It's a hilariously revisionist account of Noah's ark, narrated by a passenger who doesn't appear in Genesis. It's a sneak preview of heaven. It encompasses the stories of a cruise ship hijacked by terrorists and of woodworms tried for blasphemy in sixteenth-century France. It explores the relationship of fact to fabulation and the antagonism between history and love. In short, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters is a grandly ambitious and inventive work of fiction, in the traditions of Joyce and Calvino, from the author of the widely acclaimed Flaubert's Parrot.