A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
The Investigator, a humble and ordinary man, has been ordered to conduct an Investigation into a series of suicides that have taken place at the Enterprise a huge, sprawling complex in an unnamed Town. But the Investigator's train is delayed. When he finally arrives, no one is there to meet him at the station. When he reaches the Enterprise, he is denied entrance. The harder the Investigator tries to fulfill his task, the more senseless obstacles he encounters: regulations hamstring him, street layouts befuddle him, and perhaps most unnervingly he senses someone watching and recording his every movement. In this highly original and absorbing work, Claudel turns his masterful storytelling toward a sweeping critique of the contemporary world. Like Kafka, Beckett, and Huxley, Claudel's dark fable shows that the most looming questions of our time can only be countered with piercing intelligence and considerable humor.
About the Author
Philippe Claudel is the author of many novels, including Brodeck, which won the Prix Goncourt des Lyceens in 2007 and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2010. His novel By a Slow River has been translated into thirty-two languages and was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 2003 and the Elle Readers Literary Prize in 2004. Claudel also wrote and directed the 2008 film I ve Loved You So Long, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, which won a BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language."
“A world that is by turns farcical, absurdist, allegorical. . . . Skillfully evokes the insidious, modern fear that we, like the Investigator, are playing bit parts in some vast, incomprehensible system.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Impressive . . . a self-aware book about self-awareness, about the process of becoming a person, the search for self. . . . [Claudel] has managed a rare trick.” —The Daily Telegraph (London)
“Darkly comic, pleasingly strange.” —The Daily Beast