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21. Sophie Calle: Double Game
22. Neon Lit: Paul Auster's City of
23. The Art of Hunger: Essays, Prefaces,
24. Travels in the Scriptorium: A
25. City of Glass: The Graphic Novel
26. Leviathan.
27. Tombuctu (Spanish Edition)
28. Leviatan (Compactos Anagrama)
29. Auggie Wren's Christmas Story
30. I Thought My Father Was God: And
31. Voice Over (French Voices (Seven
32. Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of
33. True Tales of American Life
34. Paul Auster's Postmodernity
35. Squeeze Play
36. Paul Auster (Bloom's Modern Critical
37. by Paul Auster Invisible First
38. Disappearances
39. The Inner Life of Martin Frost
40. World that is the Book: Paul Auster's

21. Sophie Calle: Double Game
by Sophie Calle
Hardcover: 296 Pages (2007-09-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$26.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933045698
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The original edition of Double Game, published by Violette Editions in 1999, was the first important book by Sophie Calle to be published in English and earned fervent international praise for its concept, content and stunning design. Writing for Bookforum, Barry Schwabsky called "this elegant, ribbon-wrapped compendium My vote for the most beautiful art book of 1999." And Eye magazine judged it, "That rare thing, an artist's monograph that is actually a work of art in and of itself, a furthering of Calle's vision." That edition quickly sold out and has since been out of print.

This new edition, published to coincide with the 2007 Venice Biennale, at which Calle represented France, is identical in content to the first, and reprises all of the cherished qualities of the original in a smaller hardback format--including the signature ribbon around its middle.

The story begins with Maria, the fictional character in Paul Auster's novel, Leviathan. Most of Maria's "works" are, in fact, based on those of Sophie Calle. The first section of Double Game takes us through the few original works by Maria that Sophie makes her own, shown both in their fictional context and illustrated by Calle's actual reproduction of them. The second section takes the story further into the heart of Calle's world, with a series of Calle's seminal narrative and abstract works in text and images that were appropriated by Maria in Leviathan. The third section of the book takes the dialogue directly to Maria's inventor, Paul Auster, who in turn takes Calle as his subject, inventing for her the Gotham Handbook, which offers "Personal Instructions for SC on How to Improve Life in New York City (Because she asked...)." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to Sophie Galle
This book, not as big as some other books by Sophie Galle, is the best introduction to her works on the market.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I received as a birthday present and love it.It lets your imagination run wild with wanting more.

5-0 out of 5 stars the best ever!
simply, this is the most excellent book i've come across. sophie calle's projects that mix photography and writing, seek to investigate identity, familiarity, and life in creative, direct, and honest ways.she's fascinated with knowing and simultaneously constructing others and herself.

5-0 out of 5 stars ms. calle is an artist for the new millenium
i just saw an excerpt of the work discussed in this book at mass moca in north adams mass. it was amazing. the attention to detail that ms. calle pays is astounding. i can't wait to get the book and i recommend you get it to and see the work in person at mass moca if you get the chance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fact, Fiction, Life, Art
Whether you're an artist, a writer, an art lover, a fan of either Sophie Calle or Paul Auster (or both), or just an observer of life, there is something for you in this beautifully designed and wonderfully writtenbook. From the elegantly hardcover binding to the amusingly devisedperformance art pieces, you can't find any fault in this book. The firstpart of the book collects some of Sophie Calle's own performance artpieces, which were adapted into fiction as part of the Paul Auster's novelLeviathan. One of my favourite is her collection of birthday gifts througha span of several years which she kept and displayed in glass cabinets. Thesecond part is titled the Gotham Handbook, which chronicles her life basedon some 'instructions' she asked Paul Auster to write for her. This bookwill make you wonder where is the thin line between fact and fiction, lifeand art. ... Read more

22. Neon Lit: Paul Auster's City of Glass
by Paul Auster, David Mazzucchelli, Paul Karasik
Paperback: 129 Pages (1994-08)
list price: US$12.50 -- used & new: US$12.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038077108X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From the creator of the highly acclaimed, widely successful graphic novels Maus and Maus II comes Neon Lit, an innovative series of graphic crime novels. First in the series is City of Glass, universally praised as a contemporary classic upon its publication in 1985. A film based on the novel is currently in pre-production.Amazon.com Review
I cannot possibly offer enough praise for David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik 's adaptation of City of Glass. While some critics found it to be a dry choice of books to turn into a comics, I think the interplay between image and text only heightens the original metafictional narrative. The treatment of the first speech by the crazy antagonist, Peter Stillman--in which the word balloons trail from random objects such as a broken television and a bottle of ink--is brilliant. Neon Lit: Paul Auster's City of Glass deftly illustrates why comics is a perfect format for exploring fictions about text: the words become visible objects of the story. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very interesting novel!
After "Moon Palace" I had to read another book by its talented author for my English class. "City of Glas" by Paul Auster is a very interesting novel. It was written in the middle of the 80's and for the author it was the first big success. This short postmodern novel is about a disillusioned writer pretending to be a detective. Chance is one of the main topics in this book. The author has the rare talent to conjure up tension and it's also his intension to play with the reader's expectation and to destroy them little by little, so one never knows what is going to happen next. All in all it's not called a masterpiece of postmodernism without a reason. It really should be read by everyone who likes surprising stories and everyone who likes detective storties as well although it's not really typical of that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Example of the search for meaning
I thought that this was a very well written thoughtfull book about the questions we must answer living in a postmodern society. This book deals with questions about how everyday life can become meaningless and how once we find meaning in something it can distract us from the reality which surrounds us.

5-0 out of 5 stars it's come full circle
I don't know how Neon Lit fared with the rest of the project, but this graphic novel version of City ofGlass by Paul Auster is terrific.In a sense it brings the story full circle, because in the original novelAuster used the conventions of the private eye story to explore the issues implicit in film noir :identity, fate, good and evil, randomness, etc.Since many of the great hard boiled dicks first appearedin pulp fiction, it seems only natural to have this most modern (or post-modern) riff on the genre endup back in comic book form, however glorified.

Actually, Auster himself indulges in so many games with language, shifting identities and allusions toother works that the comic book format is especially well suited to his playfulness.And, like WilliamGoldman's Princess Bride, that sense of fun serves to lighten what can often be most ponderous inpost-modern literature, the way in which its practitioners act as if their metafictional techniques arerevolutionary and profound.This work is such a throwback that it unabashedly wears its antecedentson its sleeve; never mind the obvious nod to mysteries of the 30's and 40's, it even goes so far as todiscuss Cervantes and his metafictional innovations in Don Quijote.

