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Mr Vertigo [Paperback]

Paul Auster
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

5 Jan 2006

I was twelve years old the first time I walked on water . . .'

So begins Mr Vertigo, the story of Walt, an irrepressible orphan from the Mid-West. Under the tutelage of the mesmerising Master Yehudi, Walt is taken back to the mysterious house on the plains to prepare not only for the ability to fly, but also for the stardom that will accompany it.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (5 Jan 2006)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0571229085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571229086
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,651 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

About the Author

Paul Auster was born in New Jersey in 1947. After attending Columbia University he lived in France for four years. Since 1974, he has published poems, essays, novels, screenplys and translations. He has also edited the story collection TRUE TALES OF AMERICAN LIFE. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Auster is a genius 17 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is always the first title I recommend for those readers that have yet to read any of Paul Auster's work. It is both literary and utterly readable and I cannot imagine anyone reading this and not enjoying it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This One Grows On You 22 Oct 2009
By Mr. Peter Steward TOP 1000 REVIEWER
My second Paul Auster book and this one grew on me the further I read. It's a very unusual story about a young boy in the USA who is taught to levitate. I don't want to give too much of the plot away but it follows his successes and failures, high and low spots. In many ways it read like a surreal tale.

There is a typically gritty American feel to the story. At first I found myself having little sympathy with the characters but once I got to know them I began to empathise. It's a world of gin palaces, brothels, gangsters, hucksters, baseball players, but a place where love and compassion and friendship win through despite murders and killings. There is an underlying goodness about the story despite the inherent violence.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dizzying, Dazzling, Dynamite Novel. 9 Nov 2007
By Mr. B. A. D. Plowman VINE VOICE
This is the second novel I have read by Mr Paul Auster, and it will certainly not be the last. MR VERTIGO is a fabulous adventure story that shook me by the scruff of the neck and invaded my dreams.

It is one of those books that one is loathe to put down, as the story has definite narcotic qualities. I suffer from insomnia, but found it bearable as I was reading MR VERTIGO, as I could simply leap out of bed and continue to consume this marvellous tale!

And what a tale it is - a tale about childhood, lessons learned, endlessly dreaming and achieving those dreams, maturity, love and loss, folly and redemption. Hell, I'm waffling - It is a book about being ALIVE.

On finishing the book, I felt elated and satisfied but was already starting to miss these larger-than-life, highly colourful characters: Walt the Wonder Boy, Master Yehudi, Mother Sioux, Marion Witherspoon, Aesop - each character lovable and posessing their own kooky charisma.

Now I'm experiencing withdrawal symptoms from MR VERTIGO. My solution? - To read more Auster! I read THE BOOK OF ILLUSIONS prior to VERTIGO (also excellent, though not quite as consistently dazzling as this book). Now I intend to go back and explore the earlier works of this master storyteller.

I'm glad I discovered Paul Auster. So will you be!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good read 5 Nov 2007
I have read numerous books by Auster and his abillity to grip the reader with a story that would sometimes not as be as interesting or as worthy in the hands of a lesser skilled writer is astonishing. To me this book and many of his other tales are about the journey rather than the quality of the story. This book is my favourite of Auster's work, it is a wonderful, simple, yet intruging story of a young boys jounrney through life and into a wierd and wacky world. Read this book with an open mind and you will love it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's what I call a novel 29 Oct 2008
I loved reading this book. It is unpretentious. The plot is original, the characters extremely likeable and it is very well written. It almost felt like a story being read to me. It took me on a journey and not many novels can do that.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic from Master Auster! 14 Oct 2008
By Michael Murphy VINE VOICE
Magic emerges from Auster's writing in this picaresque tale of the rise to fame - and the subsequent decline - of Walt Rawley, "ragamuffin, from honky-tonk row", unwanted by his charge Uncle Slim. Walt's world is transformed beyond belief when a mysterious stranger, Master Yehudi, makes him an extraordinary offer: to teach him to fly.

Under the fierce discipline of Master Yehudi, Walt is subjected to a harsh regimen of rigorous training, a series of gruelling endurance ordeals, each trial marking a step towards his ultimate goal of mastering the art of levitation, walking on air. Technique perfected, Walt hits the road with Master Yehudi, on tour across America, dazzling audiences coast-to-coast with his amazing displays of "anti-gravitational feats" that, though implausible, are convincing in their description and detail - and marvellously entertaining! Auster elucidates the mystifying technique of levitating so smoothly and plausibly that we are ready to suspend our disbelief and slip easily into the world he creates. Public acclaim turns Walt into a national celebrity: known as "Walt the Wonder Boy", he is now the master of his art.

Walt's powerful narrative, recalling in old-age events that took place many decades before, takes us on a fast-paced trip through 1920's Americana - Lindberg's solo flight, to cite but one example. Walt's astounding breakthrough feat of levitating over a small pond in Kansas (at precisely the same time as Lindberg's historic flight across the Atlantic) is a metaphor for American spirit and enterprise heralding an age where there are no limits to what may be achieved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 8 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Paul Auster and this is a favourite of mine, it almost has you believing it's possible to do
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5.0 out of 5 stars None 13 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm glad this has the highest rating of all of his books because it is a truly unique, brilliant and moving story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
quite interesting
Published 16 days ago by Andras Szep
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
I've never directly answered that question "What is your favourite book?" as there have always been too many to choose from, but in my book, Paul Auster has beaten them all... Read more
Published 14 months ago by SP
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
A lovely American tale that tells quite a story. Easy reading - liked it a lot. Quaint and unusual. Have a read.
Published 16 months ago by Fidelina
5.0 out of 5 stars magical
Auster's dizzyingly simplistic prose is more captivating than ever. For me his strongest novel to date and thankfully resists stepping into the metaphysical like he does a bit too... Read more
Published 16 months ago by karen phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Inventive Writing
Paul Auster's 1994 novel Mr Vertigo is a veritable masterclass in inventive writing and is a delightful read. Read more
Published on 15 May 2012 by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Auster Mr Vertigo
This is an amazing story written by a master author. I read this about 4 years ago and have now bought a second copy for my daughter.
Published on 4 Dec 2011 by Granny M
4.0 out of 5 stars Not usual Auster
I love Paul Auster novel's. I enjoyed Mr Verigo, although it's not the kind of novel Auster usually writes. It's more like a fable, a little story full of fantasy.
Published on 22 Jun 2011 by Polan
5.0 out of 5 stars Only in the middle
Hi There,

What a lovely surprise it was to see a Paul Auster book in the 7-10 year old section of our library. Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2009 by V
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and fun
This was the first book by Paul Auster that I have read, and I didn't know what to expect, but was very very impressed. Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2009 by Mr. G. Moore
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