Friday, 17 April 2009

Travels in the Scriptorium

Title: Travels in the Scriptorium

Author: Paul Auster

Number of pages: 130

Started: 14 April 2009

Finished: 17 April 2009

Opening words:

“The old man sits on the edge of the narrow bed, palms spread out of his knees, head down, staring at the floor…His mind is elsewhere, stranded among the figments in his head as he searches for an answer to the question that haunts him.
Who is he? What is he doing here? When did he arrive and how long will he remain?”

Plot summary:

An old man sits in a room, with a single door and window, a bed, a desk and a chair. Each day he awakes with no memory, unsure of whether or not he is locked into the room. Attached to the few objects around him are one-word, hand-written labels and on the desk is a series of vaguely familiar black-and-white photographs and four piles of paper. Then a middle-aged woman called Anna enters and talks of pills and treatment, but also of love and promises. Who is this ‘Mr Blank’, and what is his fate? What does Anna represent from his past - and will he have enough time to ever make sense of the clues that arise?

What I thought:

I am a big fan of Paul Auster’s books and, whilst this was not one of his best, this was still a good book. It was a book that specifically told you not to draw any premature conclusions as the story unfolded.

It was a good, short read and raised interesting questions. I have read better books by Auster, but this was a decent read.

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