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Command Performance

Command Performance

by Jean Echenoz, translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti

Regular price $17.95
Regular price Sale price $17.95
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Gerard Fulmard is a loser. A disgraced former flight attendant, he attempts the métier of private detective, with spectacularly disastrous results, then begins working for an obscure political groupuscule beset by an outsized share of infighting and backroom maneuvering. At first employed as an enforcer, Fulmard is then coopted by one of the party’s less savory factions, sinking in deeper and deeper until he finds himself the reluctant assassin of the party’s own leader—and that’s when things really start going downhill. Meanwhile, projectiles crash down from the sky, corpses turn up in perfect health, main characters suffer sudden death, and nothing is as it seems. In his latest outing, Jean Echenoz, one of France’s most respected contemporary writers, toys with the tropes of genre fiction and high literature, displaying the twists of plot and turns of phrase that have become his signature, and that have made him, in the words of The Washington Post, “the most distinctive voice of his generation and the master magician of the contemporary French novel.”

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681378558
Pages: 256
Publication Date:


One of France’s preeminent contemporary authors.
Publishers Weekly

Take a private detective, a classic tragedy, a few miscellaneous facts, bind them together with meticulous yet nonchalant sentences, and serve. Jean Echenoz's new novel is a delight.
—Raphaëlle Leyris, Le Monde

Subtle, droll, melodious, oddly distant and oblique, Echenoz’s tone propels his stories forward as surely as the recounted events do.
—John Taylor, The Arts Fuse

Jean Echenoz is a master of the insignificant, outlining the lives of great men by portraying them in all of their banality.

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