Sometimes you get reminded just how adventurous literature can be. Okay it sounds contrived to produce a novel without using a single letter ‘e’ but what ambition trying to do it. As you start reading you spend a few pages just trying to find an escaped ‘e’ and there are moments when he inserts a dash or apostrophe where a e should have been. But most of the time he simply chooses to express the story without using words containing ‘e’s.
The result is odd, not in an unpleasant way, but there is a different rhythm. The story is also written in a way that is no necessarily easy to get to grips with. There are hidden jokes, with famous French literary characters popping up, and references to mathematical and philosophical debates that are far out of my realm.
But at the heart of the story there is a character named Anton Vowl who becomes obsessed with the idea that he is slipping into a void. He suffers from insomnia and becomes more unable to distinguish between reality and dreams. He commits his increasingly random thoughts to paper and then disappears.