I tend to doubt that Paul Auster's brand of existential musings will appeal to all tastes and I'm suresome will simply find the idea of reading a comic book to be beyond the pale.But if you're an Austerfan, a private eye or noir enthusiast, or just haven't outgrown comics generally, it's well worth trackingdown a copy.I realize it says more about me than I should be comfortable revealing, but I actuallythink the best part of the book is the section on the criminally insane Professor Stillman's religioustheses--they're frighteningly close to my own views and make for quite compelling speculation, addingto what is already a fun and unusual reading experience.


5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant adaptation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with novel
The real magic here is that, in reworking Paul Auster's original novel, Karasik and Mazzucchelli have done what so many had deemed impossible: they have produced a true literary adaptation in comics form. This is no"Classics Illustrated"; this is a comic that strengthens its sourcematerial rather than diminishing it. The original book's concern with thegap between language and meaning is given further depth and resonance inthe comic, which finds a visual language equivalent, and does it in a waythat no other medium could have. This is no mere illustrated text, butcomics as a formidable language and medium in itself. Interestingly, whenthe original book and the comic are readtogether, the comic itself almostbecomes a physical character, another in the story's proliferation ofliterary doubles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent image-with-text and image-as-text treatment
I'm reading The New York Trilogy right now.It seems to focus on the lives of authors--how rapt in observations they are.How they might feel that being observed themselves is the only way to prove that they exist--and to validate what they do all day--observe.That said, This comic book / graphic novel brings us an author, Daniel Quinn, caught up in role playing as a detective, sent to observe an old man (who is himself an author).The old man has a wild theory about Adam and pre-language and feral ch ... Read more

23. The Art of Hunger: Essays, Prefaces, Interviews
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 352 Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$14.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142000779
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Auster's Austerities
This collection of essays, interviews, and prefaces explores the theme of "Hunger" (whether spiritual or artistic) in modern fiction, poetry, and art. Auster's essays celebrate (or provide a general overview of) works (or careers) of important artists, such as Knut Hamsun, Samuel Beckett, John Ashbery, William Bronk, Georges Perec, and Franz Kafka. Kafka is the subject of two essays in the book, and his story "A Hunger Artist" is for Auster a sort of template or emblem for the seriousness of the modern artist's task. Hunger, for Auster, seems to be a kind of rebellion, a reluctance to collaborate with the failures of Western culture, and yet it is, at times, both purifying and self-destructive. Auster does not present simple resolutions regarding this predicament. Rather, he appreciates the noble struggle each of these artists has waged. And though Auster seems to admire each of the figures he writes about, he is not uncritical of them. His piece entitled "Kafka's Letters" reveals his deep admiration of Kafka, yet Auster does not present the Czech author as a "literary giant", but as a man--an amazingly insightful, intelligent, generous man, who, despite his troubled inner life, managed to remain committed to his art and to his friends until his excruciating last moments. The piece exalts Kafka by humanizing him, deepening our admiration of both Kafka and Auster. "The Art of Hunger" ends with "The Red Notebooks," an interesting meditation on coincidence, which includes fascinating anecdotes from Auster's own life. In all, this is a satisfying collection of prose pieces that fans of Auster's fiction (and/or fans of the artists discussed in the book) should thoroughly enjoy. ... Read more

24. Travels in the Scriptorium: A Novel
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 160 Pages (2007-12-26)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$0.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312426291
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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An old man awakens, disoriented, in an unfamiliar chamber. With no memory of who he is or how he has arrived there, he pores over the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching his own hazy mind for clues.

Determining that he is locked in, the man--identified only as Mr. Blank--begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an unfamiliar, alternate world. As the day passes, various characters call on Mr. Blank in his cell, and each brings frustrating hints of his forgotten identity and his past.

Both chilling and poignant, Travels in the Scriptorium is vintage Paul Auster: mysterious texts, fluid identities, a hidden past, and, somewhere, an obscure tormentor. And yet, as we discover during one day in the life of Mr. Blank, his world is not so different from our own.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (47)

4-0 out of 5 stars everyone needs a nurse like anna!
quick read, sat down and was done in a few hours.auster is the best at telling a story within another story and travels is no exception.the book could have had a thousand endings and auster has the nerve to leave his readers wondering...great as always

5-0 out of 5 stars Intense and wonderful
Paul Auster is one of my favorite writers.
Many times, books spanning only one day don't have a proper flow to them but this book has a perfect flow to it. Each page is better then the one before. It's written beautifully and the more I read the more I got sucked into the story. The main character is a work of art. I read it in one day. It was that good.
My advice is not to read any descriptions. Just throw yourself in.

2-0 out of 5 stars No love for the character
As much as I would have liked to have like this book, I couldn't. Reading the book in hopes that something surprising is going to happen - something unexpected and shocking. All along trying to connect with the character but halfway through I had a sinking feeling that it wasn't going to happen. If only the side story made some sort of sense but it was out of context and confusing. Why did Mr. Blank remember parts of his life when he couldn't remember other more important parts. Didn't make sense. Low and behold, disappointment. If only the book was as intriguing as the white horse in the room.

4-0 out of 5 stars You may discover your own Mr. Blank
Auster always surprises me with his stories. In Timbuktu I met a dog and saw the âõîëå story through the animal's point of view. In Travels In The Scriptorium I meet an old man with suffering from amnesia, but portrayed in a sense that embodies us, the readers. Mr. Blank (strange name for a character), wakes up one morning in a room of what appears to be some sort of sanatorium. Except Mr. Blank feels strangely like a prisoner in this place. The windows are bolted; the room is completely bare, yet the essence of it yields certain kind of strangeness to the casual observer. And the more Mr. Blank digs into his own memory to recover the string that connects his past to his current situation, the more we, the readers, hold our breath in anticipation of the revelation.

Written with a vibrant style and exceptional character development, Travels In The Scriptorium will keep you glued to the pages until the very end. Do try to make sense of Auster's meaning behind this book and beware - you may discover your own Mr. Blank.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Story Without An Ending
An old man, designated "Mr. Blank" for convenience, finds himself confined in what might be a prison or a hospital, fed drugs, constantly watched, and surrounded by mystification. He is supposed to have been a person of some authority who caused great suffering for those under his command, but none of this is clear. He also finds himself with assigned reading, a chilling memoir written by one Sigmund Graf, who is imprisoned for unclear reasons in an imaginary country.

As the novel progresses, Mr. Blank attempts tounderstand his situation, encounters a number of people (his doctor, his lawyer, his nurses) and tries to make sense of Graf's manuscript. He learns very little and the story ends where it began, an endless loop from which the unfortunate old man will never escape.

