Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

A Void [Paperback]

Georges Perec , Gilbert Adair
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 7.19  
Paperback, 3 Oct 1994 --  

Book Description

3 Oct 1994
As much a masterpiece of translation as a novel, A Void contains not one single letter e anywhere in the main body of the text. This clever and unusual novel is full of plots and sub-plots, of trails in pursuit of trails and linguistic conjuring tricks

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press; New edition edition (3 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860460984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860460982
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,353,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"A true tour de force: a full-length novel containing not a single 'E'. An entertaining post-modern detective story...dazzling... the translator's dazzling recreation conveys the author's near magical cleverness while preserving an underlying seriousness that makes this book much more than a curiosity" (New Yorker)

"Adair's translation is an astounding Anglicisation of Francophonic mania, a daunting triumph of will pushing its way through imposing roadblocks to a magical country, an absurdist nirvana, of humour, pathos and loss" (Time) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'There is not a single E in this novel. That's right: no here, there, where, when; no yes, no love, no sex!' New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "E's are good" ...? 14 Nov 2008
Okay, the temptation here is to write a lipogrammatical review, but to be honest - much as I enjoyed the examples below - there is probably a need for a few "straight" reviews as well, to let everyone know what an extraordinary book this is.

A novel of more than 300 pages without the letter "E" is already impressive just as an intellectual feat, in sheer Guinness-book-of-records, well-fancy-that terms. It's hard enough in French, but arguably even harder in English, so full marks to Gilbert Adair for his black-belt skills in translation. (Think about it a moment: no "the"; no "he", "she", "we" or "they".)

However, while this is always a witty book and occasionally an overtly funny one (Perec's E-free translations of Hamlet's soliloquy and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" are hilarious), this is a serious book, full of Perec's usual combination of gentle melancholy with serious philosophical questions.

Anton Vowl and his chums, representing the six vowels (with "Y" included) and disappearing one by one in bizarre and mysterious circumstances, know something is missing from their lives but can't figure what; indeed generally fail to make sense of their world. What does the missing "e" represent? What is our own missing "e"?

And isn't it scary how quickly, reading this book, we get used to the absence of something as commonplace as the most frequently used letter in the alphabet? (A possible metaphor for Europe after the Holocaust, or the like?)

Like all Perec, "A Void" is serious fun, but ultimately decidedly unsettling. He certainly makes you appreciate the simple things in life. Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good. 23 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This is an ambitious book by anybody's standards. A brilliant translation by Adair - not that I know any Francais - but obviously a major task to accomplish without using that particular symbol and still maintain a lyrical flow throughout. It has a fantastical plot, as if from a Salvador Dali painting, but this story's main conundrum (viz. what is missing) is told to us prior to starting - which spoils it slightly. My only additional criticism is that it is difficult to follow at points and occasionally hard going.
Still, indubitably worth four stars.
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Georges Perec - A Void 12 Nov 2008
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Remarkable! Though it is a more an intellectual exercise than an intelligible work of fiction (though, of course it *is* an intelligible work of fiction, otherwise the exercise would render itself pointless), a Void is delightful and delightfully clever experience. It strains credibility, credulity, and sometimes, through its oft-necessarily torturous syntax and plotting that internally reflects the conceit of a novel written with a vital piece missing, though concomitant then with an inability to mention it, but it's still fun throughout, often hilarious, and a very rewarding book to have read. Philosophical, full of big plots and little, it's a difficult read but a worthwhile one. Oh yes!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As a group of aquaintances try to discover the truth behind the dissapearance of their mutual friend they uncover a plot worthy of any detective novel. The style of writing takes on an edge of poetry at times, this can be difficult to follow but still manages to hold the readers interest and certainly adds a dark quality to the affair. Having not read any of Perec's other work I found it hard to tell if the author was held back by his choice not to use the letter "e", it would be interesting to give the book to somebody without telling them and see if they noticed the absence of the enlish languages most common letter. I won't pretend to understand exactly what Perec was trying to say in this novel but I found some interesting social and sociological points raised in the book and it is obviouse that this novel has a depth beyond that of the plot. A challenging read well worth taking the time to ponder over.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome ! 2 Sep 2008
I read this book years ago, after it was mentioned in an editorial of a magazine I was reading. Totally intregued, I went straight out and bought it. Read it. Marvelled at it.
Perec has become one of my favourite authors since.
And to make it all the more perfect - he then wrote Three - a short story where the only vowel is E !! He had to use them up!
Read it - if only to be suitably awed.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category