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The Erasers

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  963 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Alain Robbe-Grillet is internationally hailed as the chief spokesman for the noveau roman and one of the great novelists of the twentieth century. The Erasers, his first novel, reads like a detective story but is primarily concerned with weaving and then probing a complete mixture of fact and fantasy. The narrative spans the twenty-four-hour period following a series of ei ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 21st 1994 by Grove Press (first published October 1st 1953)
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Glenn Russell
Dec 08, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing

“I am certain that a novelist is someone who attributes a different reality-value to the characters and events of his story than to those of 'real' life. A novelist is someone who confuses his own life with that of his characters.”
― Alain Robbe-Grillet

The Erasers is one of the most convoluted, complex, knotty novels a reader could possibly encounter, a novel that can be approached from multiple perspectives and on multiple levels, everything from an intricate detective mystery to a meditation on
The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Shelf: Thriller/Mystery,Postmodern lit,Brain Pain Group read.
Recommended for: Not everyone.

Nine murders in nine days,one by one,every evening at seven-thirty. Sounds like a typical plot for a lurid, pulpy thriller– instead, what you get is a mindbender of postmodern writing that turns conventional tropes of detective fiction upside down & becomes,at times,too smart for its own good.

Part thrilling,part annoying,the book explores a murder that (view spoiler)
Jul 31, 2007 Richard rated it it was amazing
The only time I was ever smart was reading this book in grad school. I cracked it, and the rest of my class thought I was nuts. Then, good ol' Dicky Dillard said, "Even Harold Bloom didn't get it at first."

I've since gone back to being dumb.
Nate D
Sep 20, 2010 Nate D rated it liked it
Shelves: noir, read-in-2010, france
Robbe-Grillet in noir-est noir form for his first published novel. Even in a story of detection and murder, of course, his prose is highly subjective and filled with ambiguous repetition of detail. These tendencies were mostly early in their arc of development at this point, though, meaning the clearest plotting of anything I've read from him, but also less of that rarefied aesthetic atmosphere that continually permeated his work thereafter. It reads like Robbe-Grillet, but doesn't entirely feel ...more
Jul 22, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing
This novel was published in 1964. The narration begins in the present tense, immediately drawing the reader into the novel. During the early part of the work, the story seems to be about a murder attempt gone awry. There is a cimatographic element here, too, since often the same scene repeats itself from another character’s point of view, as in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Differing interpretations of the same events, some attributable to deliberate misinformation, seem the order of the day.

The tone
Jun 06, 2013 Katharine rated it really liked it
I began reading this book three years ago, read about 75% of it, then I had to put it aside when I started grad school. I recently picked it up again and started from the beginning once more. I'm pretty sure that this was the best way to read this book. It is a time and thought consuming read and you will benefit by re-reading parts or all of it. Read, repeat, read, repeat.

This book is a bumbling comedic novel layered in a dark, mysterious tone. As I came to the end of the book I laughed at lou
For my full review, please visit Casual Debris.

Perhaps the most notable member of the group of experimental authors practicing the tenets of the Nouveau Roman (New Novel), Alain Robbe-Grillet's first novel is a fascinating, fun and frustrating murder mystery. It deals with a detective by the name of Wallas who is sent to an unnamed town to investigate the murder of Economics Professor Daniel Dupont. The murder is believed to be linked to a series of eight other murders occurring across the count
Mohsen Rajabi
پاک کن ها، اولین کتاب منتشر شده رب گریه است، و شاید بهترینشان. در زمان نوشتن این کتاب، رب-گریه، هنوز رمان نو نویس نبود، هنوز رولان بارت «ادبیات شیئیه» را به نوشتار او نسبت نداده بود، هنوز قصد تحول کلیت رمان در میان نبود.

در این زمان، رب-گریه نویسنده ای جوان بود، که از جویس، کافکا و فاکنر تاثیر گرفته بود، و می خواست رمانی بنویسد نزدیک به این نویسندگان مهم، و نسبتا متفاوت با آثار کلاسیک، به خصوص بالزاک. هنوز در نظر او خواننده اهمیت خودش را از دست نداده و مجبور نیست که صفحات زیادی از توصیف های عجیب
Mar 27, 2008 Tosh rated it really liked it
Allain Robbe-Grillet is one of those writers one either gets or not gets. Care or not care. I care, but do i get? I don't know, but I do enjoy his writings and it brings me back to a time when you can get experimental fiction published by a big publishing house at your local bookstore. Things are a tad different these days...