Author Paul Auster is absolutely brilliant with his use of the story-within-story technique. He literally entrances the reader, leads the reader's thoughts in different directions to create a sort of hypnotic state in which everything seems strangely significant. The problem with this particular work comes when the reader puts the book down and wakes up. Nothing has been resolved, nothing explained. The story was told for the sake of telling a story. Compared to Auster's other works this one left me disappointed. Still, you may enjoy it just for the experience of reading Auster's words and sentences. I recommend it with some reservations. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.

... Read more

25. City of Glass: The Graphic Novel
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 144 Pages (2004-08-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312423608
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A graphic novel classic with a new introduction by Art Spiegelman

Quinn writes mysteries. The Washington Post has described him as a “post-existentialist private eye.” An unknown voice on the telephone is now begging for his help, drawing him into a world and a mystery far stranger than any he ever created in print.

Adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, with graphics by David Mazzucchelli, Paul Auster’s groundbreaking, Edgar Award-nominated masterwork has been astonishingly transformed into a new visual language.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant adaptation
As much as I love the original novel, this version may very well be an improvement.The prose is condensed but very little depth is sacrificed, and the images manage to enrich the work without distracting from its ideas.

Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli use film noir as a springboard for their visual style, much as Auster uses detective fiction as a springboard for the plot of his novel, but what's really surprising is how well the artists keep up even as Auster plunges into purely cerebral territory.There are passages in the book that must have kept the artists awake many a night:Peter Stillman's almost indecipherable speech near the beginning which goes on for almost ten pages, and later conversations with the elder Peter Stillman about the nature of language, for example.With no visual clues to draw on, they somehow manage to give these scenes a visual life of their own, matching the words to parades of symbolic imagery.The atmosphere created - dark, lonely, paranoid - is much more powerful than that of the novel's, although the novel is also great on its own merits and certainly worth reading.

It's apparent on every page that an extraordinary amount of care and consideration has been put into this adaptation.In fact, I'd like to see more novels adapted in this manner.If it can be done for "City of Glass," it can be done for just about anything.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book to revisit.
City of glass is a absolutely amazing piece of work. Auster Does a great job

at expressing the main characters depression.The art is very simple

which is a amazing contrast to what the theme of the book is, very

complex.which in and of its self is pretty amazing. The art is simply

drawn, but is very well thought out.There are scenes in the book where

the main character,Quinn is hearing the drowning of a mentally ill man telling

a story and while he's doing this, you see the pictures of what the man

is taking about to further emphasize how mental ill he is.

Quinn is a detective, but not really. He just thinks hes

one, he use to write crime fiction but after his wife and kid died he

just stop. One day Quinn started getting wrong number calls about a

detective and one day a call came in and he just pretended to be the

detective they were confusing him for.In his mind he begain to creat

this character that was a detective.

He takes a case to protect a mental ill man that had been tortured by

his father. His father is coming out of prison soon because of incident

years ago that involved the him (the incident that left him mentally ill)The

man's Wife wants Quinn to find him at a train station and follow him and

see what he does.

After finding the old man, he begins to talk to him, what he finds out

will change the entire story for okay to simply fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Invisible Cities of Glass
Words into pictures and pictures into words! Who would have thought that all of those dread, ghost-filled spaces between the omniscient narrator's wordscould be developed, like photo/graphic images? The graphics serve as a supplemental, meta omniscience, and convey what Wallace Stevens called "nothing that is not there and the nothing that is." That's a pretty remarkable accomplishment for a supposedly "post modernist" work.

1-0 out of 5 stars unreadable kindle version
Purchased impulsively thinking that a graphic novel offered in the Kindle format might look rough but at least be legible.Wrong.Will be asking for a refund! This edition is totally unreadable and this is a graphic novel heavy on the text with multiple small panels per page.How this was ever OK'd to be sold on Amazon is a mystery.Like buying a MP3 player with no headphone jack, what's the point?

1-0 out of 5 stars 1 Star for Kindle Version
I was actually looking for the print version of this and was surprised to see it was only available for the kindle. Since I happen to have one, I downloaded a sample to check it out. The previous reviewer was dead on in his remarks. This is 100% not compatible with the kindle (or any other similar device, I suspect.)The IMAGES are minute and completely unreadable. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Thank god for the ability to sample before buying. I will continue in my search for the original version. ... Read more

26. Leviathan.
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 320 Pages (1996-12-01)
-- used & new: US$10.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3499139278
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27. Tombuctu (Spanish Edition)
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 176 Pages (2007-11-05)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8433967452
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Mister Bones es un perro de raza indefinida, pero de una inteligencia muy precisa. No habla ingles, pero tantos años escuchando el torrente verbal de su amo han hecho que lo comprenda a la perfeccion, y que pueda interpretar el mundo con una sensibilidad muy canina y una sintaxis muy humana. Ha vivido desde cachorro con William Gurevitch, un vagabundo, un poeta errante, un excentrico superviviente de las revoluciones de los sesenta. Juntos recorrieron America, sobrevivieron a duros inviernos en Brooklyn y ahora estan en Baltimore, viviendo la que quiza sea su ultima aventura en comun... ... Read more

28. Leviatan (Compactos Anagrama) (Spanish Edition)
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 269 Pages (2003-07-15)
list price: US$12.90 -- used & new: US$12.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8433966456
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Editorial Review

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En una carretera de Wisconsin, en 1990, a un hombre le estalla una bomba en la mano y vuela en mil pedazos. Alguien sabia quien era y con el FBI pisandole los talones, Peter Aaron decide contar su historia, dar su version de los hechos y del personaje, antes de qu el ahistoria y las mitologias oficiales establezcan para siempre sus falsedades -o verdades a medias-, como la verdad. Esta es la biografia de Benjamin Sachs, el muerto, tambien escritor y objetor de conciencia encarcelado durante la guerra de Vietnam, desaparecido desde 1986, autor de un anovela de juventud que lo convirtio fugamente en un escritor de culto, acaso un asesino. ... Read more

29. Auggie Wren's Christmas Story
by Paul Auster
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2004-11-02)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$10.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001QCX4ZE
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A timeless, utterly charming Christmas fable, beautifully illustrated and destined to become a classic

When Paul Auster was asked by The New York Times to write a Christmas story for the Op-Ed page, the result, "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story," led to Auster's collaboration on a film adaptation, Smoke. Now the story has found yet another life in this enchanting illustrated edition.

