Steve's Reviews > Only Joking

Only Joking by Gabriel Josipovici
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's review
Dec 11, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: novels
Read on October 28, 2010

There's a great sense of play in this novel, reminding me of Raymond Queneau or Jean Echenoz in the way author and even characters seem aware of being in a story that is mimicking the tropes of a genre (the heist caper, in this case) and are able to accurately reproduce or reenact that genre even while poking fun at both the genre and the reader for their expectations and requirements. I suppose I felt playfully, gently implicated in the way that kept me gladly on edge as I read. By the Natasha/Isabelle character, more than anyone else, with her habit of cutting through the most "literary" moments of dialogue with hilarious, blunt questions like, "Why do you talk like that?" Through the whole story there are suggestions of vaster, more complication machinations going outside the purview of the characters, making me wonder - as a reader - what the "big picture" of the story was beyond the terrific pacing and dialogue and energy of the writing, at the same time I wondered, a little sheepishly, why I was being so insistent on the novel needing a "big picture" at all.
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