Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster

This is a trio of novellas by the author Paul Auster.  The books are City Of Glass, Ghosts and The Locked Room.  In City Of Glass, Quinn, an author who writes detective stories, finds himself involved in solving a mystery that is stranger than anything he ever created.  In Ghosts, a man named Blue, trained by Brown, has been hired by White to watch and report on Black.  He devotes his life to this only to discover that Black is watching him also.

The final novella is the most finely developed.  In it, the best friend of a man named Fanshawe is contacted by Fanshawe's wife.  She reports that he has disappeared and she is sure that by now he is dead.  He has left an extensive library of his writing, and instructions that if anything were to happen to him, his friend was to be notified and become the literary executor of his writings.  The writings are, surprisingly, snapped up and soon recognized as works of genius and the man soon falls in love with Fanshaw's wife and becomes part of her life.

Auster's work is concerned with the difficulties of identity, how we define ourselves and whether our definition is truth or only what is easiest for us to believe.  The novellas show how easily humans are thrown off their routine lives and tipped into strange occurrences that leave them grasping for meaning.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

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