It begins with a writer's dilemma: he's been asked by The New York Times to write a story that will appear in the paper on Christmas morning. The writer agrees, but he has a problem: How to write an unsentimental Christmas story? He unburdens himself to his friend at his local cigar shop, a colorful character named Auggie Wren. "A Christmas story? Is that all?" Auggie counters. "If you buy me lunch, my friend, I'll tell you the best Christmas story you ever heard. And I guarantee every word of it is true."

And an unconventional story it is, involving a lost wallet, a blind woman, and a Christmas dinner. Everything gets turned upside down. What's stealing? What's giving? What's a lie? What's the truth? It's vintage Auster, and pure pleasure: a truly unsentimental but completely affecting tale.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Auggie Wren's Christmas Story
I collect Christmas stories, and have built up quite a "Christmas Library" of my own.

I can tell you this is not your typical Christmas story.It is a unique Christmas story.If you are expecting a nice Christmas miracle kind of story this is not the book for you.

It is however, a very thought-provoking book about the moral dilemmas we all make at times.This story makes you question yourself - "What would I have done?"

I recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story
Many (many!) years ago I read this story; years later, I saw the film "Smoke" with Harvey Keitel and William Hurt.I was so deeply influenced by both that I suggested that the Great Books discussion group I was in should read this story for our December reading (never mind that half of us are Jewish).

However, back in the day, the story was only a figment of my fevered imagination, if you searched the libraries or the internet (young then).The story had been published only once, in the New York Times, and then dropped to the bottom of the sea.Meanwhile, director Wang had gotten in touch with Auster and they had agreed to make it into a film.So it HAD to exist somewhere, right?

After digging into the internet, I located a gentleman who had published a limited edition, William Drenttel.He had published it in a small run of very nicely bound books for a lot of money, or a REALLY limited edition for well over $100.

I wrote (humbly) to him, and here is what he said:

Lori, happy to send you the text for the limited use of your reading group.
I've attached it as a Word file, as well as posted it below. Hope you have a great evening on 1/19. Best, Bill Drenttel

Published by William Drenttel New York & The Delos Press
December 1992
Printed by Libranus Press, England, in an edition of 450
Story Þrst published in The New York Times on December 25, 1990.

Auggie Wren¹s Christmas Story
Paul Auster
Illustration by Brian Cronin

So that is how my book group was able to discuss "Auggie Wren" years before this book became an affordable reality.

Of course I think it is a wonderful and complex story about growth, redemption, sadness, joy, pain, and how to move on with one's life...instruction of a sort.

Auster is brilliant, as always.

5-0 out of 5 stars The making of 'Smoke'.
Auggie Wren runs a store where you can buy tobacco and magazines. One day a youth steels a few paperbacks and Augggie Wren runs after him. The young man loses his wallet and Auggie stops to pick it up. He looks in the wallet and finds the address
of what turns out to be the grandmother of our young delinquent. ( I can't tell anymore without spoiling the plot ).

Film director Wayne Wang was seduced by this little story and it was he who persuaded Paul Auster to write the script for "Smoke". (1994).

The present edition of "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story" has two parts. The first part is a kind of introduction and uses a scene from the film where Auggie shows his photo collection to Paul. Even in this introduction reality and fiction are intertwined to become one and the same.(And isn't this the true value of literature, to erase the borderline between dreams and every day reality ?).
The second part is the story like it was told by Harvey Keitel in "Smoke".
At the end Paul Auster says: " As long as there's one person to believe it, there's no story that can't be true."

5-0 out of 5 stars An Unsentimental Christmas Story
Auggie Wren's Christmas Story by Paul Auster is one of those short books which is fun to read either before, during or even after the holidays.

Paul Auster, the highly regarded author, is asked to write an editorial piece which will appear on Christmas morning in the NY Times. At first Mr. Auster doesn't even want to write the article fearing he has nothing to say, but then he's worn down and agrees to do this. One thing the author knows is he doesn't want to write
anything sentimental. Readers should think of his thoughts as a non Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.When in fact he sits down to write the article, though, he has trouble actually write this unsentimental tale.Days go by and he has nothing written on paper to show for his efforts.

Fearing he may never write this article, Mr. Auster mentions his problem one day to the man who owns a small newspaper and cigar store in his neighborhood.The man, Auggie Wren promises to tell him a Christmas story if he treats him to lunch.And so over lunch the author listens to a tale which is both sentimental and poignant which asks what does a wallet, a blind woman and a camera have to do with each other.More important than the answer which these questions raise are the more important ones like what is true, what is lying and did any or all of these events really ever happen.

This is a warm and somewhat sentimental story, despite what the author hoped for, about the spirit of the holidays in the tradition of O. Henry's Gift of the Magi.Consider buying this title for next Christmas.This book is just perfect as a holiday gift and sure to be a keeper in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars A surprising little Christmas story
Auster succeeded in what he attempted to accomplish:to create an unsentimental Christmas story.The story is surprisingly effective, in that the reader is not entirely certain of what direction the plot is going.This slim book -- little more than an elongated article -- is pure, forced action.One event closely follows another.What I enjoyed about it is the series of moral dilemmas offered up to the reader.Should Auggie have turned in the thief?Was it a wise choice to visit the thief's home?Should he have stayed with the grandmother?And should he have taken the camera that he found in the bathroom?If he had not done any of these actions, then we would not have today the collection of Auggie Wren's a-picture-a-day.Does the end justify the means?I read this book to my two sons and had a very interesting discussion regarding the choices that Auggie made.This book, in combination with Auster's "I Thought My Father Was God," makes for worthwhile discussions around small, fascinating stories.The beautiful illustrations by the artist ISOL merit close study. ... Read more

30. I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project
Paperback: 416 Pages (2002-09-07)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312421001
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The true-life stories in this unique collection provide a window into the American mind and heart (New York Daily News). One hundred and eighty voicesmale and female, young and old, from all walks of life and all over the countrytalk intimately to the reader. Combining great humor and pathos, this remarkable selection of stories from the thousands submitted to NPRs Weekend All Things Considered National Story Project gives the reader a glimpse of Americas soul in all its diversity.Amazon.com Review
When the call went out to listeners of National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered to submit stories about their personal experiences, the results were overwhelming. I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project contains editor Paul Auster's pick of the best submissions. The stories, whether fact or fiction, all exhibit a heartfelt earnestness to be heard, and share similar themes of bizarre coincidences, otherworldly intervention, love and loss, life-changing experiences, and mundane pleasures. Some are deeply moving, most are not. But it is uplifting and well worth the time to sift through these brief snapshots of our collective human experience.

