Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Book club

I just finished the first part of Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, and good God was I blown away. Once I got about 20 pages in, there was no way I could put down the book until I'd finished. Basically, the three stories are sort of post-modern detective tales. Which leads one to think instantly of Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, but really, it's more Umberto Eco and The Name of the Rose. Auster's ideas are remarkably interesting and he ties them in so well with the story, you don't feel you're being lectured. Like Eco, there is a lot of emphasis on language, a focus on primal myths, the arbitrary nature of identity, etc. It's the first book I've read in a while that I can't read without a pen in hand. One of those rare books that engages your intellect in a satisfying way and also delivers one hell of a story. I've started the second part of the trilogy, but even if the rest is no good (which I doubt), it'll be worth it for the first bit. Go buy it.


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