Oracle Night
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Oracle Night

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  7,766 ratings  ·  432 reviews
The discovery of a mysterious notebook turns a man's life upside-down in this 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...more
206 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Henry Holt (first published 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The New York Trilogy by Paul AusterMoon Palace by Paul AusterThe Book of Illusions by Paul AusterThe Brooklyn Follies by Paul AusterInvisible by Paul Auster
Best Paul Auster Books
6th out of 21 books — 56 voters
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty  SmithBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman CapoteExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Tales of New York City
68th out of 817 books — 744 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Shovelmonkey1
Jan 13, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Auster mind-meld fans
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: Auster, via all his previous work
Every time I start a Paul Auster book I get twenty pages into it and think,
"That's it. He's finally over stepped the mark. He's jumped from the edge of the clever cliff and into the precipice of w*nky too smart and arty for his own good literature". And then, I am always proved wrong. Sorry Paul I judge you too harshly!*

Another excellent book with the trademark Austerisms. Convoluted, random, perhaps even a little too common place at times, writhing like a bag of snakes the twists and turns had...more
Jeremy
Oracle Night seems like one of Auster's more perfunctory novels. There is the usual blend of a narrator getting over some big personal tragedy, reflections on the power of language (writing especially in this case), recurring coincidences, a female love interest in trouble, etc. The opening conceit of the blank notebook and Sid's need to fill it has this really interesting, ominous vibe going to it. But Auster doesn't seem all that committed to really diving into it, and by the end of the book i...more
Islam
رواية داخل رواية

عندما تقرأ لأول مرة لبول أوستر لا يسعك بعد ذلك إلا البحث عن مجمل أعماله..متعة فائقة أن أتقرأ لكاتب يحترم عقليتك و يضع ذكاءك موضع المسائلة و الإختبار كأنه داخل إلى متاهة ذهنية و يريدك أن تعمل على حل عقدها و التكهن بالخطوة القادمة التى لن تقدر على التنبؤ بها أو حتى التفكير فيها..دائما توقعات صادمة تنهش فى لحم الحقيقة لتعرى ما هو مختفٍ تحتها

الرواية قائمة على تداعى السرد و تشابك الأزمنة و التقل فيما بينها من الماضى للحاضر و المستقبل و بالعكس ، و تداخل حياة الراوى- الذى يعمل بالأساس ك...more
Hend
The story was confusing,the end upset me,and i feel depressed after finishing it....may be it wasn't the right time for me to read it...
the part about his mysterious blue notebook,and how it give Sidney Auster's protagonist,some kind of power over his writing.... and it's effective impact in changing the direction of the story from time to time, was the only interesting thing .....

"Those notebooks are very friendly, but they can also be cruel, and you have to watch out you don't get lost in them...more
Kevin Fanning
I don't know what to say about this book. I liked. If you look at how much I liked it w/r/t how low my hopes were before starting it, I guess you could say I really liked it. But all things being equal, I mainly liked it.

I think if I'd read this in college I would have wanted to write a paper about it. Although, maybe not because I feel like the book is in despearate need of critical exploration, maybe just because it seems like the kind of book that a college student could fairly easily write a...more
Mandi
Through the entire story I had the feeling I was on the verge of stumbling on the meat of it, but it never happened. I stuck with it hoping for even a line that would satisfy the "on-the-verge" feeling, but by the last line on the last page, I realized it wasn't coming. Maybe I'm too dense to really get the underlying substance of this book, but believe me, I was looking for it.
Shane
Auster's favourite theme is randomness, chance. And we see it again in this novel, which is a story within a story within a story, told in Auster's favourite narrative style. Given that there is so much ground to cover in this short book, I'm not sure there is any other way but to "tell" this story. However, only the main story line heads towards any type of conclusion in this book, while the others stall midway, again, demonstrating randomness, perhaps?

I like this book because it deals with the...more
Mike
I'm not exactly sure how to tackle my feelings on this book. Like a lot of American novels it sort of reads itself--the prose is quick and paced to have you turning the page. And Auster's endless vault of ideas helps to keep the pages moving as well, but there was something missing in this one I felt. Before this the only things I've read by him were The New York Trilogy (which is great) and the utterly fantastic introduction he wrote to Knut Hamsun's Hunger, but both of these seem to have a vis...more
Elsje
Ik las Paul Auster - Orakelnacht. In mijn biebje hadden ze niet de originele versie, dus ik las 'm in het Nederlands.

Wat een mooi boekje (206 pagina's, vrij wijd gedrukt)! Men zegt wel eens: wie schrijft die blijft. En dat is voor mij een beetje het thema van dit boek.

