Saturday, January 07, 2006

Auster, warm and light

The Brooklyn Follies, by Paul Auster, reviewed in The Globe and Mail:

The prose of The Brooklyn Follies, for long stretches, is exceedingly warm, inviting and, for the most part, persuasive.

. . .

. . .pull at the reins of credibility, but the tone of The Brooklyn Follies trips so lightly between gravitas and moments of levity, between Wittgenstein and gumshoe, that most readers will stay along for the ride, and the restoration.

Slightly more disappointing, however, are the moments of uninspired dialogue weighed down with cliché and stiff humour.

. . .

Auster has put aside his darker obsessions for the time being and listened to his neighbourhood's raucous, bitter-sweet tale of uncommon community.


But I rather like Auster's darker obsessions. Still, it's a nice little prank that what sounds to me (from reviews thus far) to be a distinctly post-9/11 spirit of community should be portrayed in a novel that ends on 9/11.

Will be counting out Christmas money and weighing carefully how to spend it...

6 comments:

kimbofo said...

You know I am so kicking myself that I did not buy this at Gatwick Airport last month - there was an exclusive airport version (softcover) for £10, as opposed to the hardcover (£20). But for some weird reason I didn't purchase it. I have read so many great reviews, I'm dying to get my hands on a copy.

patricia said...

I read that review, too. I'm really itchin' to get a copy.

Isabella, don't you just love Saturdays, reading the Globe and Mail Books Section? I love sitting in my bed with my coffee and the paper strewn all over, the cats fighting to plop in front of me as I try to read. It's a treasured ritual in my home.

Oh, and did you read the review of the new biography of Anthony Burgess? I'm very intrigued. I was fascinated with that man as a teenager. Just like the reviewer stated, Earthly Powers was, I think, his best novel.

Gaelicgrl said...

I thought I'd let you know that I borrowed Oracle Night from the library last week.

I haven't started it yet (still reading Due Preparations...and Jacqueline Wilson's Double Act).

It's next on my list!

Isabella said...

Oh, Patricia. I used to love Saturdays, having had a similar ritual. Now I can't even easily get an English newspaper in this part of town, so my browsing is online and restricted to the kid's naptime or between crises. I trust she will soon grow past this...

Did not get round to reading about the Burgess. I've only ever read Clockwork Orange and one other. Will do so later.

We did shop some yesterday, but alas no books. I await calmer days.

patricia said...

Oops! Sorry Isabella! How thoughtless of me. Typical response from a childless woman, eh?

That's a shame you can't even find an English paper in your area. I understand the convenience of reading online, but I love the messy, tactile experience of reading a real newspaper.

I highly recommend Burgess' Earthly Powers; but it's a bit of a long read.

patricia said...

Woo-hoo! I just got my Brooklyn Follies! I received a points discount coupon in the mail from Book City (where I do most of my book shopping) and I got to use my regular discount card, too, so the grand total for this hardcover was $23.00!

I think I might save it as a treat to myself to start reading once we've finally moved at the end of the month. Something to look forward to!