So what we have here is a thriller of sorts. The subjectivity erased out of the narration. An interesting read, and everyone should read Robbe-Grillet at least once.
Mar 09, 2008 Ken rated it it was amazing
In an odd twist of fate, Alain Robbe-Grillet died the same week that I finally finished reading his debut novel, The Erasers. I don’t ascribe any importance to that, it was just odd.

The Erasers reminds me of Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath or The Stooges The Stooges or Metallica's Kill 'Em All or Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush the Show. There is something great here, it isn't perfected yet, but there is hint of something amazing to come. This grand experiment will yield a Paranoid or a Fun House or
Sep 17, 2007 Nathan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who think Watson & Holmes were the same person.
Shelves: fiction
I had to read this book in graduate school. It made me feel like a failure as a human being, but I could tell how brilliant it was. Kind of like if Einstein started a conversation with you while you were drunk and tried to explain this new theory he'd been working on, and he did it in German, and oh yeah, you're drunk. Gibberish, and maybe he's not really Einstein, but a serial killer. But you can tell he's either brilliant or mad or both. That's The Erasers. Keyser Soze, drunk, talking astrophy ...more
May 22, 2010 Iniville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, surrealist
This book played like a movie in my head while I was reading it.
Aug 24, 2011 Schuyler rated it liked it
I would have loved this novel when I was 18, what with its classical (Sophocles) and modern (Kafka, Beckett, Joyce, and Borges) touchstones and its allusions to philosophical and theoretical paradigms. But I'm not 18, and, while I can appreciate what Robbe-Grillet is after with this tale of detection, I can't fully enjoy it. When I was 18, intellectual puzzles, like this one, were enough for me. I would have named "Last Year at Marienbad" one of my favorite movies that year. I liked the feeling ...more
Alika Yarnell
Dec 14, 2009 Alika Yarnell rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me a little of a David Lynch movie—specifically, Blue Velvet. Not so much in terms of theme or plot (although both involve detectives), but style. Robbe-Grillet describes seemingly mundane objects and scenes with intense details, much in the way that Lynch zooms in with extreme close-ups. The effect is peculiar and eerie and leaves much for the observer to conclude for him/herself.

Overall, I think I like Djinn a bit better than The Erasers, but the latter is definitely worth t
dead letter office
May 21, 2008 dead letter office rated it did not like it
i hate crap like this. the author constructs a detective novel-like plot and then proceeds to weave in all kind of confusion and inconsistency in order to make it into serious, postmodern literature. the critics evidently bought all the shit he was selling, because this guy is supposed to be a big deal. if paul auster was french (which he probably wishes he was in the instants of insecurity when he momentarily doubts that new york is at the precise center of the literary universe) and had been ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Les Gommes = The erasers, Alain Robbe-Grillet
عنوان: پاک کن ها؛ نویسنده: آلن رب گری یه؛ مترجم: پرویز شهدی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر دشتستان؛ 1379، در 336 ص، شابک: 9649285210؛ موضوع: داستانهای فرانسوی قرن 20 م
چاپ دیگر همین عنوان: تهران، نسل آفتاب، 1389، در 344 ث، شابک: 9786005847291؛
Delara Hazegh f
خیلی دنبالش گشتم تا بالاخره دست دومش رو پیدا کردم! خیلی خوشحالم :')
nazanin kaynejad
It was amazing and it wasn't like any other books I've ever read!!!!!!!!!!
Sarah Ghanem
Nov 07, 2016 Sarah Ghanem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
المماحي .. آلان غرييه
Oct 05, 2016 Phlip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Hard to get through. Robbie-Grillet writes his action as if he is watching it through a movie camera and I simply cannot read this anymore.
Ormond College Library
I finished The Erasers a while ago and I’m still trying to piece it together. The novel begins with bursts of dialogue and glimpses of characters, then settles down to establish the details of the crime. A bungled murder attempt leaves the victim pretending to be dead. But nothing is straightforward, of course: the streets of the town are curiously oblique and the distinction between hypothesis and actual events is murky. This French setting is wonderfully rendered in cobblestones and grim bars, ...more
Dec 18, 2015 Sean rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015


