Set in an unspecified island kingdom, A Regicide tells the story of the statistician Boris who, after the electoral victory of the Church party in the country’s elections, decides to assassinate the King on the day he is to visit the factory where he is employed. As the crime is described and relived, doubt sets in as to whether it has ever taken place.
Written in 1949 but only published in 1979, Robbe-Grillet’s first novel is a disquieting and satirical avant-garde political thriller which bridges the gap between traditional novel and the Nouveau Roman genre he would later espouse and make famous.
An extraordinary work, unafraid to be different, whose games with narrative haunt and nag at the mind.
Reading A Regicide today, we’re reminded of Robbe-Grillet’s influence on our notions of how a novel should be.
I doubt that fiction as art can any longer be seriously discussed without Robbe-Grillet.
The New York Times
Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922–2008) is best known as the pioneering spokesman of the nouveau roman, a greatly influential movement in post-war French fiction, and as the author of Jealousy and The Voyeur.