i have to admit i was disappointed not to like this book as much as i enjoyed portrait of man unknown, but i could tell i would not, right away, as i became deeply involved in the first work, and finished in a day, but i stopped after the first battle over the easy chairs and had difficulty picking up again when i came back to it later.
i guess when it comes down to it, it's the characters sarraute chooses to focus in this book that annoy me. i'm one of these people who have to be able to empathize with characters on some level, and that's why i can only give this book a three. there are unusually startlingly beautiful and clear passages, and similes that i like but the petty bourgeois pursuits of the planetarium didn't seem to be as tempered with the desperate humanity in portrait of a man unknown. those characters were crazy, but i cared about them. these, especially alain, and his aunt, i want to take by the nose, and twist, and twist.