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The Brooklyn Follies

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So begins Paul Auster's remarkable new novel, "The Brooklyn Follies". Set against the backdrop of the contested US election of 2000, it tells the ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Brooklyn Follies

Overall customer rating: 4.000
greebs

Auster gets back in the game

by greebs on May 10, 2007

The Brooklyn Follies begins with Nathan Glass moving to Brooklyn. He says it?s to find a place to die, though as the novel goes on it is clear he?s looking to begin a new life. Through chance (an Auster staple) he comes across his nephew Tom, and through a variety of lovely sequences, reconnects with others in his family. If this book is more straightforward than some of his earlier works, it doesn?t make it less poignant and in a lot of ways, Auster is telling a more mainstream story here. It?s about a man rediscovering what?s important to him after a bout with cancer, a failed marriage and a falling out with his daughter. It?s about what people will really do when they are given a second chance. And it?s about hope. This hope, of course ? because it?s an Auster book ? is not laced with daisies and candy canes. It?s more of delayed trauma. That?s because, as it becomes clearer as you work towards the end of the book, that Auster has put specific dates into his chapters for a reason. The book starts around the Bush-Gore election of 2000 and ends in September 2001. (This same device of driving towards 9/11 was used in an even more dramatic way in Nelson DeMille?s Night Fall, by the way.) I will add that Auster?s politics ? which seem to be identical to mine ? sometimes get in the way of the plot. Hearing Glass tell his girlfriend to always vote Democrat and that George Bush is an evil idiot is nice, but it distracted from the story in an unnecessary way. All that being said, The Brooklyn Follies is a great book, refreshing and rewarding. If it is not the dark, creepy tales Auster has shown us before, that?s okay too.

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