A story of death and disintegration in a French village in which nothing disappears or is lost. "The primary aim was to capture a voice" Pinget writes. That Voice is hard to hear, indistinct, made up of many voices going back over generations yet it is also "the same from beginning to end"
The structure of this novel is precise, although not immediately apparent. The different themes are intermingled. One cuts into another point-blank, then the other resumes and cuts into the first, and so on until the end. The first example of this procedure , at the beginning of the book, is the theme of the cemetery, cut into by that of the gossip at the grocery, then resumed shortly afterwards. Apart from this peculiarity, as from the middle of the book the themes are taken up again in the inverse order of their appearance. The last themes of the first part, that is, become the first of the second part and are thus retold in reverse. A procedure resembling anamnesis. Robert! Pinget from the Preface [via]