Man in the Dark
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Man in the Dark

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  5,209 ratings  ·  573 reviews
Man in the Dark is Paul Auster’s brilliant, devastating novel about the many realities we inhabit as wars flame all around us.

Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident in his daughter’s house in Vermont. When sleep refuses to come, he lies in bed and tells himself stories, struggling to push back thoughts about things he would prefer to forget—his...more
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published August 21st 2008 (first published January 1st 2008)
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K.D. Absolutely
Jan 09, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Paul Auster fans
Shelves: saddest, mystery, drama, war
The Philippines exports lots of domestic helpers (household helpers, nannies, girl Fridays, cleaners, caregivers, etc.) to overseas. Those ladies and men are normally college graduates or finished some units in college. Most of them are teachers because their monthly salary here in the Philippines is low and not enough to satisfy that they think they families deserve. Most of them find their possible employers from agencies who have contacts abroad, mostly in Hong Kong, Singapore and some countr...more
Imogen
Back when I was an undergraduate in college (not that I ever did any graduate work, but I'm about to make fun of myself, and making fun of 'undergraduates' is a literary tradition in these parts) I got a total boner* for structuralism. And then post-structuralism. I was dating Sarah and she was like, 'Hey, you like this soulless pomo bullshit, you should read this book I just read and didn't like, the New York Trilogy,' I was all, sweet, empty soulless pomo bullshit! And read it, and didn't real...more
Shovelmonkey1
Jan 05, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like their words carefully folded
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: a previous brief encounter with Auster
*Fanfare*
Yes, it is Paul Auster time again ladies and gentlemen.

Paul. I love you.

Almost as hard to write as it is to say, although technically my fingers are more limber and better versed at communication as they are without the subtle patina of sceptical hoar frost which coats my cryogenically chilled cardio-vascular chambers.

As I have previously discussed, my first few dates with Paul were suspicious, sullen affairs where I peered at the pages with an arched eyebrow trying to decided... " g...more
Mark
There are some books which I find seem unpromising but quickly catch you up and sweep you along and this is one of them. An old man, August Brill, newly widowed and bed-ridden owing to a car accident lies unable to sleep as does his daughter, a writer discarded by her husband; and his granddaughter, newly bereaved after the violent death of her ex-boyfriend. In order to pass the bleak, black time of the depths of night he tells himself stories. Stories in which he desperately tries to close his...more
Teresa
I enjoy the 'tricks' in Auster's fiction, even if they are repetitive throughout his oeuvre. Though this novel contains none of his usual tricks, Auster seems to explain why he sometimes puts himself into his own works through the words of August Brill, his narrator. Brill is telling himself a story, in the dark, because he can't sleep:
The story is about a man who must kill the person who created him, and why pretend that I am not that person? By putting myself into the story, the story become
...more
Kitty-Wu
Me da igual que Auster empiece a jugar a las muñecas rusas en la página 3, me da igual que me recuerde a Travels in the Scriptorium, me da igual que sus personajes me recuerden a otros, me da igual que haya tanto escritor suelto en Nueva York, me da absolutamente igual todo, porque una vez más, Auster me engancha desde la primera página y no me deja ir. Y estoy tan a gusto dentro de su mundo... el otro día salía por esta página el tema de nuestros autores vivos favoritos: bien, yo me iría de cop...more
Lee
Reminded me of a Borges story I read in a high school Spanish class (a grita grande to Señor Marti!) in which a guy is reading a book about a character coming to murder a man reading a book and the reader looks out his window and sees a man coming exactly as described in the book. I just skimmed "The Garden of Forking Paths" and there's a similar but not exact scenario toward the end of that one. Lots of Borges stories involve porous borders between parallel worlds, often also involving spy nove...more
Emir Never
At the start of Paul Auster's Man in the Dark the author immediately gets down to business:

"I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American wilderness. Upstairs, my daughter and granddaughter are asleep in their bedrooms, each one alone as well, the forty-seven-year-old Miriam, my only child, who has slept alone for the past five years, and the twenty-year-old Katya, Miriam's only child, who use
...more
Kim
I'm not sure what compelled me to pick this up. I think the line 'Themes are hungry ghosts' caught my eye. Interesting phrase, I thought.

I've never had a real issue with insomnia. Sure, there are those tension filled days that carry over and transmute into a jaw clenching, sheet wrasslin', sigh-fest. But, it doesn't last. The pull into oblivion is too strong.

I do, however, find that I tell myself stories to urge on said oblivion. It's an easier escape than reliving the doldrums of the day or ma...more
Jason
Man in the Dark resembles an entire series of the Twilight Zone compacted neatly into a single episode. Auster has become known for spinning small stories within larger ones, but now his inner narratives have inner narratives. It all comes to resemble the skin of an onion. I’ve always wished he’d write a book of short fictional pieces, but one only has to look to his body of work for dozens of them. Jorge Luis Borges spoke once about the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia, but Paul Aust...more
Abdullah

رجل في الظلام تجاوز السبعين و بساقٍ مكسورة و يحتل الطابق الأرضي و في الأعلى ابنته الأرملة و حفيدته التي فقدت للأبد صديقها مؤخراً . و لأنه يشكو الأرق يعمد إلى سرد الكثير من القصص و اختلاقها و بهذه الطريقة يساعد عقارب الساعة على العمل أو على وجه الدقة يلهو عن مراقبة الوقت .

