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By Roni on 04-12-07
Brooklyn IS Still the World
I was put off at first by what I thought was an unconnected series of vignettes about a self-pitying, self indulgent late middle aged white guy. But as I listened it became clear that Paul Auster had in fact captured not just a slice of life, but a fairly substantial cross section of it. That he set his story in Brooklyn, my home town, made this story all the more compeling to me, but even those who don't recognize the street names will recognize life's turns and the emotions they evoke as Auster describes them. By the end, I not only felt sympathy and kinship for Nathan Glass, the main character and narrator, butI felt as though Glass, and Auster, felt it for me.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Everett Leiter on 02-13-06
5 stars are not enough
This is a fast-moving, engrossing, and thoroughly enjoyable novel. It starts as Nathan moves to Brooklyn, supposedly to die. He is rather alone in the world, ashamed of his failed marriage and of his estrangement from his daughter. As the story progresses, a vivid cast of characters is introduced, inluding Nathan's long-lost nephew and niece, his grand niece, an eccentric rare book dealer with a criminal past, and various other characters from the Brooklyn neighborhood. Nathan's involvement in their lives gives meaning to his own, and through unpredictable twists of plot, he is transformed into someone with a more positive outlook on life. Beautifully written and well narrated by the author.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By LA on 03-30-06
a beautiful week
I have long loved Auster's books, but now I know that I have to listen to them, not just read them. I agree that 5 stars are not enough -- it has been completely satisfying listening to this wonderful book. The pacing provided frequent, unpredictable surprises. The reflections of Nathan on everything around and inside him are fresh, certainly not detached, and they moved me frequently. I was uneasy sometimes about everything moving to too many happy endings, but the unease was unwarranted. I'll certainly listen to this one more than once.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Alan on 01-28-06
As Surprised as I Am
One never knows. Confession: Considering myself literate, I have, nevertheless never "read" anything by Auster. Heard of him, but never read him. Wanted to get around to it, but not until now. Raised in Park Slope until I was eight, I hoped this tale would be the perfect introduction to Auster --a way to relate to him, to test him, to guage his worthiness. I'm hooked now.
Not because of the Brooklyn connection but because of his communicativeness, his intelligence, and his effortless conversational story telling. (He's not a bad reader either.) He's neither afraid of the cliche nor the sublime (nor the crude either.) And the book is chock full of informational tid-bits, particularly of the literary ilk. Wonderful returns to Kafka and Cervantes, et al. (Although I was disappointed not to hear him include D. M. Thomas on his list of writers who died much too early.)
Auster's characters are real and likable. (Even when improbable.) His sudden shifts from person to person, from unexpected incident to unpredictable result drive the story merrily along. It would be excellent to meet Nate again, to see who else he might come across, as his and Tom's lives continue on into the future. This is a story line that still has life in it.
Who knows what Auster's other, earlier books may bring, but this here story sure is sending me to them. I can't wait to listen to another.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Melanie Johnston on 08-20-15
A bit of rambles
I can't decide if it was the content of this book or Auster's voice that put me right to sleep. Basically , this is a lot of pompous banter about americana pulp fiction wrapped around the story of 9 year old Lucy, who shows up alone on the doorstep of her spinster uncle. She is taken in by her curmudgeonly great uncle who is dying of cancer, and she brings light and joy back into his life.
Tangentially, the story includes love, loss, and a plagiaristic scandal.
It is a good story, if you can forgive the pompous rambling.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful