Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force, Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.
An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.
A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.
William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives.
A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway.
An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.
These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.
"With a plot that encompasses war in the Middle East, economic recession and the perils of the publishing industry, a contemporary vitality distinguishes the latest from the veteran author…. Sure to please Auster fans and likely to attract new readers as well." (Kirkus, Starred Review)
"Passionately literary… every element is saturated with implication as each wounded, questing character's story illuminates our tragic flaws and profound need for connection, coherence, and beauty. In a time of daunting crises and change, Auster reminds us of lasting things, of love, art, and ‘the miraculous strangeness of being alive.'" (Donna Seaman, Booklist, Starred Review)
"Auster deftly balances minute details that evoke New York City, post-financial meltdown, with marvelously drawn characters bruised but unbowed by life's vicissitudes. He has an impressive array of literary nominations to his credit, but this should be the novel that brings him a broader readership." (Sally Bissell, Library Journal, Starred Review)
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I recommend this book because of its insight into people and the human condition. Moving and illuminating, if not always happy and hopeful. The sense of truth beneath the book is rare and liberating.
Weaving together many well-developed characters.
Auster is a fine interpreter of his own book. His reading colors the words and sentences you might not feel if you just read it.
The ending is not disappointing, but I found myself at a loss. So I listened to that last 90 minutes again, more carefully. Major things happen fast, sometimes even off-stage, but in the end, everything is tied up without loss of verisimilitude. This is a great accomplishment for an author who is trying to deliver felt life. Auster is serious. I look forward to another.