Review: Eunoia by Christian Bok

A quick bonus book review for you this week, the Oulipo inspired Eunoia by Christian Bok – a book where each chapter is limited to words with only only one of the five vowels. Yep, ridiculous.

The Oulipo movement is a bunch of writers who hung around Paris coming up with implausible writing challenges (Georges Perec wrote a book entirely without the letter ‘e‘). In this style, Bok as come up with something equally implausible. Each chapter has words with only one of the five vowels. If that wasn’t stretching enough he’s given himself a few other arbitrary rule, like making sure each chapter refers to the art of writing, describes a banquet, and has a weird accented rhyme.

Bonkers. What this means is you end up with chapters like this:


It’s brilliantly playful, but there’s no doubting that this is an intellectual excercise rather than an entertaining read.

Bok claims writing in this way proves that each vowel has its own personality. Can’t say I see that, but its an interesting read anyway.

If you’re looking for a read that will expand your horizons then this could be one for you.


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