To give the book shape, Auster has done his best to categorize the material by subject, such as Animals, Families, War, Love, Dreams, and the like. These categories hold true to the submission criteria: "[I was most interested in] stories that defied our expectations about the world, anecdotes that revealed the mysterious and unknowable forces at work in our lives, in our family histories, in our minds and bodies, in our souls.... I was hoping to put together ... a museum of American reality." I Thought My Father Was God is a testament that, despite what on a bad day we may think is a drab existence, we all have a few good stories in us. --Michael Ferch ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love This Book
I don't go for trite.I read Eat, Pray, Love because I was on vacation and had nothing else to read.But this book is full of real stories of the funny little coincidences and experiences that make life interesting.It's like real-life Lake Wobegon.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I Thought My Father Was God"
This book was received in a timely manner and in the condition stated.
A great buy and an easy way to shop!!

5-0 out of 5 stars 179 Reasons to Write
This is not a book by Paul Auster.It's a book by me.And you.And your smart neighbor.No, the other one, the smart, creative one.

I know this because, if you're reading this review, you're that neighbor (and you have a neighbor or two like you).When you read this book, and you should, you'll read stories by folks who, like you, think once in a while, "I should write that down.""I can think in adjectives and adverbs about that, and that is something I think someone else might want to see, too."

Someone has told you, "You should write a book," but you've never really sat down to do that because, even though your life is full and rich and there have been sorrows and amazements and happinesses and crime and death and dogs and your father's car on a hot vacation trip sitting next to your cousin, your life is too full to take the time to sit and do something as mundane and time-consuming as write.

But these 179 people did just that.I have to warn you that you can't read this like a regular book.Its rhythm is single drumbeats, not cascades and bar after bar.Each story is itself.Each story is introduced in the first paragraph, which is so different from the last paragraph of the story before that if you allow yourself to read like you usually do, your eyes will simply register the individual letters of the next story while your mind is still absorbing the last.It will be mulling, savoring, feeling like the woman whose father heard her first words speaking of life's responsibilities after spending her first really full day at his mortuary, that last sentence seeping into crevices of your grey matter and prying out little (and big) thoughts and hopes and connections and worries hidden because you haven't yet had time to write.

You'll need to stop your eyes moving halfway through that next story, because you'll have missed the first paragraph of these stories that are over in an eyeblink but carry weight, most just a little, some considerable, but in sum giving you the reason you've always needed to sit with your word processor and add to the tome.

Go back and read from the beginning.It's worth the time and effort.Then sit and write another. -- rg

4-0 out of 5 stars Compilation of many stories that will move you
Heard I THOUGHT MY FATHER WAS GOD, edited and read by
Paul Auster . . . this is a collection of stories that came as a result
of a call to listeners of National Public Radio's WEEKEND ALL
THINGS CONSIDERED . . . more than 4,000 were submitted.

I couldn't really tell whether they were fact or fiction; it really
didn't matter . . . after taking me a while to warm up to them,
I quickly became interested in what others had to say about such
subjects as Animals, Families, War, Love, and Dreams.

Some stories were mundane, but many others were quite
moving . . . in particular, I was touched by the one involving a
small boy's realization that his mother has pawned her wedding ring
so that she can buy him a school uniform.

As the author notes: [I was most interested in] stories that defied
our expectations about the world, anecdotes that revealed the mysterious
and unknowable forces at work in our lives, in our family histories, in
our minds and bodies, in our souls. . . . I was hoping to put together . . . a
museum of American reality."

He has succeeded . . . my only criticism has to do with the
narration . . . Auster handled the stories from male readers just
fine . . . I would have preferred a member of the opposite for
stories from female readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life experiences encapsulated: Entertaining and Thought Provoking
The sheer variety of life experiences gives the reader a new perspective on their own lives, seeing how sometimes simple events can have a profound effect upon oneself or others.Helps you realize today's "disaster" may be the event that leads to tomorrow's SUNSHINE. Covering the USA, I ran into a story from a nearby town in which a dear friend of mine was mentioned by first name only, but instantly recognizable because of her loving kindness toward a family member of the storyteller.Adults (young and old) can pick up valuable "life lessons" without the preaching that usually accompanys them. ... Read more

31. Voice Over (French Voices (Seven Stories Press))
by Celine Curiol
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2008-10-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583228489
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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“Not only is it the finest first novel I have read in many years, but it is, quite simply, one of the most original and brilliantly executed works of fiction by any contemporary writer I know of.”—Paul Auster

“An infrared view of Sex and the City, a snapshot plunged in an acrid bath.”—Globe and Mail

“With an extraordinary sense of the mechanisms of love and the empathy of a saint for the human race, Céline Curiol gives us the most original and the best new book of the year.”—Marie Claire

“The troubled, lovestruck young woman... works as an announcer at Paris’ famed Gare du Nord train station—‘All she knows about the towns . . . are their names’—while seducing us with her elliptical humor, existential musings, and edgy charm.”—Elle Magazine

A lonely young woman works as an announcer in Paris’ Gare du Nord train station. Obsessed with a man attached to another woman, she wanders through the world of dinner parties, shopping excursions, and chance sexual encounters with a sense of haunting expectation. As something begins to happen between her and the man she loves, she finds herself at a crossroads, pitting her desire against her sanity. This smashing debut novel sparkles with mordant humor and sexy charm.

Céline Curiol is a journalist who has worked for various French media, including Libération, Radio France, and BBC Afrique. Her second novel and a travel book on Sierra Leone have recently been published in France. Originally from Lyon, Curiol lives in New York City, where she is at work on her third novel.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gem
An extraordinary novel with a voice so penetratingly intimate that it will make you shiver. There are descriptions of everyday life - of what it feels like to have a cold, to be frightened, to be drunk, to be in love - that are so preternaturally precise that I am not sure I will ever forget them. This is not another romantic novel, though it is deeply romantic. This is a gem, a small masterpiece.

4-0 out of 5 stars A journey into obsession
A drunken, almost accidental kiss gives life to the obsession of the heroine of this engaging, intense novel.She is unnamed and the story, like a voice over to a film, is told, in the third person, from her point of view.She had been obsessed with this man for some time, and the kiss is just what she needs to bring hope to her fantasies.He is involved in a serious relationship with another woman who is a foil for the central character, everything she is not, self assured, glibly interacting with others, sure of her self on the social scene.The heroine is at sea when it comes to relationships with other people.Her assignations, mostly with strangers, are as if she is in a dreamlike state and is compelled to submit to the others' desires, although she draws the line when one of them wants to tie her up.

