Thursday, January 26, 2006

Paul Auster's Brooklyn Follies an engaging read

Book 7: Brooklyn Follies, Paul Auster. Completed: 1-26. 306 Pages.

Auster is an acquired taste. There’s a disturbing element to his writing. The man is hard on his characters. But there is also a strong element of hope. Auster seems to say that no matter what befalls us life is good.

I am most attracted to his voice. Auster writes like I think I might. There isn’t any exposition in the conventional sense. Auster’s narrator tells us about the events that unfold in his life and in the lives of the other characters. And, while the narrator isn’t or can’t always be present in those events, he’s a wise, affable sort who earns the confidence of the other characters. They share their stories with him and he shares them with us. It’s a relaxed form of novel writing, as if we were listening to an old friend tell stories over coffee.

This is not a powerful or especially illuminating novel, but it is an engaging read.

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