Monday, August 29, 2011

12 Books in 12 Months: A Book by Someone with Your Same Initials

Title: In the Labyrinth
Author: Alain Robbe-Grillet

Image via Oneworld Classics

Scanning our shelves for AR options, I came up with a choice between Ayn Rand and Alain Robbe-Grillet. In the Labyrinth is significantly shorter than Atlas Shrugged so I went with the Frenchman. Those of you well versed in French literature will understand that even at 207 pages, I was in for a tough slog. For the rest of you, I offer the book in board game form...

Draw a card: "It is snowing. Lose your turn."

Draw a card: "Contemplate the film of dust on the game table. Go forward two spaces. It is still snowing."

Draw a card: "Move forward four spaces. Consider whether this is truly the right space rather than any of the other seemingly identical spaces on the board. Go back one. It has been snowing for a long time."

Draw a card: "Does this card rightfully belong to the player to your left? Hide it under the table, stagger around the room, then see if you can find it again. Ask everyone at the table if they've seen your card. Lose your turn. It will continue to snow for the foreseeable future."

Worst board game ever!

Seriously, for the first three quarters of the novel, virtually nothing happens. Then there's a rush of action at the end when all is revealed. Which is to say, nothing much at all is revealed. I didn't even realize until the end that the "end of fighting" didn't mean French liberation in 1944. It meant French surrender in 1940. No wonder it's so depressing!

Very strange book. I don't think Hasbro will go for the licensing deal.


I hope that you, too, will join the 12 Books in 12 Months challenge. Details are here. My own list and books read by others shall be maintained on the pages list on my sidebar. Other blogs currently participating:

My Wife - Wikes! Hikes on the Long Trail
Mrs. Mock - Exclamation Point (!)

Two friends of My Wife are also participating: TonTon via Facebook and The Hermitess via Goodreads.

If you'd care to join the challenge, please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me at Also, please tell me how and where I can follow your posts. Don't be shy about suggesting other categories, either. It is my intention to compile a new list of 12 once this one is completed. My only parameter is that no one should have to buy anything in order to complete the challenge - nothing beyond a library card required.


  1. A is for ..




    Am I warm? :)

    1. My apologies. I was being playful and meant no harm. I will respect your wishes.

    2. I know. No offense taken. Just know that you're fighting a losing battle.

  2. Well, I finished Replay by Ken Grimwood. When I was a kid, I loved the name Kate. So maybe I can have this count for my initials in a slightly more legitimate way. Come to think of it, 'Kate' with my married name is rather nice for a nom de plume.

    In any event, I loved 'Replay' even more than 'Me Before You.' It was excellent. Imperfect and, for me personally, wildly uneven as there were scenes that were extremely challenging for me to make it through during the third replay. But I soldiered on. Very glad I did. Toward the end, I tried to read more slowly to draw it out as I did not want the journey to come to an end. With the exception of some brief, sexually-graphic scenes, I recommend this book with zeal. It entertained, delighted and moved me as a reader, and inspired me as a storyteller.

    1. I like the idea of taking your time with the end because you don't want the story to be over. Sadly, that was not at all my experience with my book for this category.