he was in Berlin before -- as a child, with his mother, perhaps looking for his father -- bits and pieces of the Oedipus story resonate through the book's elegant labyrinth. Repetition may be the most revealing and triumphant novel the French master has yet written.
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Repetition: a novelUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
In Fifties France, Robbe-Grillet helped originate the nouveau roman, or "new novel," which challenged traditional concepts of narration. He returns after a 20-year silence with a sort of literary ... Read full review