Yes, it's official, I have a new favourite author. Step forward please, Mr Doug Nufer, Seattle-based purveyor of ultra-constrained genius. I can't remember exactly how I came across it, but there's a fantastic interview with Nufer on Madinkbeard's blog and having read it, I had to get hold of one of his books.
The easiest to come across in the UK was "Negativeland," a regressive road trip following former back stroke champion Ken Honochick as he doesn't discover the meaning of life. The chapters count down from -6 to 0 and every sentence in the book contains a negative. But if you didn't know you wouldn't care. It reads brilliantly. It's sad and elegaic as well as funny and clever and it says much more about America and contemporary life in general than any novel Tom Wolfe ever wrote.
His other books include "Never Again," a 200 page text in which no word is ever repeated (and I thought I was clever when I sustained this for the full 100-odd words of a flash fiction...) and "On The Roast," in which "On The Road" is warped into the corporate memoir of a character eerily like the founder of Starbucks (and of which, Nufer reports, Harry Mathews said that it was really great that Nufer had so much time on his hands). I think there's a CD called "The Office," too, but I haven't been able to find out too much about that yet.
And, just to add the final stroke of fortuitous beauty (though probably not for Mr Nufer, who spent years trying to get his work into print), all four were published in the same year by four different publishers.