"Considered by many to be his greatest book, Michel Butor's Mobile [first published in 1962] is the result of the six months the author spent traveling across America. The text is composed from a wide range of materials, including city names, road signs, advertising slogans, catalog listings, newspaper accounts of the 1893 World's Fair, Native American writings, and the history of the "Freedomland" theme park. Butor weaves bits and pieces from these diverse sources into a collage resembling an abstract painting (the book is dedicated to Jackson Pollack) or a patchwork quilt that by turns is both humorous and quite disturbing. This "travelogue" captures--in both a textual and visual way--the energy and contradictions of American life and history."
"A gifted disciple of French anti-novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet, Butor is notable because he uses a different technique with every book and turns out intense and interesting fiction just the same."--Time
"Mobile is not only a memorable experience, accomplishing that rich task of all true art--providing the reader with new eyes--but it is also work which fellow writers and artists can profit from because it supplies the best of all ingredients: stimulation."
--New York Herald Tribune
"With a lexicographer's zest for words, Butor . . . captures the tone of American clichés, suggests an almost dizzying sense of space and variety, and brings into ironic juxtaposition elements of primitiveness and sophistication that are part of the American myth."
--New York Times