The atmosphere of the novel is tense as you wait for the heroine to be driven over the edge.She works as an announcer at Gar de Nord, a Paris train station, a disembodied voice, blandly relating to the travelers the time and track of departure of their trains, a voice over for them.It is the perfect job for her, detached, unemotional, distant, somewhere where she can be safe.

The heroine hides a traumatic event from her childhood.One gets the sense that this incident has driven her entire life.It is so shameful and embarrassing for her that the one time she told someone about it, her best friend, it spelled the end of their relationship.She could not bear to have contact with her any more.

Her isolation from the world around her becomes extreme by the end of the book.Nonetheless, she achieves a resolution of her conflicts that allows her to continue on with a spark of hope.

Experiencing the heroine's trials and tribulations is at times disturbing, but the author has built a compelling character, more than one dimensional despite her obsession.She is able to convey the heroine's intense compulsion for her `lover' without making her seem distastefully manic. I recommend this novel highly, although readers who are looking for something light and airy will be sorely disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Unique Novel
"Voice Over" is a compelling and unique novel.The story follows a never-named woman in almost a stream of consciousness style, sometimes ambling along, sometimes racing, heading down a blind alley here and circling through a detour there.At first, this is unsettling, but the effect is to create in the reader the same confusion and conflict the woman herself is experiencing.The title references both the voice-over that every person uses, that inner dialogue with which we narrate our lives to ourselves, examining and explaining our own actions and intentions and interpreting the responses and intentions of others, and which the main character reveals throughout the book; and the character's job as a train announcer, where she is the "voice over" announcing the trains' comings and goings. The job is very much like her life:carried out in private, yet entirely public as her disembodied voice guides travelers to destinations she's never seen.

The central character is both randomly victimized by life and the engineer of her own victimization.She is obsessed with a man who belongs to someone else and virtually stalks him.He appears to have little interest in her, and in her despair and loneliness, she allows - in fact, encourages - exploitation by everyone from a nightclub transsexual who forces her into his act to a politician who mistakes her for a prostitute; an easy mistake, since he attended a dinner party where she claimed to be one.Meanwhile, she fantasizes about the unobtainable man and waits for his love to rescue her.Just when the reader is becoming convinced that she is completely unbalanced, he begins to return her affection.

What's most interesting about this book is how we both observe and share the main character's point of view, adding another layer of "voice over" to the story.We feel the precarious balance she maintains.We fear for her reckless lifestyle and unrealistic pursuit of the man she cannot have, and are embarrassed for her failure to read people correctly and modify her responses accordingly.More than once, her inner voice mirrored my own, causing me to flinch and examine my own thinking and assumptions.

If you like your books action-packed and plot-driven, this one is not for you.But if you want a character study that will make you begin to question and rethink your own narration and interpretation of the events that govern your life, and you enjoy watching a writer do something completely unique with a story, you will be as fascinated by "Voice Over" as I was.

3-0 out of 5 stars original, yet drags slightly
Celine Curiol's first novel is original and haunting.Written in a third person narrative, the novel tells the story of a young French woman, obsessed with an already attached man.Working as an announcer in the train station, the woman spends the novel aimlessly wandering the city, having chance encounters with strange men and anxiously awaiting a phone call from the man.

Similar to classic stories such as The Awakening or the Yellow Wallpaper, the novel tells a convincing story of a woman driven almost to insanity by a man.The writing is fresh and original, a story that could be read by future generations in a feminist literature class.However, the lack of chapters, and third person narrative can cause the novel to drag a bit towards the middle.If you are looking for a light read, this novel may not be what you are looking for. ... Read more

32. Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 176 Pages (2003-08-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312422326
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Paul Auster's Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure is a fascinating and often funny memoir about his early years as a writer struggling to be published, and to make enough money to survive. Leaving high school with 'itchy feet' and refusing to play it safe, Auster avoided convention and the double life of steady office employment while writing. From the streets of New York City, Dublin, and Paris to a surreal adventure in a dusty village in Mexico, Auster's account of living on next to nothing introduces an unforgettable cast of characters whileexamining what it means to be a writer.Amazon.com Review
It's no wonder that Paul Auster (The Music of Chance,Leviathan, Mr. Vertigo) creates such singularcharacters. While his youth comprised a series of failures toounbelievable for fiction, it also equipped him with a range ofexperiences to draw from that most fiction writers only dream of. Heworked with Bowery bums at a summer camp, had a childhood friend jointhe Weather Underground, and was a student at Columbia in 1968 at theheight of the student uprisings there (and at which point, he boasts,he knew seven of the FBI's ten most wanted men). He worked on an oiltanker, for a French Mafia-style film producer in Paris, and for arare-book organization in New York. He translated the North Vietnameseconstitution from French into English (don't ask). His work broughthim in contact to varying extents with Jean Genet, Mary McCarthy,Jerzy Kosinski, Sartre, Foucault, and John Lennon. The encounters andexperiences must have been fascinating, failure aside, but Auster'sprose here, sadly, lacks the tightness and luster of his fiction. Theremainder--and major portion--of the volume consists of three plays,a baseball card game, and a detective novel, all written during thistime. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment
I love Auster and when I first started reading this memoir about his early days of struggle as a writer, I was throughly engrossed. There was something open and honest about his early years, and although it runs parallel to many of the struggles writers go through, his was particularly interesting because of the wonderful people he meets along the way and the interesting situations and work environments he finds himself. But something happens halfway in and the work just comes to a halt. It loses its momentum and becomes trite and even boring. Auster fans will enjoy the early play and detective novel included, but even those seem thrown in, as if Auster knew that what he was publishing was not worth the money.

1-0 out of 5 stars or 'How To Clean Out Your Desk and Make Money'
My eye was caught by the pretty photo of the author on the cover.Now that I've read this stinker, I bet he lovingly searched for the best(old) photo of himself.I've never heard of him before but he joins the ranks of those who work hardest trying to avoid work. He's the Maynard G. Krebs (Work!) of Columbia, Class of 69'.Couldn't Paul Auster have had some nobility about taking good care of his wife and son?Oh, yeah, that would mean someone else coming first in his life.After I closed the cover I wondered what messed up this guy to never attach to anything.I looked him up on the internet and it's the old story-getting old, settling down, and finally growing up.And cleaning out his desk and diary and making a buck off it.

4-0 out of 5 stars When Am I Gonna Make A Living?
Paul Auster's autobiographical account spanning about 12 years or so after he finished college, is an excellent exposition of a young writer's search for meaning, and then the translation of that meaning into money, to provide for further existence, to allow the writer to keep producing work, representative of his desires, but also able to be sold for money to continue the quest.