يفضل العتمة على الضوء المزعج لعينيه ، في كل الأحوال ذاكرة أوغست بريل مضاءة بالكامل . يستيقظ بطل بريل في حفرة لا يمكنه الخروج منها و بعد لأي و يأس يخرجه أحدهم فيجد أمريكا تخوض حرباً و لكنها هذه المرة تخوضها ضد أمريكا نفسها . أوغس...more
Abby
Meh. I feel sort of like a fraud reviewing this book when it is the first Auster I have actually read, but whatever. I was not so impressed. The story-within-a-story, blurring-the-boundaries-between-narrator-and-characters might have felt fresh and exciting back in 1992, but now it just seems cliched and boring. I liked the idea of an alternative United States at war with itself instead of Iraq, but when the narrative abandoned this thread, I lost interest. Do we really another book with an agin...more
Louize
Feb 23, 2014 Louize rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Louize by: Bennard
Shelves: favorites
From The Page Walker



Life From Another Angle

August Brill is the Man in the Dark. He is a 72 year-old nursing an injured leg in his daughter’s home in Vermont –a house of mourning by all accounts, really. He spends his sleepless night conjuring stories in his head to save himself from remembering. Yet, every now and then, he loses concentration and finds himself recalling memories of his dead wife, his son-in-law walking out on her daughter, and the tragic death of his granddaughter’s boyfriend....more
Tim
Mar 07, 2014 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
A novel employing postmodern storytelling devices to illustrate the inadequacy of postmodernism in making sense of the world after 9/11.

This was the first Paul Auster novel I had read. I gather he is somewhat revered as a postmodern writer who often employs meta-fictional devices and multiple narratives in his work. I didn't know this at the time, however, and picked up this book at one of those sales of new books that nobody wants. I live in a small city in South Africa where people on the wh...more
Jim Elkins
There is something primitive about Paul Auster. This primitiveness is lodged exactly where it should not be, in the fluency and ease of his storytelling. As reviewers always say, he is an inexhaustible source of stories, and in this book the stories never stop: there’s never any danger of slowing down; that is fitting because somehow slowing down feels like treacherous thing to do. What would happen if one story failed to succeed the last in a seamless sequence? Why should that seem like a probl...more
Francisco
Es que cuando Paul se pone, se pone...
Novela más que redonda, de facilísima lectura, dejando caer con ligeras sutilezas su posicionamiento frente a grandes temas (y sin querer hacer apostolado laico, lo que es de agradecer), reflexionando sobre el acto de la creación literaria como escape a un mundo real... que tiene dramas reales y estrategias infantiles para evitar enfrentarnos a ellos.
Muy bien escrita (eso es lo habitual), muy bien narrada, alternando dos historias hasta la ruptura abrupta d...more
M. Sarki
Jan 09, 2013 M. Sarki rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sentimental creepy people
One of the worst books I have read in recent memory. I would bet there haven't been five others I have at least attempted this past twelve months that have been worse than this sentimental fluff. How a writer as good as Paul Auster could have written something like this let alone have it published is beyond me. This book will do nothing but leave a bad mark on his memory and it did not have to be. Not everything we write is worth keeping. There is something delusional or greedy in the publicatio...more
R.
Listen: Owen Brick has come unstuck in time awakened in a hole in a battlefield in an alternate America. He's now been chosen as the assassin (after a fashion) of the man in the high castle responsible for imagining this war-torn America into existence. Along the way he meets a feisty waitress (blonde) and his high school crush (brunette). Meanwhile, an old man recovering from a car wreck (the same man who is imagining this alternate universe wherein Brick is trapped) has an incredibly dumbed-do...more
Tony
Auster, Paul. MAN IN THE DARK. (2008). **1/2. I read and collect Auster’s books, but this one leaves me non-plussed. When I got to the end of the book, I thought that I had bought a copy with the last fifty pages missing. The plot that he introduces in the beginning of the novel simply disappears, and the alternative plot – loosely related to the first – appears, but only developed to a point. Then, it stops and the book is over. The protagonist is August Brill, a 72-year old retired book critic...more
Blair
This short, intense novel offers an intimate window into the thoughts and memories of August Brill, an elderly writer. Living with his adult daughter Miriam (still suffering after being abandoned for her husband five years before) and his granddaughter Katya (recently devastated by the death of her boyfriend Titus) while he recovers from a car accident, he drifts in and out of reality in 'another white night in the American wilderness'. He begins to imagine the outline of a story in which a man...more
Tom
Rounded down from a 2.5. It was fine, I guess. I mean, I read it pretty quickly, and was occasionally compelled by the story-within-story. The long expository bits of dialogue weren't all that great for me, particularly the long digressions about movie analysis. I can't even really think of anything to say about this book, actually, and only a day later nothing registers as particularly memorable, which is probably a sign that this book isn't really all that great, and which earns the rounding d...more
Paula
Man in the Dark is a short novel (180 pages) composed of one long chapter. I would categorize it as meta-fiction once removed or fictionalized meta-fiction (In this it reminds me of 2 novels I read last year: Queen of the Prisons of Greece, by Osman Lins and Diary of a Bad Year, by J.M. Coetzee). August Brill, the storyteller/ protagonist, is a 72 year old retired book critic and insomniac who lies awake at night telling himself stories while worrying about his 47 year old daughter Miriam and hi...more
julieta
The Man in the Dark, his name is August. He seems like someone you have met before in a number of novels by Paul Auster. He sounds familiar, he’s a bit of a romantic, a bit of a jerk. He is unfaithful to his wife, but believes in true love. Sounds familiar to me anyhow, I have read so many Auster books I know I have seen him before.

