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The Flight of Icarus (New Directions Books) [Paperback]

Raymond Queneau
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

9 May 1968 New Directions Books
In late nineteenth-century Paris, the writer Hubert is shocked to discover that Icarus, the protagonist of the new novel he's working on, has vanished. Looking for him among the manuscripts of his rivals does not solve the mystery, so a detective is hired to find the runaway character, who is now in Montparnasse, where he learns to drink absinthe and is picked up by a friendly prostitute.These hilarious adventures make Queneau's novel, presented in the form of a script and parodying various genres, one of the best literary jokes in modern literature.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

The Flight of Icarus (New Directions Books) + We Always Treat Women Too Well (Oneworld Classics) + The Sunday of Life (Alma Classics)
Price For All Three: 19.69

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Product details

  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation (9 May 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811204839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811204835
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Raymond Queneau (1903-1976) was a French novelist and poet, most famous for his novel, Zazie. His work was notable for its pioneering use of colloquial language. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On the papers no sign of Icarus: between them - ditto. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars A flight of fancy 26 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Written in the form of a script, Queneau's THE FLIGHT OF ICARUS is a quicksilver fiction telling the peculiar story of Icarus, a young man who somehow escapes the pages of an eccentric writer's new novel!

Presented in 74 short segments, the reader is swept along by a host of lightly-drawn Parisian characters: a kind-hearted prostitute, an Inspector-Clouseau-like detective, a sarcastic doctor, along with other nutcases with curious ambitions.

Subtle, wry and knowing humour pervades the quite minimalist text. On the surface this is a skin-deep literary romp - a quirky adventure - yet if you care to analyze more you'll discover deeper issues being addressed.

I believe it will especially appeal to those involved in the strange craft (graft!) that is fiction writing. All in all a unique comedy novel: flighty, fast-paced and raised-eyebrow funny - easy to read and easy to like.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Icarus Ascending 8 April 2004
By Jeff O. - Published on Amazon.com
Hubert, a writer, has lost the main character to the novel he is, well was, writing. After viciously accusing friends and fellow writers of stealing Icarus, he hires the detective Morcol, "who has appeared in many novels under different names," to find him. Soon we meet Icarus, who is only 15 pages old and on his own in 1890 Paris, and begin to see the formation from what Hubert designed, to a real character through his first experience with absinthe, his girlfriend LN, his love of automobiles and bicycles, and his love of flying machines. Barbara Wright has done nice work with the translation although the tone does change abruptly towards the end without apparent reason (some readers may know her translation of Alfred Jarry's, Ubu Roi). Queneau wrote this novel in the form of a play which adds to the borderline absurdist and fast-paced story. One almost believes that the story is really about the process of writing a novel as characters elude and morph and disappear. This is a very easy to read, yet highly irregular work that is highly recommended for its creativity and execution. Readers may also enjoy other works by Queneau and his writing group formed in the 1960's called the OULIPO.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant and funny 17 Aug 2001
By david gutkin - Published on Amazon.com
This is the first novel I have read by queneau and I certainly plan on reading more by him. "The flight of Icarus" is a hysterical novel in the form of a play, consciously parodying pirandello. It follows a young man, Icarus, the main character of a novelists new book, who escapes its pages and enters late 19th century paris. It is an amusing easy read, full of intentionally awful puns. I recommend it :).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect novel! 1 Sep 2012
By ravennamoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Flight of Icarus" is so much fun to read~ funny and totally original! The main character in a novel escapes from
the notes of his author and has an adventure in Paris~ he discovers absinthe, falls in lust, learns to ride a bicycle, and
meets other characters and people along the way. I enjoyed every page of this book! Icarus, the runaway character, and his
author Hubert Lubert are both endearing characters. I thought Morcol, the detective, was hilarious. How will Monsieur Lubert continue writing his novel without Icarus? Raymond Queneau spins a fabulous tale!
5.0 out of 5 stars good flight 2 Oct 2013
By J. craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a lot more and better folks than i have enjoyed this as have i..matter of taste whether you like him. i do.
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