Het verhaal
De hoofdpersoon Sidney, een schrijver die herstelt van een ernstige ziekte, probeert zijn leven weer een beetje op orde te krijgen. Hoe doet hij dat: door te schrijven. Hij koopt een mooi schrift en op het moment dat hij...more
Nawrast
هذه اول رواية اقرأها لبول أوستر، احد اشهر كتاب امريكا المعاصرين، ولن تكون الاخيرة ان شاء الله...
شيقة جدا وذات حبكة قوية.. متداخله الأمكنة والازمنة...
تدور عن كاتب روائي يدعى "سندي أور" يشرع في كتابة رواية جديدة بعد تماثله للشفاء، مستخدما دفتر أزرق برتغالي الصنع، سيكون له فيما بعد سحرا ابداعياً على بطله
وينقلنا أوستر بين روايته هذه وبين نص الرواية التي يكتبها بطله "سندي" وبطلها الاخر "نيك بوين" وهو محررا في دار نشر في نيويورك
معاناة الكاتب ومخاض الابداع الروائي هما جوهر الرواية،
الأحساس بالزمن، الح...more
El
And here I am back with Paul Auster and my ongoing love/hate relationship with him. What keeps drawing me back to him is his treatment of writers and the craft of writing in his stories, and I feel, through reading Auster, that I'm gaining some new insight through his characters. There have been a few sour grapes in our literary relationship, but there's this overwhelming "What is he up to now?" feeling that brings me back.

So here we have Sidney Orr, just released from the hospital after recover...more
Gmatchette
There aren't many books that make a serious attempt to explore synchronicity, but this is one. I think Sidney goes from a rationalist to a fabulist/mystic though is own limitations often keep him from knowing what he knows. His happiness for being alive at the end of the book is more felt than understood and I liked that; also, that the book self refers to the Trause note which is basically to look for another notebook (of which the novel is the product 20 years later) that allows Sidney to begi...more
إبراهيم   عادل
أول قراءاتي لـ بول أوستر
.
رواية جيدة ..

بوليسية، ولكنها مكتوبة بإتقان
.
كتبت عنها هنا
http://www.abjjad.com/review/2000519169
Mina Saher
رواية جميلة جداً، محكمة في كل تفاصيلها.

Adam
I'm starting to really understand why some people who like Auster well enough don't necessarily look forward to the upcoming Auster book, and think that he should probably take an extended break once in a while, or stop writing novels, period. That probably sounds like a flippant remark, a mark of real dissatisfaction with at least this Auster novel, but it's not, really.

Because I like Auster, and I have no problem with artists who endlessly explore permutations of themes and characters that fa...more
Matthew
Marx once said "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." Sidney Orr (narrator) and the author's alter ego John Trause, through the progression of this recursive and elliptical story gradually come to learn that their words have consequences. That they may unleash a blizzard of coincidences or an avalanche of catastrophe. Words create tragedy, both through hopes and fears. Life will not conform to the dictates of drama or fiction. When Bowen is locked in the basement vault of t...more
Adam
My favorite part of Paul Auster's writing is his descriptions of interpersonal relationships, be they familial, romantic, business, etc. He manages to nail so many details and nuances so beautifully without being trite or florid or faking anything. And this novel fits that bill to the t. The Sid/Grace relationship was brilliantly fleshed out and detailed for a novel under 250 pages, with each character seemingly intensely real, their relationship understandable and believable.
But, Auster is mor...more
Holly
After a protracted, mysterious illness, fiction/screenwriter Sidney Orr buys a blue Portugese notebook and returns to writing (writes himself a life??), starting w/ a paratext loosely following on a story-w/in-a-story told in Hammet's "Maltese Falcon." Strange events ensue, making Sidney and the reader question future and past, premonition, love, trust, disappearance, and morality.

I personally LOVE Auster's methods, and I never tire of his puzzles. This is the kind of book that frustrates and ex...more
Babak Fakhamzadeh
A reasonably charming little novel by this New York author who's always been heavy on synchronicity, this volume not being an exception. On the downside, the book, at under 200 pages, takes a very long time to get going and then, at the end of it, I was still wondering whether it was all worth it.
Auster, though, is able to lucidly tell what could have been a quagmire of a story: The book is about a writer recovering from a major physical breakdown, who starts to write a story about a man who br...more
Leeann
I think its refreshing sometimes to find a writer who leaves you a bit of space to make up your own mind rather than attempting to overtly express a strong point of view.. I love those who make strong statements (like Orwell for example) and admire the fact that they use their craft for a particular purpose -as a means to an end - but not every one can do this as skillfully and sometimes the story can suffer at the hands of the teller. I am glad Auster chose to write this story from the main cha...more
Nenette
A story within a story within a story, with intersecting characters. Fiction is interspersed with facts. It would have been confusing, but Paul Auster’s narrative ensured otherwise. Probably it was because of the many footnotes that explain certain events and characters...It was actually all good until the end. The story and the sub-stories have a lot of peaks, but why does it feel like I’m in a valley after I’ve finished the book? Is it the same case as the sub-stories in the book – for one man...more
Bob
Probably not that many Auster readers start 2004's Oracle Night the second after finishing 1987's In the Country of Last Things, so don't notice that Boris Stepanovich, a significant secondary character in the latter, has a brief role as a cab driver in the former.

More noteworthy, and scary, is that Jacob, the late-adolescent gone wrong (not just a little wrong, either) mirrors the character of Mark in Auster's wife Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved - I hope this didn't really happen to them.

