A – Z read

Posted: January 4, 2010 in A-Z Fiction Read

Forget what I said earlier. While I am committing myself to an A-Z read in 2010, I will no longer let the library’s collection rule what I choose – basically, because reading the first book in every letter has shown me what a boatload of crap those can be. And I don’t have the time to waste on them – nor do any of us, so let me save you the time, too. 

Instead, I’m choosing my own authors with names beginning with A-Z. My “A” novel: Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark: A Novel:


From The New Yorker

A car accident and the death of his wife have left the retired book critic August Brill a physical and spiritual invalid. Virtually confined to his house with his recently divorced daughter and a twenty-three-year-old grandchild stricken with grief after the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Brill, an insomniac, attempts to stave off thoughts of death by telling himself bedtime stories. His tired mind weaves a tale that combines details of his life with more fantastic flights�such as the story of a man who, waking up in an alternate universe where 9/11 never happened and the 2000 election led to civil war, is sent on a mission to destroy the very person who has imagined him into existence. The narrative juxtapositions and the riddling starkness of Auster�s prose create an absorbing if mildly scattershot effect, breathing life into a meditation on the difference between the stories we want to tell and the stories we end up telling.
Copyright ©2008
Verdict? Excellent. Just excellent. Such lyricism of language, brilliantly realized characters, fast-moving plot. All the positives book reviewers use, save perhaps “epic,” because it’s only 192 pages.
I’ll post a favorite quote later, since I forgot to bring the book in with me and can’t do it now. The shame!
Rating: five pairs of sensible shoes rating (out of five) for Man in the Dark.
What will my “B” novel be? Stay tuned …

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