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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A twentieth century classic
The NewYork Trilogy is that rare thing, a book that will continue to haunt you long after you put it down. Though the three stories it contains are structured and inspired by thriller novels, the work is essentially a meditation on the art of writing. It draws a parallel between a private investigator having to watch the person he has been hired to spy on and a writer...
Published on 19 Jun 1999

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read
Paul Auster's trilogy appears on many must read lists. I found parts of it a very tough read. The second part of the Trilogy, Ghosts, is particularly tricky as Blue, employed by White, is investigating Black. This is post modern detective fiction, if you know what that means and you want a challenge, give it a try.
Published 5 months ago by Phill


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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A twentieth century classic, 19 Jun 1999
By A Customer
The NewYork Trilogy is that rare thing, a book that will continue to haunt you long after you put it down. Though the three stories it contains are structured and inspired by thriller novels, the work is essentially a meditation on the art of writing. It draws a parallel between a private investigator having to watch the person he has been hired to spy on and a writer attempting to create and capture a life on the page. All the central characters in the three stories hit a black wall at some point, where they feel unable to penetrate through to the subject under their observation. Auster captures this limitation of writing beautifully. This is a gripping, dark and completely original piece of work. Certainly a twentieth century classic. I shudder to think that I was nearly going to pass it over.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, tricky stuff, 16 April 2000
By A Customer
I read this several months ago and am still thinking about it. It's a book for anyone who has ever wanted to write, or who loves reading novels that don't have answers. Auster doesn't lead us by the hand to the answers; he throws us in a dark room and leaves us to figure it out ourselves. As he says, it isn't the outcome of the story that counts but the telling of the story itself (ok Paul, whatever). That said, it isn't indulgent and is as accessible a book as something this experiemental can be. One to read if you want to open your mind and challenge your brain. Not an easy read but a beautiful, interesting, haunting one that gets under your skin and stays there.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars modern Man's search for identity - or a joke on the reader?, 9 Sep 2005
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Huck Flynn "huckleberry" (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room" (Paperback)
NY Trilogy is certainly an entertaining and perplexing work of fiction, each story a variation on the theme of identity (lost and found), rootlessness, insecurity, what makes us human and individual , and other heavy themes.

However in this bleak, urban look at the impersonality of modern society, Auster is also having fun playing games with us, demonstrating (his) the writer's ability to create fictional characters - exploring how much of the characters are invention and how much autobiographical. Even the narrator - is that the writer's voice or an imposter? We, the readers, become the detective, encountering a trail of red herrings, unreliable witnesses and dead ends to try to discover the motives of author, narrator and characters. Can we find out the truth? Is that the message?

Each is a puzzling case, inter-related by characters who turn up repeatedly (including Auster himself - described in the third person). You're never sure whether it is the same person each time or another invention by the author. Confused? That's part of the charm of the book - I'm not sure there is a tidy solution - it is certainly an unsettling experience as the narrator in each case seems to be unreliable and more than a bit unstable, but it gets your brain working and that's got to be a good thing.

I enjoyed it - i don't really know why. I can't even decide whether it's well written. Certainly it's funny at times (in a nervous twitchy way) and if you're the sort who enjoys this sort of multi-layered mind game I can whole-heartedly recommend two English alternatives - Charles Palliser's "Unburied" or James Lasdun's "The Horned Man"
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to read this book, 5 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room" (Paperback)
This book had been on my 'to read' list for years before I finally got round to reading it last year. I was totally blown away. Although I have friends who found it too hard going to enjoy it, in my opinion this is one of the great novels of the twentieth century and sets Auster up as the finest writer alive. I have since devoured everything he has written and have never been disappointed. When you close an Auster novel you only wish that the person sitting next to you has read it too so you can discuss - like when you watch a film like Mulholland Drive. You will think about it for days.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most Rewarding three books you'll ever read..., 20 July 2000
This review is from: The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room" (Paperback)
The New York Trilogy is undeniably the most bizarre book i've ever read; billed as something along the lines of classic american crime writing with a post-modern twist, the three stories in the trilogy are not only gripping, they'll stay in your head for sometime after you've read them
City of GLass is typical of the three stories; it takes a regular detective with the job of trailing someobody for a client - Auster expertly conveys the obsession assosciated with such a case, and his character Quinn, soon loses all human characteristics...
While this and the locked room are both wonderful reads, the gem in the trilogy is the considerably shorter, Ghosts. Written in such a taut crisp style, this short story is often confusing, but never overwhelming.
Auster has taken the genre by its nether regions and delivered a keen and intelligent analysis of it. After reading the trilogy you can't help but feel more intelligent and content. THese are truly miraculous writings.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique!, 12 Feb 2007
By 
Heather "star_reader" (Leeds, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room" (Paperback)
... Im beginning to feel like im over- using the word unique but in this case i really dont know how else to descibe this book as it so unlike anything i have read before. I was introduced to it on a university module called 'Contempoary American Fiction' and as soon as i started reading it, there was something about it that compelled me to keep reading.