The appeal to almost all people is hidden in the fact, that at anytime, any person, can be living a "hand to mouth" existence.This feeling of abject poverty and financial ruin is not uncommon today, in an economy that has lost over 2 million jobs, and forced hundreds of thousands to start their own businesses because work was not available.Those in America who have had to do this, can relate directly to Auster's feelings, especially the salient concept of when will I ever get to the point when I am making a living again, even a somewhat less luxurious one than before, just any living.

As usual, Auster uses his incredible incisiveness and truly exceptional clarity in his construction of this book.It is of special interest to Auster readers, as it gives the reader some very interesting information about the author's early days when he was still struggling to become known.But Auster's story is one that every actor, every writer, every lawyer, every doctor, or most of them anyway, have to go through at the beginning, including every new entrepreneur.Becoming established is very hard work.And more people fail, than succeed.This high failure rate is generated by the need to be able to sustain high levels of suffering in bad times, to get to the good times.Most of us are just not up to the task.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not All Editions Include Game & Detective Novel Extras
Hand to Mouth, by itself, is a somewhat raw but not at all insensitive memoir of life before publishing.I found it engrossing at times.

Auster recounts his youthful rejection of middle class consumerism, his odd and fascinating encounters with all kinds of characters and life situations, his stay in Paris, his first marriage, his ...well... failures to make it big as a writer.His admirable sense of integrity (no jobs except ones literary) unfortunately kept the author wallowing in translation work to put food on the table, and the sense of pain, desperation and even a sort of starvation are palpable.Agonizingly, but rather fittingly, he tells only of his years BEFORE success.This is no rags to fame & riches story.

Hand to Mouth is basically a reality check.Of some value to anyone who wants to get published, but the only thing that keeps this from being totally depressing is our knowledge of Auster's eventual literary success.

Lovely sections about the wacky people he met on ships and on streets reveal inspiration for characters he brings alive in his humanistic fiction.

If you do buy an edition (check out the number of pages before you order) which contains "Action Baseball" and "Squeeze Play", you are in for a treat.The former is a complete card game and the latter is a detective novel.Squeeze Play was written under a pseudonym and features a Jewish private eye with a law degree from Columbia who has a taste for fine wine and music.Mickey Spillane gets urban Semitic spit & polish in this totally enjoyable bonus read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Auster Fans Only
By and large, this book will be of interest to Auster fans only.The first section is a brief autobiography, which may be boiled down to this: "How I Tried to Avoid Having a Regular Job."It's all about the crazy schemes Auster had to make money while not working 9-5.The stories are good, though nothing amazing.As he chronicles his early life, he references his "Appendices" -- a couple of one-act plays, a card-based baseball game he'd invented, and his first novel.I'd say of the entire book, the novel may be the best part.It's strictly a by-the-numbers noir novel (the unwilling detective, the femme fatale, a larger-than-life victim), but it's executed very nicely.It's funny how Auster thinks nothing of his work -- according to the memoir, he churned this out in three months (June-August), which to me is pretty impressive, but I suppose Auster thinks it's just pulp...I don't think it is, though because he stays so within the confines of the genre, it almost comes off as parody.Still, it's an enjoyable read.

3 stars ... Read more

33. True Tales of American Life
Paperback: 491 Pages (2002-10-07)
list price: US$14.20 -- used & new: US$8.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0571210708
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Chosen by Paul Auster out of 4000 stories submitted to his radio programme on National Public Radio, these 180 stories provide an illuminating portrait of America in the 20th century. The selection requirement of the stories was that they should be true and not previously published. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic stories
Enlightening and heartfelt read. Couldn't put it down.

5-0 out of 5 stars loved this book
this book is a great traveling companion, and thanks also to NPR

5-0 out of 5 stars Truth is Better than Fiction
I picked up this book in London, looking for something to read on a square for a sunny afternoon. It turned out to be one of the most poignant reads of this year. Auster is a brilliant author, but he really shines as editer of this collection. He arranges the book into chapters by subjects like "Objects", "Animals", "War", "Death", and "Love". At first, I was skeptical, as the "Animals" stories were a bit silly. He soon draws you into the styles of everyday Americans, and by the 50th page you're reading some of the most piercing truths that you could ever imagine. Not only are the stories facsinating and unique, but they resonate with the themes of universality. I laughed and cried my way through this book---and by the time it ended, I was rationing myself on only one story per day, because I wanted them to last forever. I read them aloud to my boyfriend in bed, and to my friends on the phone, the way that you would read a story to a child at night. Great read for all ages and walks of life. ... Read more

34. Paul Auster's Postmodernity
by Brendan Martin
 Hardcover: 248 Pages (2010-08-28)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415888891
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This book focuses upon the literary and autobiographical writings of American novelist Paul Auster, investigating his literary postmodernity in relation to a full range of his writings. Martin addresses Auster's evocation of a range of postmodern notions, such as the duplicitous art of self-invention, the role of chance and contingency, authorial authenticity and accountability, urban dislocation, and the predominance of duality. ... Read more

35. Squeeze Play
by Paul (Auster, Paul) Benjamin
 Paperback: 201 Pages (1991)

Isbn: 0571161480
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Paul Auster novel in disguise
This novel is of interest to fans of Paul Auster -- He wrote it and published it under a psuedonym when he was desparate for money. It is a fairly routine, but competent and readable, sports mystery. ... Read more

36. Paul Auster (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
Hardcover: 254 Pages (2003-09)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0791076628
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Poet and novelist, essayist and screenwriter, contemporary author Paul Austor's prolific oeuvre includes the critically acclaimed screenplays for Smoke and Lulu on the Bridge as well as the novels Timbuktu and The Book of Illusions.

This title, Paul Auster, part of Chelsea House Publishers’ Modern Critical Views series, examines the major works of Paul Auster through full-length critical essays by expert literary critics. In addition, this title features a short biography on Paul Auster, a chronology of the author’s life, and an introductory essay written by Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale University. ... Read more

37. by Paul Auster Invisible First Edition edition
by Paul Auster
Hardcover: Pages (2009)
-- used & new: US$17.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0031DFK9E
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38. Disappearances
by Paul Auster
Paperback: 96 Pages (1989-05-02)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879513411
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39. The Inner Life of Martin Frost
by Paul Auster, Glenn Thomas
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2008-10-25)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$11.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0979554659
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Paul Auster's novel The Book of Illusions explores the implications of stories within stories, especially as films. Battling with personal crises, Auster's protagonist David Zimmer falls into the work of the fictional silent film star Hector Mann. The Inner Life of Martin Frost is a long-lost Mann film. It is also this book, which through Glenn Thomas's innovative typography and drawings echoes the vertiginous plight of Zimmer as he becomes fascinated by the one particular film.