Suggesti...more
Kyle
2003. This book started out amazing. It breathes New York City. It has a main character, a writer, named Sidney Orr, age 34, whom I really like. It tells Sidney's story over a few days in 1982, when his life is particularly crazy. It also tells several stories he's writing, one of which I found extremely compelling and wanted to get back to, but he never finishes that part. The story reaches a dead end. Some of the other stories were told such a way that it was like a writer was telling you abou...more
Ada Bonnefoi
The novel plays on multiple nested levels: On top, Sidney Orr, a writer, telling two weeks of his life in 1982. He has had an accident and is currently on the road to recovery. After buying a notebook he takes up his literary activities again. He writes his story almost in a trance. It is about Nick Bowen, an editor who wants to start his life anew. A motif that Sid has stolen from the "Maltese Falcon". Nick, in the story, proofreads a book titled "Oracle Night". A book of the long-dead author S...more
R.
New York, un écrivain, un carnet — un bleu et pas un rouge —, le hasard, une pointe de mystère et une mise en abîme, on est bien chez Paul Auster. Installez-vous confortablement et profitez de ce bon moment.

Tout le monde connaît l'histoire du gars qui sort acheter des cigarettes et qui ne revient jamais. Eh bien c'est un peu cette histoire, mais en plus subtil. Sidney Orr, le personnage écrivain de Paul Auster, va se lancer dans l'écriture d'un roman dont l'idée lui a été soufflée par son ami et...more
Blair
'If you have never read Auster before,' proclaims a quote displayed on the cover of this edition of Oracle Night, 'this is the place to start.' I hadn't read Auster before beginning this book, but I'd been meaning to for a while - especially since I've now read three of his wife (Siri Hustvedt)'s books and have gathered that their work ie very similar in style and theme. I wasn't out looking for an Auster book, I was just browsing at the library, but when I spotted it, the intriguing summary and...more
Pat
I'm an unabashed paul auster junkie, and I keep working my way through his full catalog, regardless of my opinions of whichever Auster I'm working on at the moment. Lately (i.e. the last few I've read) I've been reading Auster novels and thinking "Ok, this is NOT the one to start a new reader on." And Oracle Night is one of those. I don't think it would be necessarily the WRONG Auster to start on, but I'd recommend starting with one of his others first, unless this is the only one you can find....more
Corey Dieckman
I was not feeling this book. At first I was intrigued by the creepy, mystical mood set in place by the story-within-a-story, and that the notebook in which the author's author wrote possessed some supernatural quality. I was actually more interested in the second story than the main story and was therefore disappointed when the author abandoned all of his gimmicks 3/4 into the novel. No more footnotes (these were useless, and done to poor effect, especially when compared with the masterful use o...more
Mahmoud
روند قصه آرام پيش مى‌رود و خواننده هم از اطلاعات و رويدادها لذت مى‌برد. خواننده هم‌پاى راوى در قصه پيش مى‌رود و در اواخر قصه كه حوادث را كنار هم مى‌چيند همزمان با راوى حسى بين شگفتى كشف يك راز و البته حسى غمگين دچار مى‌شود. پايان قصه هم منطقى و تقريبا قابل پيشى‌بينى است.
چيزى كه در خواندن كتاب‌هاى استر مهم است اين است كه خواننده از روند داستان و معماهاى موجود و افكار راوى لذت مى‌برد. مثلا روندى كه راوى را به اين جملات مى‌رساند كه
اندیشه‌ها واقعیت دارند. واژه‌ها واقعی‌اند. هرچه انسانی باشد واقعی ا...more
Sarah
2/10 - I found this a little disappointing as it was advertised in the blurb as being "a ghost story without any ghosts", but it didn't read like that at all. I found it quite strange - there was a book within a book within a book (I was reading a book about a character writing a book about a mystery book that turns up after its author has died). There were some points where I thought Auster might have been writing from a personal experience, especially since it's all in the first person, but wr...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Rory Gilmore ...: Oracle Night by Paul Auster 15 80 Jan 31, 2012 08:02AM  
  • A Quiet Storm
  • Sacred Time
  • Quattrocento
  • The Song of Names
  • Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos
  • Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature
  • My Life In Orange
  • A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister
  • Extravagance
  • Pushkin: A Biography
  • Rescuing Patty Hearst: Growing Up Sane in a Decade Gone Mad
  • The Meaning of Consuelo
  • My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath
  • The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
  • Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals
  • Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night / Come Back to Sorrento / Turn, Magic Wheel / Angels on Toast / A Time to Be Born (Library of America #126)
  • The Song Reader
  • My Life As Author And Editor
296961
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Report from the Interior, Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. He has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix Médicis Étranger, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Premio Napoli. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Ac...more
More about Paul Auster...
The New York Trilogy The Brooklyn Follies The Book of Illusions Moon Palace Invisible

Share This Book

“It always stimulates me to discover new examples of my own prejudice and stupidity, to realize that I don't know half as much as I think I do.” 65 likes
“Bodies count, of course - they count more than we're willing to admit - but we don't fall in love with bodies, we fall in love with each other. We all know that, but the moment we go beyond a catalogue of surface qualities and appearances, words begin to fail us, to crumble apart in mystical confusions and cloudy, unsubstantial metaphors.” 11 likes
More quotes…