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A feckless, comical narrator struggles against all odds to tell a story for which he is responsible, but which he neither controls nor understands. His characters multiply, repeat, and go astray; his employer pays no attention, asleep in a drunken stupor. The increasingly desperate narrator clambers over rooftops and through underground passages, watching helplessly as his characters reappear in different times and settings and start rival stories against his will. This brilliant, wryly humorous work tells of the sadness of the world and of the inadequate means that language and storytelling offer for describing and understanding it. Yet it does so in Tulli's characteristically clear, concrete, gorgeous prose. This extraordinary work, unique in both form and message, shows a European master at the height of her powers and constitutes a major contribution to a new century of European literature. A wildly inventive page-turner.

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