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Rewriting the same book perhaps?
on 23 May 2013
I have always found Auster's prose seductive and free-flowing, not at all jarring or difficult to follow and `Leviathan' is no exception. The story follows the life of a one Benjamin Sachs and is narrated retrospectively by his one-time friend, Peter Aaron. The book is in some ways an investigation into another man's life and how little we really know about living inside someone else's head.
This is my second reading of the book and I found it just as gripping, just as mesmerizing as the first read. There are some improbable twists of fate and at times some of the characters are too one-dimensional and unrealistic. But Auster does his best to explain these away.
There also seems to be some direct references to Auster's own life and it can come across as a bit of a thinly-veiled autobiography with a few vignettes thrown in here and there which makes for a bit of self-indulgence on the author's part. For example, Peter Aaron (Paul Auster) who smokes Schimmelpennincks, lives in Varick Street, NY, has a place in Vermont, is married to a Scandinavian, Iris (Siri), has a son from a first marriage, David (Daniel), and a daughter from the second, Sonia (Sophie), etc. Perhaps Sachs is a loose reference to Don DeLillo to whom he has dedicated the book.
In any case, these lazy comparisons aside, it is a good read and I would very much recommend it, but not as an introductory novel to this writer.