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The Brooklyn Follies Paperback – 5 May 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; Open Market - Airside ed edition (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571276547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571276547
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,612 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

Review

"'I was looking for a quiet place to die. Someone recommended Brooklyn, and so the next morning I traveled down there from Westchester to scope out the terrain...'" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The Brooklyn Follies is Paul Auster's best-selling novel of disillusionment, mortality and, ultimately, of the possibility of redemption. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Gregory S. Buzwell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is probably the most light-hearted of all Auster's novels, and yet it still begins with a line haunted by darkness and despair: "I was looking for a quiet place to die. Someone recommended Brooklyn....". Absolutely nobody can do those attention grabbing opening lines quite as well as Paul Auster.

Nathan Glass, retired from work, separated from his wife and now retreating from life itself, returns to the area in which he spent the first few years of his existence, looking for nothing more than a quiet time and a few peaceful years before death. Instead he finds himself trying to drag relatives and friends from the very same slough of despond into which he himself has descended. He meets up with his nephew, a once brilliant scholar who has since let himself go, and who spends most of his waking hours dreaming of the Beautiful Perfect Mother (a stunningly attractive unobtainable woman with two children whom he walks past on the way to work every morning), and Harry Brightman, a colourful 'con-man with a heart' who owns a local secondhand bookstore. Later in the novel a young girl appears, Lucy, who refuses to speak but who gives everyone a renewed purpose in life and a focus that drags them away from their own morbid introspection.

If I'm making this sound a dark and gloomy book then I couldn't be further from the truth. It's funny, tender, involving and ultimately life-affirming: look up from your own problems and concerns, look around and take an interest in the people around you, and suddenly you'll find all sorts of beautiful patterns and relationships developing in life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Naylor TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Just when you think he's written his best novel yet Paul Auster manages to top his previous effort.This tale differs quite a bit from his recent work as he abandons the elements of mystery and intrigue and goes for all out human drama - and boy what a drama is is.It's a pretty straight forward tale of a sixty something loner who has pretty much given up on life but a chance move to Brooklyn changes everything for the better.The narrative starts slowly as Auster masterfully adds flesh to the bones of all the characters but also,as the story progresses,the characters reveal more and more of themselves to the reader and there are many many surprises along the way.Auster's real skill is his genius with words and his ability to create such a rich tapestry of life but told in such a simplistic way that you can often relate the story to your own life.The moral of the story is that we all possess that thing called human spirit but perhaps lose sight of it in our daily lives but this book really is about that "human spirit" and how resiliant we really all are and how you can gain strength, inspiration and pleasure from the simplest things in life.
An enjoyable and uplifting read.Buy it now and put yourself in the hands of one of today's very best contemporary writers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Bloss on 6 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
This was my first Paul Auster book and I did enjoy his style and the general storyline did hold my attention. It does feel a little like a soap opera, the characters are sympathetic as they battle with their modern day issues in Brooklyn. Nathan is a believable narrator with many faults as well as strengths as the storyline ambled along. I did not think there was anything outstanding about it though and the story is relatively tame and gentle except of course for the last paragraph or so. I can see what Auster was trying to do with bring Sept 11th into the book but I don't think it worked. It did show the arbitrary nature of such a dramatic event overshadowing people's lives but I think he needed to write a bit more about it. I wouldn't rush to read another Auster but find it hard to criticise this book too much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Mazur on 13 April 2008
Format: Paperback
It was my third book by Auster and I absolutely loved it. It's vibrant, the language is funny and moving. I loved the literary stories within about Kafka, Poe and Thoreau and many others. It's an optimistic novel about people who want to make their lives worthwile. It shows the beauty of every day and it did make me feel great.
Read it and enjoy!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mike Fazey on 26 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Brooklyn Follies is ultimately an optimistic novel, which makes it quite different from the dark early work which made me an Auster fan. Sure, there is sadness and despair, but they are defeated in the end - all but one of the characters manages to regain their lives and to find a kind of happiness. (The one who doesn't dies, but his death is the catalyst for others' redemption.) Auster's native Brooklyn is painted with an affection which manages not to be sentimental, and the characters, despite their quirks and weaknesses, are likeable because they are human and because they can change for the better. The book advocates community and humanity as positive forces. It ends minutes before the attack on the World Trade Centre and one is left with the strong feeling that even this awful event will not undo the transformations and renewed lives we have just read about. New Yorkers (and indeed Americans generally) refused to be cowed by 9/11 and perhaps this book tells us why - because beneath the grime of politics and commerce lies something altogether more worthwhile that can perhaps change America for the better.
I liked The Brooklyn Follies, but not for the same reasons that I liked The New York Trilogy or Moon Palace or The Book of Illusions. It's a gentler novel than any of those, without the hard edge, without the dark, slightly surreal veil. Read it to cheer yourself up, or to inspire you to re-engage with the world. It's a book to be enjoyed, so enjoy it.
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