Middlemarch meets Luis Bu„uel in this dazzling 1938 novel by the eminent surrealist whose verbal gamesmanship is...

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CHILDREN OF CLAY

Middlemarch meets Luis Bu„uel in this dazzling 1938 novel by the eminent surrealist whose verbal gamesmanship is delightfully re-created in a resourceful translation. It's a deliriously crowded tale whose characters include an extended family of wealthy industrialists, the laboring poor of a town on the outskirts of Paris whose citizens, high and low, are amusingly interrelated and otherwise connected with their ""betters,"" and--most memorably--Monsieur Chambernac, an eccentric recluse who, with the assistance of his Mephistophelean ""secretary"" Purpulan, is compiling an exhaustive ""Encyclopedia of the Inexact Sciences"": an interminable work-in-progress that ironically reflects the human muddle of (their common environment) Claye, or, in biblical terms, the ""clay"" from which we all arise. Queneau (1903-76) was at his best one of the truly entertaining writers of the century, and this is one of his most accessible and rewarding fictions.

Pub Date: July 1, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 446

Publisher: Sun & Moon

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1998