Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions.
|Published (Last):||2 June 2009|
|PDF File Size:||6.6 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||3.90 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. Preview — Things by Georges Perec. David Bellos Translator. Andrew Leak Translator. Now Godine is pleased to issue two of his most powerful novels in one volume: Things, in an authoritative new translation, and A Man Asleep, making its first English appearance.
Both provoked strong reactions when they first appeared in the s; both which speak with disquieting immediacy to the conscience of today's readers. In each tale Perec subtly probes our compulsive obsession with society's trappings the seductive mass of things that crams our lives, masquerading as stability and meaning.
Jerome and Sylvie, the young, upwardly mobile couple in Things, lust for the good life. In direct contrast with Jerome and Sylvie's cravings, the nameless student in A Man Asleep attempts to purify himself entirely of material desires and ambition. He longs "to want nothing. Just to wait, until there is nothing left to wait for.
Just to wander, and to sleep. Accessible, sobering, and deeply involving, each novel distills Perec's unerring grasp of the human condition as well as displaying his rare comic talent. His generosity of observation is both detached and compassionate. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 16th by Verba Mundi first published More Details Paris France. Prix Renaudot Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Things , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Things: A Story of the Sixties predates all those tiresome novels about corporate-culture ennui , Ballardian death of affect, and dehumanisation through advertising and leaves them weeping into their MaxPower V9 toasters-cum-dildos. What a heartbreaking and beautiful novella! Oh Georges, is it really so sad? By piling up descriptions, razor-sharp character analysis and cultural scene-setting, Perec captures the painful loneliness of upwardly mobile corporate life—his writing glitters with perfect, wrenching subtlety and humour.
Oh Georges, Georges, Georges! An absolutely magnificent duo of novellas—epochal, strange and powerful. View all 5 comments. In both cases these are strong on concept and rather weak in characterisation. These are not easy stories to review, and neither is essential to understanding Perec, so I'll just write a few brief notes. Things follows a Parisian couple in their 20s and explores the way their lives are determined by material possessions, and follow stereotypical paths for all of their attempts at individual This book brings together two early novellas by Georges Perec, who is best known for Life: A User's Manual.
Things follows a Parisian couple in their 20s and explores the way their lives are determined by material possessions, and follow stereotypical paths for all of their attempts at individuality. Although this sounds critical the story is told in a matter-of-fact non-judgmental way. A Man Asleep is a rather bleak tale of a young man losing interest in life, probably inspired by Kafka.
Apr 16, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: novels. For a brief shining moment Things by Georges Perec stood on my real-life to-be-read shelf next to Flings by Justin Taylor, and I had half a mind to go the whole hog and buy Strings by Allison Dickson and Wings by Aprilyne Pike to go with them. Georges would have liked that I think.
But I read Flings , then Things and Strings and Wings have faded into the unserious penumbra of whimsy which seems to follow me around most days. Jerome and Sylvie, and their friends, all drift from being uncommitted students to casual work for market research agencies, none of them have proper careers.
They have the taste of the upper middle class but they have no money. Things is page after page of more than a little self-loathing contemptuous analysis of the lives and attitudes of Jerome and Sylvie, with lists of all the stuff they bought, the things. There is no dialogue at all, and no discernible events. Here he is mocking their pretentious political paranoia: The enemy was unseen. Or rather, the enemy was within them, it had rotted them, infected them, eaten them away.
They were the hollow men, the turkey round the stuffing. Tame pets, faithfully reflecting a world which taunted them. They were up to their necks in a cream cake from which they would only ever be able to nibble crumbs. Here it is again. Take a look at this sentence: In advertising circles — which were generally located by quasi-mystical tradition to the left of centre, but were rather better defined by technocracy, the cult of efficiency, modernity, complexity, by the taste for speculating on future trends and by the more demagogic strain in sociology, as well as by the still very widespread opinion that nine-tenths of the population were fools just able to sing the praises of anything or anybody in unison — in advertising circles, then, it was fashionable to despise all merely topical political issues and to grasp History in nothing smaller than centuries.
Okay, one thing does happen to our tiresome and fraying at the edges couple — they observe their circle of friends dwindling as they each decide to join the salaried middle class properly by getting proper jobs and going to live in the suburbs. This is the best part of the book, the disillusion of this brief dream is something we all might have experienced. Sadness and deflation is what this brief novel is all about. You have been warned. In such a vacuum, precisely because of this vacuum, because of the absence of all things, because of such a fundamental vacuity, such a blank zone, a tabula rasa, they felt as if they were being cleansed So everything has to be Perecised — three synonyms, minimum, or the reader will simply not understand.
I felt bamboozled, banjaxed and almost bullied, as if George was prodding his finger, his appendage, his digit right into my sternum, my chestal cavity, my very frontage. View all 3 comments. Mar 16, Steven Godin rated it really liked it Shelves: france , fiction , paris. Two intriguing and poignant novellas Perec's first published work that you can clearly see had a influence when approaching Life: A Users Manual years later.
Forging his trademark iconoclastic literary style that fully emerges in later work, his technique of crowding fictional space with an abundance of almost rococo richly details and decor is also apparent here.
So is an air of at first unnoticeable melancholy, that seems to drift around his characters like a ghost. 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. Even when confronted with luxury, the austerity of North Africa has purged them as much from want as from envy.
But although they locate a beautiful villa, their dream eludes them. The narrative slips into future tense: pining for Paris with nostalgia. Wandering graduate dropout denies the pressures of time, first by examining each instant as he lies in bed, studying the cracks and flaws in the ceiling of his tiny garret room. Then by drifting through Parisian streets in an imitation of sleep's shadowy oblivion. With Perec, all the little finer details matter, just passing through the day is done in a way that draws vivid images, pondering over life with a thought process that digs deeper into your soul.
Despite his characters trapped, weary and decelerating actions, Perec's fertile imagination throughout is fresh and appealing, delivering a worthy read for any Perec fan, and actually a good place to start for anyone thinking of Reading Life: A Users Manual.
An Impressive work. View 2 comments. Mar 10, Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly rated it really liked it. The author, if still alive, would be as old as my mother. This was his first book and it made him famous. He started writing it in , the protagonists are two young French, a guy and a girl, the type we call now as "young professionals," the setting is in France, circa s of course. Fast forward half a century later, I'll have my morning coffee at Starbucks, or at the Figaro nearby, and I would be amidst young people, like the characters in this book, and I'll see them tinkering with their The author, if still alive, would be as old as my mother.
Fast forward half a century later, I'll have my morning coffee at Starbucks, or at the Figaro nearby, and I would be amidst young people, like the characters in this book, and I'll see them tinkering with their latest electronic gadgets, wearing their fashionable clothes, their branded shoes and bags; overhear them talk about their most recent weekend nightouts, who is now going out with whom, their plans for the summer, a trip somewhere, sex beaches, shopping destinations in nearby countries, all the while sipping their cups and puffing thier smokes like movie stars, then when they get exhausted doing the leisurely and remember they need to sleep, will step out, hail a taxi, satisfied that they've escaped the misery of taking much cheaper public transport bus, jeep as what they did when they were still studying --all of them out of call centers after their evening shift.
And I'd tell myself: these people should read Perec's "Things: A Story of the Sixties" and know that despite these distractions and amusements they happily inflict upon themselves, they belong to another doomed generation. That they are "right in the middle of the most idiotic, the most ordinary predicament in the world" Perec from which the majority of them won't be able to escape.
Things a Man Asleep
A Man Asleep by Georges Perec. Our Assessment: A- : effective study. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review 's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.
Things: A Story of the Sixties & A Man Asleep