The Music of Chance Paperback – 5 Jan 2006
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The Music of Chance is Paul Auster's unsettling tale of chance, gambling and rootlessness, Kafkaesque and quintessentially American at the same time.
About the Author
Paul Auster is the best-selling author of Invisible, Moon Palace, Mr Vertigo, The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions and 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is one of those books that start deceptively mellow, then make you shout 'WTF?!' several times throughout, and then shout the loudest at the end. And the ending is perfect: you absolutely don't see it coming but then, when you think back (which I did, for a long time after finishing it) you realize that it was the only way it could have ended, it had been coming from the very start, in an frightful, inexorable, slow march. I actually didn't find anything absurd in it. Horrific, yes; but absurd, not so much.
This is a beautifully constructed novel but, make no mistake, a very tough read. It's an unlikely story if anyone is foolish enough to take it ad-litteram, but it is a story anyone could have lived through, if we consider its symbolism and extrapolate a little. 'The Music of Chance' has been called a parable and it sure is one; and in it, Paul Auster has done the most wonderful thing a writer can do for us: force us to think, and allow every one of us to look at it in wonder and interpret his work in whatever way we decide. I am sure we will all construct our own idiosyncratic, but perfectly valid meanings, from the novel's intricate building bricks (or, more appropriately in this case, stones).
And that is precisely what the greatest works of art all do, isn't it?
As was the case with Benjamin Sachs from Leviathan, Marco Fogg from Moon Palace and David Zimmer from The Book Of Illusions, Auster once again sets up ex-Boston fireman Jim Nashe as a man 'out of time' and in search of his own self as, on finding himself the beneficiary of a family legacy, absolves himself of all responsibility (young daughter, absent wife) and sets off on a year-long road trip, before running into 'budding card-sharp' Jack Pozzi and (jointly) hatching a scheme to plunder winnings (at poker) from a pair of reclusive multi-millionaires.Read more ›
`The Music of Chance' has gained, for me at least, a contemporary relevance in that it deals with characters finally enslaved by their own greed. I use `greed' for lack of a better word since in fact Auster's protagonists are not simply driven by avarice but see in money their only chance of freedom, and not without reason of course. It is the fact - or at least the prevailing belief - that money buys freedom which dooms friends Nashe and Pozzi, the odd couple who meet in a chance encounter. Nashe, a somewhat lonely soul, has inherited money from the death of his father and, having been left by his wife, sells virtually all his possessions to embark on a prolonged and randomly-plotted road trip.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read it a long time ago - the story and characters still resonate with me now. I simply have to read it again.Published 7 months ago by Vernon Voltmeter
Brilliantly written book, it's Auster after all; but probably Auster at his darkest. It makes the New York Trilogy read like Little Red Riding Hood. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Sisserou_Parrot
I have long been an admirer of this writer and for me this is one of his standout books. The story begins with the main protagonist, Jim Nashe, a character suffering from a kind of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gurjit
An electrifying tale and an ode to personal freedom. Written in a sparse prose, with a Raymond Chandler style boys like; The Music Of Chance weaves a tale about how we are never... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dan Smith
very good but not as interesting as some of his other books.I have read similar stories.Published 23 months ago by edmund
I'm an immense fan of Paul Auster's writing. He is disquieting, edgy, and probes the deeper recesses of the reader's mind. Read morePublished on 7 Nov. 2011 by John P. Jones III