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Paul Auster - 3/1/2009 4:17:33 PM   
Mogwai


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I had to read The New York Trilogy for my degree and I instantly fell in love with the Auster's style, the themes that permeated throughout; themes of language, meaning being slippery, the nature of writing and identity. The New York Trilogy, especially the first story "City of Glass", has a definitive investment in the works Jacques Lacan, and I suppose, it discusses, in a covert way, Saussure's model of the linguistic sign.

Auster's style is wonderfully realised, while his themes are experimental, in comparison to mainstream literature, his writing captures the ease, and smoothness of, say, Stephen King. I'm not comparing the two, but King has a writing style that allows it to be read quickly, and without faltering, if you understand me.

However, let's not allow this to become a love-in for his books. I've read, the aforementioned, New York Trilogy, Moon Palace and Travels in the Scriptorium. The latter, I found to be the worst, it wasn't a bad book per se but I felt the metafictional nature of it wasn't fully realised, and the whole meaning of language was done better in NY Trilogy.

So, has anyone read any of Auster's books? What did you think of them? good, bad, don't care?


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RE: Paul Auster - 3/1/2009 4:41:37 PM   
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I had to read City of Glass for my degree too.  Have to say I found it really, really frustrating, especially the end. 

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RE: Paul Auster - 4/1/2009 9:42:31 AM   
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I really enjoyed "City of Glass" from NY Trilogy, far more than the subsequent "Ghosts" and "The Locked Room"
You might want to try "Oracle Night" - which follows the 'novel within a novel' theme to many of Auster's works - without being quite as frustrating a read as "City of Glass"
I've recently bought "Leviathan" which I haven't had chance to read yet.

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RE: Paul Auster - 4/1/2009 10:47:34 PM   
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The only book I have read of Auster's is The New York Trilogy, and yes I found it to be quite enjoyable but I do not know where the sheer amount of hype this book seems to have came from, yes its a very decent book but thats all.

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RE: Paul Auster - 7/1/2009 4:58:58 PM   
Skiba


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I've only read Mr Vertigo and I loved it but I just keep forgetting to get around to reading his other stuff...in fact this has prompted me to order The New York Trilogy right now

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RE: Paul Auster - 7/1/2009 5:03:08 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lil Slugger

I really enjoyed "City of Glass" from NY Trilogy, far more than the subsequent "Ghosts" and "The Locked Room"
You might want to try "Oracle Night" - which follows the 'novel within a novel' theme to many of Auster's works - without being quite as frustrating a read as "City of Glass"
I've recently bought "Leviathan" which I haven't had chance to read yet.


Leviathan's brilliant, I think I read it before NYT, but I like that too. Need to start reading some Auster again, is his more recent stuff good, anyone?

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RE: Paul Auster - 8/1/2009 10:21:59 PM   
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my brother brought it the other day so i'll be sure to read it after him. need some new authors to read. though i have got By Night In Chile and 2666 (latter on order, not out till next week) by Roberto Bolano waiting to be read. might have to wait till the week after next when my exams are voer to get any serious reading done.

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RE: Paul Auster - 9/1/2009 8:22:21 PM   
Lil Slugger


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I tried read one of his latest - "Travels in the Scriptorium" and despite a fantastic premise, could not get into the book at all. His very newest novel "Man in the Dark" looks worth a read- published in paperback in June.
The new-ish "Book of Illusions" is enjoyable. I also have "In the Country of Last Things" to read- one of his first novels which looks to be in the vein of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", very much a departure from his usual subject matter and themes.

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RE: Paul Auster - 2/2/2009 7:27:07 PM   
Skiba


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Finished the NY Trilogy last month and enjoyed it for the most part...I think I most enjoyed The Locked Room as after promising starts Ghosts and City of Glass both left me a little disappointed

I do love his writing style though and he has a wonderful grasp of language that a lot of American writers don't have


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RE: Paul Auster - 8/2/2009 12:19:10 PM   
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I've recently read The Brooklyn Follies and Mr. Vertigo. The former, I thought, was one of his better all-rounded, fully realised novels and definitely is most uplifting one. The latter was a short bittersweet novella, I did enjoy the fact that it was written from the perspective of a dog, an interesting defamiliarization of the norm.

I got Oracle Night from the library yesterday so I'll start that soon.

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RE: Paul Auster - 11/2/2009 1:57:20 PM   
Jurassic Jon

 

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I read the New York Trilogy a while ago. It was good but I didn't think it lived up to the hype. Then again things rarely do!

I picked up a book Auster edited called True Tales of American Life. I think that's the title anyway. Auster appealed on a radio show for people to send in stories that would be read out on air. The only condition was that they not be too long. The response was so great that he made a book out of them.

It seems like a very interesting book - lots of stories/anecdotes of varying length and theme, with the first story barely half a page. I've not started reading it yet but it seems perfect for dipping into occasionally or even reading alongside a novel.

Anyone else seen/read this?

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RE: Paul Auster - 11/2/2009 6:44:51 PM   
Pele


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mogwai

I've recently read The Brooklyn Follies and Mr. Vertigo. The former, I thought, was one of his better all-rounded, fully realised novels and definitely is most uplifting one. The latter was a short bittersweet novella, I did enjoy the fact that it was written from the perspective of a dog, an interesting defamiliarization of the norm.

