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Man in the Dark Paperback – 4 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (4 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0571240771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571240777
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Auster is the best-selling author of Man in the Dark, The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions, The New York Trilogy, among many other works. In 2006 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his other honours are the Independent Spirit Award for the screenplay of Smoke and the Prix Medicis Etranger for Leviathan. He has also been short-listed for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (The Book of Illusions) and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (The Music of Chance). His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Description


"Works beautifully . . . This is perhaps Auster's best book. Like Vonnegut's classic anti-war novel ["Slaughterhouse Five"], Auster's book leaves one with a depth of feeling much larger than might be expected from such a small and concise work of art."--"San Francisco Chronicle """Man in the Dark" is at once haunting, thought-provoking, emotional, and compellingly readable."--"The Philadelphia Inquirer" "Remarkable . . . "Man in the Dark "possesses a grand and generous heart."--"The Boston Globe ""Auster's latest astute and mesmerizing metaphysical fiction . . . A master of the matter-of-factly fantastic, Auster tells an utterly authentic story of culpability and survival, the vortex of loss, and our endless struggle to translate terror into understanding."--"Booklist "(starred review) "A novel that kept my attention from the first page all the way to the last. Frankly, it hypnotized me."--NPR's "All Things Considered ""[Auster's] magic has never flourished m

Book Description

Man in the Dark by Paul Auster is a devastating novel about the many realities we inhabit as war and conflict flame all around us.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Loneliness takes many forms. For some it is a feeling of intense isolation even in a crowd or a room full of friends. If it is dark, nighttime, one may feel almost disabled by desolation. You truly are alone save for your thoughts, memories, unanswered questions that prevent sleep and only summon remorse. That is the condition in which August Brill finds himself in Paul Auster's brilliantly challenging latest novel "Man In The Dark."

At 72 years of age Brill finds himself in his daughter's Vermont home where he is trying to recover from an automobile accident. Sleep eludes him as he recalls past tragedies - the death of his wife, the desertion of his daughter's husband, the death in Iraq of Titus, his granddaughter's fiancé. A retired book critic Brill has a fertile imagination, and sees in his mind's eye quite a different America, and it is a haunting scene - a place where there has not been a terrorist attack, our country is not at war save for within itself when New York and 16 other states secede from the Union.

He flagellates himself for these thoughts, saying, "Why am I doing this? Why do I persist in traveling down these old, tired paths; why this compulsion to pick at old wounds and make myself bleed again?"

Auster, as is his wont, challenges us to consider the world in which we live. He underscores the atrocities of war by relating the horrible death of Titus that is posted on the Internet and seen by Brill and his granddaughter.

Brilliant, shocking? Yes. It is also unforgettable, undeniably the work of one of the most creative minds of our generation.

Auster's narration of his work brings an added depth to the story. For this listener there is a greater understanding of the author's intention when the inflections, phrasings, and emphases are his own.

- Gail Cooke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jl Adcock VINE VOICE on 23 April 2011
Format: Paperback
August Brill lies in bed at night unable to sleep. Troubled by a recent spate of family disasters: death, accidents, separations, he creates stories in his head to fend off the realities of his life - and over the space of one night both worlds collide in this compelling, unforgettable piece of storytelling from Paul Auster.

Auster's knack is to create puzzles in his stories, puzzles which very often don't have neat or easy solutions, and here, his character Brill creates a puzzling alternative world view of America, which reminded me of themes explored by Philip Roth at times. Having constructed these compelling, strange other worlds and dilemmas, Auster then takes us in a completely unexpected direction, often within the space of a few, short sentences, that takes the reader places they weren't expecting to go.

Impressively, within the confines of a story under 200 pages long, Auster has created several alternative worlds that seem all too real; and peopled them with characters you actually care about. It's a tremendous achievement and an utterly captivating piece of storytelling. Give it a go - you won't forget it in a hurry. A little masterpiece of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. J. H. Thorn TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the third Paul Auster novel I have read, my favourite so far being 'Leviathan', which I feel is flawed but enjoyable. This is the one I like the least, a largely negative book with little focus. It surrounds members of a depleted family, being the elderly August Brill, his middle-aged daughter and his young adult granddaughter. They have bereavements and lost loves to reflect on, the details of which unfold in the second half of the book. Much of the first half meanwhile is an account of a story Brill invents for himself about a surreal civil war. Knowing that it is imagined takes all the suspense out of it and I just wanted him to get it out of the way. By the end, it seems that Auster's aim is simply to depress the reader and the whole thing just comes across as a bitter doodle. Whatever he was trying to achieve falls flat.
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Format: Paperback
I am ashamed to admit: this is my
first encounter with Paul Auster. And I
love his style, love his storytelling, love
what he tells us about insomnia and creativity, destinies
of different people, about illness, death, loneliness and,sorrow,
and, most of all, what he tells us about imagination.

The only thing that made me hesitate whether to give the
book four or five stars, was the fact that Auster does not
really succeed to unite the many stories this novel contains
and put them into one frame. There is the story of an imaginary,
"parallel", strange and frightening America, torn by a murderous
second Civil War that follows the secession of certain States.
There is the story of the revolt of certain characters created by
the author who plot to kill the author in order to stop the story, and thus
stop the war..And there is the story of three generations living together in a house
in Vermont: the narrator, his daughter and his granddaughter, each with
his (her) memories, sorrow, loss and resilience. The only link between
these very different stories is the darkness filling a room during a long
sleepless night. The darkness as the source of creativity for insomniac people...

But it is written with talent and makes me wish to read other books by
Paul Auster. Five stars.

Elisheva Guggenheim-Mohosh, Geneva, Switzerland
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