I really wanted to like this more. It's clever, twisty, intelligent but maybe a little TOO intelligent.
Three interconnected detective stories, set in New York. For me though, each was about a rather unlikeable man, who made some silly choices (that he didn't have to) that then affected his life and relationships.
And it's all grim, gritty and depressing too.
It's well written though. I was impressed with the voice of the younger Peter Stillman in 'City of Glass', a moving tale told in an impressively realistic voice.
The book was recommended to me and while I'm glad I got through it, it was a bit of a slog, it's not easy (the second tale almost made me give up, with characters called White, Blue, Black etc but it didn't end up confusing me.
Not one for someone who's after a cheery or light read. It's deep, depressing and dark but it is clever. Make of it what you will.
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,
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.
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.
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.
Sunset Park was a really great novel, I bought this as I hoped it would be on a par but to paraphrase Groucho Marx I threw it aside with great force as in my opinion it is pretentious, annoying, silly, occasionally unpleasant and complete crap. No I have never written a novel but if this was the best I could do I would not bother.
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.
It is by far the most weird book, or maybe you called it innovative, I have ever read. I have only read the city f glass (being no interested to march on the other two), and as far as the first one is concerned, I think the writer might be playing games with the readers, let us guess who is who, and in the end, he knows what matters for us for a detective story is the probably the ending. And he lift up our appetite, but again we got nothing. I marvel at his style of writing, though its not the cup of tea for me, still I would certainly recommend for people who want to explore a new way of story telling, and maybe get inspiration for your next experimental writing.