"Oracle Night is a compulsively readable novel by 'one of the great writers of our time." (San Francisco Chronicle). Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationery shop in Brooklyn and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of ...
"Oracle Night is a compulsively readable novel by 'one of the great writers of our time." (San Francisco Chronicle). Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationery shop in Brooklyn and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of this blank book, trapped inside a world of eerie premonitions and bewildering events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality. If The New York Trilogy was Paul Auster's detective story, his mesmerizing eleventh novel reads like an old-fashioned ghost story. But there are no ghosts in this book - only flesh-and-blood human beings, wandering through the haunted realms of everyday life. Oracle Night is a narrative tour de force that confirms Auster's reputation as one of the boldest, most original writers at work in America today. "His old-fashioned art of creating suspense ...which rivals M. R. James or Conan Doyle. In fact, Oracle Night is best read as a post-modern ghost story." (The Guardian).
let me start by saying i love paul auster. BUT, he is hit or miss for me. when i read one of his books (and i'm trying to get through all of them) he''s either dead on absolutely perfect one of the best books i've ever read - or - it's a zero, i dislike the characters, i dislike the story, and i'm actually mad at myself for having read it.... this one was NOT my favorite. i recommend the new york trilogy, or in the country of last things instead.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-11-10 One morning in September 1982, a struggling novelist recovering from a near-fatal illness purchases, on impulse, a blue notebook from a new store in his Brooklyn neighborhood. So begins Auster's artful, ingenious 12th novel, which is both a darkly suspenseful domestic drama and a moving meditation on chance and loss. Reflecting on a past conversation and armed with his new notebook, Sidney Orr is compelled to write about a man who walks away from his comfortable, staid life after a brush with death a contemporary retelling of the Flitcraft episode in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. Orr's description of his fictional project takes over for a while, but through a framing narrative and a series of long, occasionally digressive footnotes, he teasingly reveals himself, his lovely wife, Grace, and their mutual friend, the famous novelist John Trause. While Orr's hero finds himself locked in a bomb shelter, Grace begins behaving strangely, the stationery shop is shuttered, John's drug-addicted son looms menacingly in the background and the blue notebook exerts a troubling power. The plot of this bizarrely fascinating novel strains credibility, but Auster's unique genius is to make the absurd coherent; his stories have a dreamlike, hallucinatory logic. The title comes from the name of the novel that appears within the story Orr is writing, and hints at the book's theme: that fiction might be at some level prophetic, not merely reflecting reality but shaping it. There is tension, however, between power and impotence: as Orr puts it, "Randomness stalks us every day of our lives, and those lives can be taken from us at any moment for no reason at all." Author tour. (Dec. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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