The book is made up of three stories, of which i found the first and the third to be the most enjoyable and engaging. As you read the stories however, it becomes apparent how the three interconnect with the overlapping of names and identities in each story. This was both exicting and confusing and i found myself making notes as i went along to try and keep up!

The book raises some really interesting questions about identity and writing and Auster is definitely a writer i will look forward to reading again in the future.

A challenging but really worthwhile read, you wont be disappointed when you finish it so give it a go...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metaphysical conundrum, 30 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room" (Paperback)
This trilogy of novels, or two novellas and a short story, as it should rightly be called, should be made essential reading for 1. Anyone travelling to New York in the near future, and 2. Anyone who would like to feel free of the realist grip that most literary fiction has been in, with some periods of upheaval, for far too long now. Auster makes the term 'post-modern' reader-friendly; after all, what is wrong with the author referring to himself as a fictitious character within his or her own work (even when he goes as far as introducing you to his home and meeting his wife)? This Auster does on various occasions in these loosely linked pseudo detective fictions, cramming in themes and obsessions such the impulse to tell stories (within stories) and to get away from modern life, Hamsun-like, to go back to the roots of nature and language. But it's not done in any way that could be called pretentious. Auster is not interested in describing human features or writing two paragraphs (or six) on how a room looks; he is more interested in making parallels and trying to fix why something is where it is. Identity is his main concern, and within the parabola of his narrow range of reference points (Paris, the native American legacy, working on ships, New York, coincidences) he twists and turns with it as dexterously as Borges. Suffice to say that the three stories involve coincidence and searches passim. The initial story, City of Glass, about a writer who becomes a detective on an infuriating mission to find a man for a woman after a misdialled telephone call, appears again in the other stories both as himself and as a reflection of other characters engaged in looking for other mysterious characters. The point of the middle story, Ghosts, only become clears when you get to the end of the last, The Locked Room, by which time you have to go back and read the whole thing again (with pleasure). In the meantime you've been taken on the kind of existential, mythical journey that dignifies detective fiction well beyond its seeming limitations. It's fascinating to read how Auster has consistently used his real-life experiences (not all that exceptional on the face iof it), to create such compulsive fiction, and you can get a lot of this from his autobiography, Hand To Mouth. It was inevitable that he would move into film-making one day, and his Lulu On The Bridge, has not disappointed (Smoke and Blue in The Face were worthy apprenticeships which he mainly scripted and had some directorial involvment in).Probably even better than NYT are Moon Palace and Leviathan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read, 7 Nov 2013
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Paul Auster's trilogy appears on many must read lists. I found parts of it a very tough read. The second part of the Trilogy, Ghosts, is particularly tricky as Blue, employed by White, is investigating Black. This is post modern detective fiction, if you know what that means and you want a challenge, give it a try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 31 Oct 2011
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maximus (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
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Nothing is ever quite what it seems. There are moments of realisation and you think you figured out the mystery only to be intrigued again further down the line. What's consistent throughout is the way Auster sets up the unfolding mistery which gives eery feeling of foreboding. There are moments of utter loneliness of the characters, usually self inflicted which can feel quite claustrophobic but you feel compelled to keep on wanting to know what happened next.

The trilogy is well crafted as a piece literature too, and the audiobook narration is absolutely absorbing and spot on for this novel.

Highly recommended
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A flawed minorpiece, 26 July 2012
By 
Alan Stockbridge (Tuebingen, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room" (Paperback)
A wonderful triptych of stories: playful, entertaining and human. Unfortunately, Paul Auster makes the mistake common to many New York artists, that of parochialism. Long lists of street names that mean very little to anyone who hasn't spent time in New York (that being the majority of the world's population - probably even the majority of the world's english-speaking population). Nevertheless, a truly enjoyable work for adolescents, regardless of their age. I've read it 3 times already and I'm only 57!
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