I got Oracle Night from the library yesterday so I'll start that soon.


the dog one is Timbukto (sp) I think, I've not read it, would like to though. Mr Vertigo is about the boy who learns to levitate, enjoyed it alot at the time but I can't remember much about it now. Left the Brooklyn Follies on a train half way through but it did seem to be great. I've got book of illusions on my shelf waiting to be read, Music of Chance is very good (decent film with James Spader and Mandy Patinkin as well, diff ending though).


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RE: Paul Auster - 11/2/2009 8:35:51 PM   
Skiba


Posts: 4402
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From: London
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pele

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mogwai

I've recently read The Brooklyn Follies and Mr. Vertigo. The former, I thought, was one of his better all-rounded, fully realised novels and definitely is most uplifting one. The latter was a short bittersweet novella, I did enjoy the fact that it was written from the perspective of a dog, an interesting defamiliarization of the norm.

I got Oracle Night from the library yesterday so I'll start that soon.


the dog one is Timbukto (sp) I think, I've not read it, would like to though. Mr Vertigo is about the boy who learns to levitate, enjoyed it alot at the time but I can't remember much about it now. Left the Brooklyn Follies on a train half way through but it did seem to be great. I've got book of illusions on my shelf waiting to be read, Music of Chance is very good (decent film with James Spader and Mandy Patinkin as well, diff ending though).


I really enjoyed Mr Vertigo I loved to kind of supernatural element based in reality a bit like Jonathan Carroll...there's a particularly disturbing part involving the KKK in Mr Vertigo that quite brilliantly changes the mood of the book


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RE: Paul Auster - 19/2/2009 12:21:11 PM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jurassic Jon

I read the New York Trilogy a while ago. It was good but I didn't think it lived up to the hype. Then again things rarely do!

I picked up a book Auster edited called True Tales of American Life. I think that's the title anyway. Auster appealed on a radio show for people to send in stories that would be read out on air. The only condition was that they not be too long. The response was so great that he made a book out of them.

It seems like a very interesting book - lots of stories/anecdotesof varying length and theme, with the first story barely half a page.I've not started reading it yet but it seems perfect for dipping into occasionally or even reading alongside a novel.


Anyone else seen/read this?


that sounds really good, i'll have a look out for that.

just read the NY trilogy, and have to say i absolutely loved it. one of the best books i've read in ages. it's incredibly frustrating, especially City of Glass but i still loved it. love how it all ties together aswell, although i don't really know how... that's one of the best things about it tho, is that it's all so mysterious and confusing, yet at the same time entirely captivating. great stuff, and i can't wait to read more of his books, Oracle Night i think it was sounds really good.

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RE: Paul Auster - 20/2/2009 2:16:32 PM   
Mogwai


Posts: 671
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Northern Ireland
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pele

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mogwai

I've recently read The Brooklyn Follies and Mr. Vertigo. The former, I thought, was one of his better all-rounded, fully realised novels and definitely is most uplifting one. The latter was a short bittersweet novella, I did enjoy the fact that it was written from the perspective of a dog, an interesting defamiliarization of the norm.

I got Oracle Night from the library yesterday so I'll start that soon.


the dog one is Timbukto (sp) I think, I've not read it, would like to though. Mr Vertigo is about the boy who learns to levitate, enjoyed it alot at the time but I can't remember much about it now. Left the Brooklyn Follies on a train half way through but it did seem to be great. I've got book of illusions on my shelf waiting to be read, Music of Chance is very good (decent film with James Spader and Mandy Patinkin as well, diff ending though).



You are correct sir, I got those two mixed up. I completed Oracle Night, which, to be perfectly honest, was a let down. It didn't grip me, and towards the end I was reading it out of sheer force of will. I'm now reading The Book of Illusions, although I should be doing my work, and I have to say, its one of his finest.

The Brooklyn Follies is marvellous, and surprisingly uplifting for an Auster book. Actually, I find a lot of his books have a certain amount of redemptive quality to them, the characters have to process their grief. The majority of his books are written as if the narrator is looking at the past with hindsight, which gives the books an added dimension as if the writing of the book is catharsis.


< Message edited by Mogwai -- 20/2/2009 2:23:01 PM >


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RE: Paul Auster - 20/2/2009 8:40:47 PM   
richCie


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ive ordered a couple of his plus the Tales of American Life off play trade (bout 3 ea, but they are used) was gonna buy more but i'm gonna check that the NY Trilogy aint just a one off. whilst looking on amazin i did spot alot of books about his writing, essays and the like, clearly there seems to be quite alot of effort given to analysing his work, and tbh it's not hard to see why.

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RE: Paul Auster - 4/3/2009 10:34:31 PM   
richCie


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anyone read travels in the scriptorium? it seems to tie all his books together, as i was reading it lots of references kept coming up to people from the NY trilogy, and then after u find out the full name of Anne, i thought to myself, well i know in the country of last things (the only other one i have) has a main character is a woman, reached over to it picked it up, read the synopsis adn sure enough it's the same woman. further more i mentions the bomb explosion that starts of another of his books, as well as numerous other people who i'm sure feature in some other of his books, SO anyone else read it? what do you think of the way tehy all tie together? (i don;t want to give too much away in case no one else has read them.

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