Nathanimal's Reviews > Djinn

Djinn by Alain Robbe-Grillet
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M 50x66
's review
Aug 12, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: from-the-french
Recommended for: writers, meta-fictionists, and other trixters

The other night I discovered Alain Robbe-Grillet in my apartment. He was waiting for me in my library, smoking a cigarette in the dark, which I thought was a little too film noir to be taken seriously. He sat me down and, in his indulgent French accent, explained to me a secret that undermined all literary fiction. I was astonished, to say the least. I looked up at my shelves of books. My beloved books! They might as well have been cheap greeting cards at that point. Receipts from a joyless trip to the mall. At best: hastily-scrawled notes reminding me what not to forget. I looked at Robbe-Grillet as he casually inhaled from his cigarette—a little red ember pulsating in the dark—and I didn't know whether to thank him or punch him in the face. However, before I could do either, almost as if he'd read my mind, he sprang up and thwacked me upside the head with something hard and heavy. I reeled. "What kind of weapon was that?" I drawled out. But he just stood there with his arrogant Frenchman's grin. I felt as if he'd struck me with a whole alphabet of encyclopedias, but in his hand all I saw was a single slender book with a one-syllable title.

Forced to sleep by the blow, I dreamed. I dreamed I was in a house full of mirrors. Every time I fixed my bearings I realized that the objects I was looking at for reference—a couch, a potted plant, a piano—were actually carefully-positioned reflections that were deceptively warped and flipped around in an effort to disorient me. And as I searched further, I realized there was no couch, no potted plant, no piano. There were only reflections. The puzzle was so delightful I fell on the floor and laughed.

When I woke up in my library, Alain Robbe-Grillet had vanished. Daylight oozed through the windows, and I cradled my swollen head. I tried to recall the secret he'd told me. I grasped and pawed for it. It should've been right there on the tip of my tongue, but the tip of my tongue was missing. Whether Robbe-Grillet had surgically removed it while I was unconscious or whether I'd bitten it clean off when he hit me, I don't know, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I can only assume he took it with him back to France.

This book should be a religion among writers.
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Comments (showing 1-5)

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Shawn Fantastic review. Bravo!

Vienna X Is this review part of your new short story? Good god! You make me want to go running out of my apartment in my PJs to buy this book and devour it overnight. Aaaah!

message 3: by Colleen (new)

Colleen This is the most creative review I read on goodreads so far!! I definately want to read this books now.

Nate D This review is essentially flawless.

Nathanimal How kind! Thanks, Nate.

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