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Three By Perec

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  116 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Perec has rightfully assumed his position in the pantheon of truly original writers of the past century. Godine has issued all but one of is his books in this country, including his masterpiece Life, A User's Manual. Here, in one volume, are three "easy pieces" by the master of the verbal firecracker and Gallic wit. The novella "The Exeter Text" contains all those e's that ...more
Paperback, 179 pages
Published April 1996 by D.R. Godine
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If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiPale Fire by Vladimir NabokovCloud Atlas by David MitchellFicciones by Jorge Luis Borges
Oulipo,etc.
94th out of 236 books — 225 voters


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Glenn Russell
Jun 27, 2014 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing
Three by Perec is a collection of three novellas written by the outstanding French novelist Georges Perec, translated by Ian Monk, and published David R. Godine. For the purposes of this review I will focus on the first novella in the collection, `Which Moped with Chome-plated Handlebars at the Back of the Yard?'

For those who are unfamiliar with Georges Perec (1936-1982), he is one of the most amazing writers of the 20th century, author of 'A Void', a 300 page novel written without using the let
...more
Adam Floridia
"Which Moped with Chrome-Plated Handlebars at the Back of the Yard": 5/5 stars.
How could anyone who reveres rhetoric, loves language, and wallows gloriously in word games not take heart in this terse tale? This short story might madden anybody who willfully gainsays word games, loathes language, and reviles rhetoric. It's a story that has words and a heart. The heart, or deeper meaning, lies behind (or within or simultaneously both or neither at the same time)the words which tell (or are) the s
...more
Bjorn
Oct 16, 2015 Bjorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
Which Moped With Chrome-plated Handlebars At The Back Of The Yard?
Early novella, and it shows, which isn't necessarily bad; this is Perec just finding his voice after his debut Things, taking a simple story of a soldier trying to get out of going to Alger and bombarding it with rhetorical and narrative devices until the story groans, creaks and gasps for breath. A bit too in love with its own quirkiness at times - it's not just the plot that reminds me of Alice's Restaurant - but good fun.

The Ex
...more
Lenny
Oct 01, 2012 Lenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perec-lite, Three consists of three novellas or short stories, including The Exeter Text, which is where all the stray E's absent from La Disparition (A Void) ended up, as it's the only vowel employed. Perec gets around the limitation through ever more creative misspellings, and certain concessions Oulipo granted him. Its remarkable in its way, but still becomes rather tedious after a while.

The Exeter Text is the second story. The volume begins with Which Moped with Chrome Plated Handlebars at
...more
Deniz
Apr 22, 2013 Deniz rated it liked it
Reading Perec is like attending a college classroom. With one major difference: you really have to give yourself in, not because you have an exam but because you really don't want to miss anything.

This is a very clever book and it is not for everybody, some readers may find it unreadable especially when they hit the second story. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading this.

Cooper Cooper
Three contains three novellas by French experimentalist Georges Perec, who died in 1982 at age 46. The novellas are: The Exeter Text: Jewels, Secrets, Sex (1972); A Gallery Portrait (1979); and Which Moped with Chrome-plated Handlebars at the Back of the Yard? (1966). These are so-called “ludic” novellas, to distinguish them from more serious works such as Things and (his masterpiece) Life A Users Manual. Perec experimented with writing to rigid rules: for example, writing an entire novel (The ...more
Chris
Dec 26, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
The first novella, Which Moped with Chrome Plated Handlebars at the Back of the Yard was written before Perec joined the Oulipo, but it is still a work that is in love with wordplay. The story is about a group of recruits who try to help a colleague get out of the draft by drugging him and having him fake madness. It's kind of a dark story, but is as much about wordplay and linguistic exuberance as it is about the story.

The second, The Exeter Text: Jewels, Secrets, Sex, is a companion to Perec's
...more
David R. Godine
"Perec's artistry has achieved a perfect balance between allure and imponderability."
—Richard Eder, LA Times

"One of the most singular literary personalities in the world."
—Italo Calvino

"Astonishingly rendered into English."
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"I once had the occasion to write to the translator of these books, David Bellos, and I took the opportunity to let him know that Perec is my favorite writer, and that, since a translator is to a large extent the creative force behind a trans
...more
Brent Legault
Mar 13, 2008 Brent Legault rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: funsters, pleasure puppies
When you have an anthology it's inevitable that you'll want to compare, favorably or otherwise, one piece to another to another etc. So there are good things and bad things here but mostly good things. You have to like to have a bit of fun to enjoy Perec in full. You have to practice your wry smile. Perec will give you plenty of opportunity to do so.

And do you mind if I gush about The Harvill Press? God, I love the way their books look. I wish I could find more of them here in The States. They a
...more
Neil P
Aug 11, 2011 Neil P rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the story of a group of men desperately planning to save their friend from conscription to the Algerian war is wonderful - for me demonstrating how Georges Perec can write a rivetting piece of fiction with all of his styistic flair. The other two perambulate and masturbate with words and style = not really bedtime reading even for me (and I love linguistics)
Euletha
Jan 17, 2008 Euletha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
out of the three short stories (which are also very good), i was drawn primarily to the exeter text because it boasts the author's genius and sense of humour. the only vowel used in this short story is 'e'. i was thoroughly entertained by its clever and witty words, wordplay and creative spelling. entertaining, indeed.
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Georges Perec was a highly-regarded French novelist, filmmaker and essayist. He was a member of the Oulipo group. Many of his novels and essays abound with experimental wordplay, lists and attempts at classification, and they are usually tinged with melancholy.

Perec's first novel, Les Choses (Things: A Story of the Sixties) was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 1965.

In 1978, Perec won the prix Médicis
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