A special agent arrives in a bland harbor town to investigate the most recent death in a series of linked murders believed to be carried out by a terrorist organization. The agent's resemblance to the prime suspect leads the story into murky territory. This is Robbe-Grillet's first novel and it prefigures his later trademark narrative techniques and stylistic preoccupations, including the blurring of character roles, reinvention and reconfiguring of key scenes, and obsessive attention to the
Jun 30, 2011 Bob rated it it was amazing
Robbe-Grillet's first, I think, and a bit more conventional than "Jalousie" and others, though his obsessive objectivism is often manifest - the exact number of times the cafe proprietor moves his cloth around the table to shine it, the exact number of inches the chair sits from the table, and so on.

Set in 1950s Belgium, the story is almost an anti-whodunit about a ring of political assassins - you are told right at the outset who commits a shooting on whom, but the endless layering of speculati
Классика "нового романа"; по-своему очень любопытная книга, но читалась как-то тяжело, потому такая оценка :)

Специфика книги в том, что сюжет (детективный!) и персонажи в ней - далеко не самое главное :) /там и главного героя-то нет - они меняются по ходу книги/ Главное - стиль!

Что интересно: действие разворачивается вне времени и пространства... Город-лабиринт, по которому плутают герои, улицы описываются занудно и подробно, но при этом составить его карту решительно невозможно... Часы одного и
Jun 19, 2008 Marissa rated it did not like it
The premise of the book is simple and gripping enough, but its satirical overtones take over soon enough to keep the reader from being too emotionally invested, and thus disappointed when the mystery takes on new literary territories. At turns, this book is amazingly unique (the allusions to Oedipus, for example, are very cool) and dull (one questions the use of overly cliched stock characters). Inspite of this uneveness, however, this is my favoirite of the Detective Novels I've read this summe ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Hamish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
This is (I think) Robbe-Grillet's first novel, so his writing style isn't in full effect yet. My initial feeling was that his style only works when taken to his characteristic extreme, and therefore this was actually a bit disappointing. But as I got further, I realized that even if it's a bit lacking in that area, it still has pretty much everything else you would want in a Robbe-Grillet novel. As always, he only shows and never tells, and he leaves it up to you to connect the dots. Unfortunate ...more
Jan 06, 2010 Gabriel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shadow-man
Robbe-Grillet would go on to much more drastically erase the subjectivity from his fiction (in the psychological/James Wood/f.i.d. sense, anyway), but this first novel contains some extensive passages "in character." As a result, it is more wholly a "novel" in the traditional generic sense of the term. And, keeping himself within these boundaries, exploring what are still the novel's unique strengths, gives Robbe-Grillet extraordinary power to effect the kind of bizarre flickers that are his pro ...more
Sean Masterson
Feb 10, 2012 Sean Masterson rated it it was amazing
I am a literary Francophile, I like French food too, and this book is why. I even listen to bad 60s French pop music now. Its awful.

Robbe-Grillet voiced a disdain for literary realism and wrote a scathing manifesto of the avant garde in his book Pour un Nouveau Roman. The Erasers is his first attempt at the Nouveau Roman. Though he would later consider it a failure, I think it is compelling rejection of literary complacency.

repetition, repetition, repetition.

i finally read this book - after being guilt ridden for years for lying about reading it during my Modern Novel class in college.

I actually liked it. the end was surprising and ironic. i wish i had read it during class so that i could have discussed it with other people.
Feb 14, 2010 Sonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ces trois petites étoiles me gênent un peu. En effet, d'un côté, je sais qu'il s'agit d'un texte important, qui mériterait sans doute mieux; de l'autre, si je suis honnête,j'avouerai que je n'y ai rien compris.
Il y est question de gommes (que le personnage achète avec frénésie) et d'Oedipe. Je ne peux pas en dire plus.
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Alain Robbe-Grillet was a French writer and filmmaker. He was along with Nathalie Sarraute, Michel Butor and Claude Simon one of the figures most associated with the trend of the Nouveau Roman. Alain Robbe-Grillet was elected a member of the Académie française on March 25, 2004, succeeding Maurice Rheims at seat #32.

He was married to Catherine Robbe-Grillet (née Rstakian) .

Alain Robbe-Grillet wa
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