Tuesday, February 10, 2009
REVIEW: The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
Three postmodern, dream-like tales of urban paranoia on the subject of the nature of identity. In the first a crime writer is drawn into a mysterious investigation; in the second a man spies on someone from an apartment; and in the third the childhood friend of a disappeared man is made his literary executor. Auster's prose glitters and beguiles, but does not offer anything as mundane as objective truth.
I'm sure it comes as no surprise by now that I love Paul Auster. This is one of those books that have stayed with me long after I've finished reading its last page. I'm left with a lot of questions and uncertainties. I'm left feeling completely perplexed and unsure of what I've just read but I find that the journey to that point is something I can't give up.
Initially, I was a little put off at the fact that the three books in this trilogy (City of Glass, Ghosts, and Locked Room) are detective stories but of course, it being Auster, they aren't typical detective stories. He turns the classic detective story and spins it so that this is a study of identity. Both of the characters in the books, the relationship between reader and author, the pursued and the pursuer.
The subtlety of the writing, the depth of themes and the way in which each story is connected, the darkness of the subject matter, the books within the books. The combination of all these continue to make Paul Auster my favourite author ever. You haven't read anything by Paul Auster then you are sorely missing out.