Was this any goooood, though? It made it to my used book store the other day, and I almost grabbed it, but didn't, having been burned by him too many times in the past. Usually, I find his ideas interesting, his searching worthwhile, but the writing itself just a bit too flat and journalistic to enjoy.
I do really like his essays, and he did lead me to his contemporary Nathalie Sarraute, who became one of my favorites. Similar ideas, much better execution, IMHO.
The gruesome descriptions of sexual torture make it hard to evaluate if the book is good. It was all well beyond my own maximum level of perversion. It's also the first Robbe-Grillet I read so I have no comparison to make. I plan to get his Jealousy and hope the sadism is less nauseous. I understand that Robbe-Grillet considered Camus, Sartre and Kafka important influences and there was a definite Kafkaesque quality to this book. I didn't feel it was "journalistic" but it did have plenty of cinematic references with "cut" and "retake" after which the same events are twisted and described again in a similar but different way. Most peculiar.
I will try Nathalie Sarraute. Probably start with Childhood since it's said to be accessible.