But I really don't mind.

Because no matter what happens, what he loves the most is a good story. That’s what gets me every time. He comes up with so many of them, an...more
Jose
Una vez más Auster nos presenta un libro de relatos como si de una novela perfectamente estructurada se tratara. Y todo encaja, como siempre. Mundos paralelos, fantasía, realidad, creatividad, imaginación, todo junto, revuelto y perfectamente creíble (para quien quiera creer, supongo. Y yo quiero). El único problema es que el libro pierde casi todo su interés cuando uno de los relatos acaba bruscamente (la historia de Owen Brick trasladado por la mente calenturienta de un crítico literario jubil...more
Carrie Schindele Cupples
I am a real fan of Paul Auster even though I don't like every book he has written. His latest is a beautiful story that lives up to the promises of his great books (New York Trilogy, Moon Palace, Leviathan).

With the twist you can expect from Auster, there is the surreal plotline of a character sent on a mission to kill the author of his story. But most of the plot focuses on an elderly man's look back on his life and the people in his real story -- his wife, his daughter and his granddaughter.

Th...more
Onka
A book without chapters and two parallel worlds are not the greatest combination for an audiobook. While listening to the story I was often confused. It always took me a while to figure out when those worlds switched. However I really liked how the author made up "new" civil war to point out how we often turn against each other and absurdity of such fight.
Great bonus is narration by the author himself. His voice just gives me chills! :)
علياء
النهاية مدهشة ومؤلمة، كيف تتركز المخاوف والأزمات لدى شخصية الحفيدة وجدّها، كل واحد منهما من خلال منظوره. وكيف تبدأ الرواية على نحو مغرق في الخيال، لتنتهي بصدمة واقع يترك آثاره على الجميع، وعلى القارئ أيضاً. كل العوالم ممكنة لدى قراءة "بول أوستر"، خصوصاً أن روايته هذه "رجل في الظلام" تشبه في بنائها إلى حد كبير روايته "ليلة التنبؤ" في كثير من عناصرها، وترك خيوط العالم المتخيل غير مكتملة لصالح الواقع المباشر.
"لا يوجد واقعٌ وحيد، يا عريف. هناك أكثر من واقع. ليس هناك عالَم وحيد. هناك عدّةُ عوالم، وك...more
R.f.k

راوية جميله ك شخصيات وربط الاحداث
مابين العراق والحرب الاهلية الامريكيه
أكثر ما اعجبني الحوار بين الجد وحفيدتة
لم أستمتع بها كثيرا ربما يعود ذلك لأنني قراتها بشكل متقطع
Natacha Martins
Paul Auster é um dos meus autores favoritos e quando pego num livro dele é sempre com a certeza de que serão dias bem passados. Este "Homem na Escuridão", felizmente, confirmou a regra não sendo a excepção. :)

O "Homem na Escuridão" é August Brill, um septuagenário, que sofreu um acidente de viação e está a recuperar em casa da filha. Sofre de insónias e as noites que passa sozinho no escuro do quarto, passa-as a tentar não recordar tudo aquilo e todos aqueles que perdeu ao longo da vida. Para co...more
AmberBug
Shelf Notes Review

Dear Reader,

This is another wonderfully descriptive novel by Paul Auster. Some people don't like his style but I wholeheartedly adore it, maybe minus the reoccurring characters of cheating men (although maybe he writes what he knows?!? He is on his second wife). His books usually contain unusual situations with a heavy hand of existentialism. This novel is exactly that, it starts off with the main character telling a story in his head about a man who wakes up in a hole with lit...more
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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

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“We have missed him in the sunshine, in the storm, in the twilight, ever since. ” 45 likes
“Betty died of a broken heart. Some people laugh when they hear that phrase, but that's because they don't know anything about the world. People die of broken hearts. It happens every day, and it will go on happening to the end of time.” 33 likes
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