By Alain Robbe-Grillet

Translated by Richard Howard

ISBN: 9780714544540

128 pages

RRP: £8.99 £7.19

In his most famous and perhaps most typical work, Robbe-Grillet explores his principle preoccupation: the meaning of reality. The novel is set on a tropical banana plantation, and the action is seen through the eyes of a narrator who never appears in person, never speaks and never acts. He is a point of observation, his personality only to be guessed at, watching every movement of the other characters’ actions as they flash like moving pictures across the distorting screen of a jealous mind.

The result is one of the most important and influential books of our time, a completely integrated masterpiece that has already become a classic.

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  • Robbe-Grillet is a visual novelist for whom perception is intrinsically fascinating but fraught with uncertainty.

    The Daily Telegraph

  • The finest novel about love since Proust.

    Vladimir Nabokov

  • The novel remains striking in its originality, and Richard Howard’s translation from 1959 has held up well.


  • Robbe-Grillet's career was built on a sly and amusing paradox: of using fiction over and over again to undo the conventions of fiction. But how cleverly and engagingly he did it.

    The Independent

Alain Robbe-Grillet

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.