This book needs to be read to be believed. It consists of a series of still lives or minor episodes, all based on a Paris apartment block and its inhabitants. Although it has few coherent conventional narrative streams, it tantalises the reader wonderfully and provides a wide array of characters, major and minor, who float in and out of the stories like flotsam and jetsam on the tide. Perec is a master of invention and the few threads of continuity are brought together in a fabulous conclusion that left me chilled for days. What is it about? Everything: storytelling, art, patterns, jigsaw puzzles, the nature of truth, life, mess, wonder, joy, unhappiness and the general imperfect details of living. It really is a fantastic read and well worth the effort needed to understand the style of one of the wondrous and obscure writers of this century. It is truly one of the most complete books I have ever read.