Twenty-eight-year-old Miles is haunted by guilt for having inadvertently caused the death of his step-brother, an incident that caused him to flee New York seven years previously. Now he lives in Florida, photographing the last traces of families who have abandoned their houses due to debt or foreclosure during the banking crisis. When a complicated romance forces him to go on the run again, he returns to Brooklyn to confront his father and his past.
©2010 Paul Auster (P)2010 Canongate Books in partnership with Faber and Faber Ltd
I really wasn't expecting much from this - it's a book club choice for me, so not something I'd ordinarily read but I was really impressed!
Even though the writer reads it - which can ruin a book - the tone and pace is just right. No false 'voice' attempts, just a deep sensitive intonation that adds to the impact.
The story follows Miles Heller at first but soon gives the perspectives of the three people he lives with in New York and then his father and mother. The quality of depth of feeling and understanding of people is brilliant. The people feel real - these aren't simplistic one dimensional caricatures but carefully drawn humans.
The ending - perhaps the thing that goes wrong in books most often? Is slightly difficult but works I think.
Really worth a credit - although you'll devour it quickly!!
Auster weaves a story which is at once heart breakingly honest and uplifting. His precise yet utterly unpretentious writing style takes you deeper into the complex souls of his characters. It feels like pure improvisation, yet every sentence is effortlessly tipped forwards into the journey by every perfectly chosen word.
The only reason I give the story four out of five is because like most of Auster's work the journey is so well described the destination doesn't quite measure up, but that is because he sets the bar is so high.
I have read other Paul Auster novels but this is the first time I have listened to one and read by the author. Having Auster read is a privilege, let's face it he did enough writing it. His rather grey and. bleak voice wouldn't suit every book, not even others he has written, but it was an authentic voice for this novel. which grey and bleak as it often is is ultimately an optimistic portrait of human affections in a world that only seems to care when its prescribed morality is under threat no matter how hypocritical that morality might be.
This book is the first audible book I have failed to finish. The story was dire , disconnected and bleak
Provided a better narrative, and more interesting characters .
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