Friday, 10 July 2009

Man in the Dark

Title: Man in the Dark

Author: Paul Auster

Number of pages: 180

Started: 8 July 2009

Finished: 10 July 2009

Opening words:

I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American wilderness. Upstairs, my daughter and granddaughter are asleep in their bedrooms, each one alone as well, the forty-seven-year-old Miriam, my only child, who has slept alone for the past five years, and twenty-three-year-old Katya, Miriam’s only child, who used to sleep with a young man named Titus Small, but Titus is dead now, and Katya sleeps alone with her broken heart.

Plot summary:

August Brill, an elderly book critic, lies awake in the dark, unable to sleep. Elsewhere in the house are his daughter, Miriam, and granddaughter, Katya, each with her own reasons for lying awake and watchful in the long Vermont night.

Read a brief interview with Paul Auster here.

What I thought:

As expected, I enjoyed this latest read by Paul Auster. It was in many ways similar to his other books, covering the same sort of themes and has a darkness and strangeness to it that I can’t quite identify. It was a peculiar read (in a good way) and I have perhaps read better books by him, but it is one of those books where the author plays tricks, of sorts, with the readers minds and tells stories within stories – and there are links between this story and some of his others, which some readers may appreciate and others perhaps think a bit on an ‘in-joke’. A good read, perhaps not one of Auster’s best, but a good read nonetheless.


Sarah said...

I haven't read any Paul Auster, but I definitely want to now, having read your review. Dark, strange and peculiar? Fantastic! Which one would you recommend to start with?

Kahless said...

Not sure I fancy reading Paul Auster.

Random Reflections said...

Sarah - I am always very nervous about recommending Paul Auster, as I really like him, but can't explain why. Be kind if you give him a go...

As for which one to start with. I think probably 'The Music of Chance'. It is a good story, but also fairly short, so if you hate it the agony will be over soon. I also really liked 'Moon Palace' and 'The Book of Illusions' is good too.

Kahless - he is marvellous, but I won't push it too hard in case you hate him!