Having worked on several films, including a 2007 revamped version of this story, visual cues fit well with Auster's words, making this book ideal for anyone interested in how words and imagery can work together to create new forms of understanding.

When asked about how Auster's story inspired Thomas's work, he said, "I love the way Auster puts his books together. I want art to put me off balance, cause me to puzzle over it... a state of consternation . . . at its best to shock, like seeing Gruenwald's altarpiece for the first time in the flesh. I find this story very poetic, kind of... misty."

Having worked together on one previous project, The Inner Life of Martin Frost marks the first Paul Auster and Glenn Thomas collaboration that is widely available. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars beautifully unusual
The Inner Life of Martin Frost (From the Book of Illusions) by Paul Auster & Illustrated by Glenn Thomas This is a strangely beautiful work of art, with each page created as a separate work of art in itself. The type is arranged into different patterns on each page and tells a continuous and fascinating little story, while the bold drawings on each page cause pause for study.They are interesting and beautiful designs that baffled me. It is a book and a story to be perused over and again, a most unusual art piece in and of itself

3-0 out of 5 stars Collaboration: Benefits and Distractions
Popular sophisticated author Paul Auster has joined with graphic designer Glenn Thomas to produce a 'project' (that seems to be the best term for this experiment).On many levels it works, and on some levels it is competitive for the readers attention span.

The story is brief: David Zimmer discovers and becomes consumed by a silent film by one Hector Mann entitled 'The Secret Life of Martin Frost' and the author explores the effects of this obsession.Glenn Thomas divides the story into various fragments and page layouts that require fold outs and changing columns and placements on the page while inserting ink block like graphics to intensify the tale.He has elected to print the text in sans serif, all caps format and the reader's eyes must adjust to this at times distracting presentation in order to follow the story.

At times the fragmentation of the story is enhanced by the simultaneous fragmentation of the presentation.But in the end the story is not of sufficient interest to stand alone, and that is when the graphics and design fill the gap in deciding as to whether follow it to the end.The book concept is strong but will have a limited audience.Not Paul Auster's greatest work here!Grady Harp, February 09

5-0 out of 5 stars Rewards a deeper look
Pictorially and artistically this is an interesting book.But there are problems.The text is from The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster.Effectively speaking it is a short story about a couple watching a 41-minute black and white film from the forties in which two people are thrown together in the empty house of mutual friends.The woman, Claire is there to study philosophy, the man, Martin to write a story.The text is set in a gray all caps non-serif font (Futura) so that the words run across the page or at angles down the page like ghostly words from a teletype.The text is broken up in such a way that the reader is not sure at once where the eyes should go next.Sometimes the text is hidden within an artfully folded page so that the reader must open that page instead of reading what appears to be the direct continuation of the text on top of the folded page.Sometimes the text is broken up seemingly for no apparent reason.

I thought the story itself was brilliant in the way Paul Auster was able to use media within media and point of view piled upon point of view to demonstrate levels of human consciousness.The text flows through the intricacies of plot and theme effortlessly as can only come from the skill of a masterful story-teller.

The artwork by Glenn Thomas is tantalizing in that some of the exclusively black and white drawings seem to promise a hint of something recognizable, but then do not entirely fulfill the promise.Occasionally there is a deliberately recognizable image set among the whirling lines and hints and allegations of images so that the viewer's mind is intrigued.Too often however (at least to this intrigued viewer's mind) the images tail off to something unclear.Perhaps my eye is not as well trained as it might be.Some of the images are on translucent paper, and some are like some of the text, folded under a page.Some of the drawings are of an optical, illusionary quality.The overall effect somehow complements a story about a black and white film about a man writing words on paper that he burns, or of a young woman studying philosophy that may or may not apply to her life, so that we have layers of consciousness and layers of experience somehow not fully grasped by the human mind or senses.There is also a light and graceful air to both the story and the artwork with a mildly comic undertone.The topography itself is the message, as Marshall McLuhan might have said.

I say "there are problems," but the problems, like all artistic problems may exist simultaneously in the minds of both artist and the consumer of art or in one or the other.In this case I am sure there will be those who say that this book is a good short story spoiled by a distracting presentation.On the other hand there will be others who find the story itself to be extraneous to the creativity of Glenn Thomas.For myself I think the collaboration of writer and illustrator does achieve its aim, which is to use two art forms side by side and literally on top of one another to exponentially augment an effect, an experience or an understanding.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too Much Paul
Fans of Paul Auster know what they are getting: a powerful voice that carries you through a beautiful read. All of his books do that, and this one is no exception. I think most of us are writers or would-be writers. But sometimes Auster's world is just too small. The Brooklyn Follies promised a chronicle of a man's failures. Perhaps the voice would do a bit of self-searching. But the protagonist quickly abandoned that project, apparently becoming involved in others instead. That should have been a good thing. But again, by the end of the book what we have had is another long dose of Auster's voice. Martin Frost is the extreme case. There are only two characters in the book. The "love interest" is a production of the writer Frost's mind, and the other character is a caricature of a writer that does not come off as funny at all. The book comes off as solipsistic. Too much Paul. To get Mr. Auster and his voice at its best, just go back to Oracle Night, Hand to Mouth, The Music of Chance, and City of Glass. ... Read more

40. World that is the Book: Paul Auster's Fiction
by Aliki Varvogli
Hardcover: 200 Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$70.00 -- used & new: US$40.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0853236879
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

The World that is the Book offers an in-depth analysis of Paul Auster’s fiction. It explores the rich literary and cultural sources that Auster taps into in order to create compelling stories that investigate the nature of language, the workings of chance, and the individual’s complex relations with the world at large. Whereas most Auster criticism has concentrated on readings of individual novels, this book emphasizes the continuity in Auster’s writing by discussing throughout the philosophical underpinnings that lead the author to question the boundaries separating the fictional from the factual, and the real from the imagined.
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pays respect to the sources Auster used
The World That Is The Book: Paul Auster's Fiction by Aliki Varvogli (Lecturer in English and American Literature, University of Dundee) is a thorough study of the fictional works of Paul Auster, including "The New York Trilogy," "Timbuktu," and much more. A scholarly, college-level study of the long-lasting meaning behind Auster's classic works, The World That Is The Book recognizes and pays respect to the sources Auster used to challenge the traditional uses of the written word and the role of literary genre. The World That Is The Book is very highly recommended reading for those who seek to better appreciate Paul Auster's literary work. ... Read more

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