A unique Proustian mystery and a landmark both for the nouveau roman and the literature of Manchester. Michel Butor’s 1956 novel describes a year in the life of French émigré Revel, who takes up a clerk’s position in the northern town of ‘Bleston’ – a thinly disguised but curiously re-mapped Manchester – only to find himself psychologically undermined by the town itself. His attempts to record his experiences in diary form disclose the semblance of a murder plot whose true meaning appears to be lost in a labyrinth of his mind.