The Brooklyn Follies
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The Brooklyn Follies

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  12,998 ratings  ·  993 reviews
National Bestseller
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Nathan Glass has come to Brooklyn to die. Divorced, retired, estranged from his only daughter, the former life insurance salesman seeks only solitude and anonymity. Then Glass encounters his long-lost nephew, Tom Wood, who is working in a local bookstore--a far cry from the brilliant academic car
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Picador (first published 2004)
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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
4th out of 21 books — 61 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty  SmithBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman CapoteThe Godfather by Mario Puzo
I Love New York City
28th out of 423 books — 217 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Abdullah

رجل ستيني يبحث عن مدينة صالحة لكي يموت فيها بسلام ، بعد حياة لا يمكن وصفها بالناجحة أبداً فقد خلّف ورائه مطلقة ناقمة و ابنة ترفض الرد على رسائله و سرطان قرر الانضمام إلى المعسكر الآخر . و هناك يلتقي بابن أخته الشاب الذي كان يحلم أن يكونه في صباه و لكنه هو الآخر قد تاه في رسالة الدكتوراة فوجد نفسه دونما انتباه سائقاً للأجرة و من هذه الظروف غير الجيدة أبداً تنطلق القصة و أستطيع القول بكل ثقة أنها رواية أمل من الطراز الأول على الرغم من كون الكاتب لم يغفل ضربات الزمان القاسية و التي لا بد أن تأتي بي...more
Núria
Justo en el momento en que en esta novela apareció una niña de nueve años que no hablaba supe con certeza que todo estaba perdido. Así que desde aquel momento la única razón que me quedaba para terminar el libro era para poder destrozarlo después sin ningún tipo de piedad. Ya aviso. Juro que yo lo empecé con mis mejores intenciones, dispuesta a olvidarme de los incontables ratos de aburrimiento que me había proporcionado Auster en el pasado, dispuesta a olvidarme de todos los prejuicios adquirid...more
John Sorrell
Always a creative, suspenseful story teller, but this one has some pretty bad (but easily avoided) aspects:

plotwise:

no reason to talk about Bush or religion (at least in the way it was mentioned); seemed strained and cliche (along with cliches of Vermont, Latino women who work at diners, and gay men, drugs leading to porn and then religion, etc etc).

no reason to have Rory suck off the priest near the end, which I have to admit made me feel actually disgusted, given the positive feelings toward...more
Maciek
Paul Auster's The brooklyn Follies presents a stark contrast to the first work of his that I've read, The New York Trilogy; although the majority of it takes place in New York, the two are different as night and day. Novels that comprise The New York Trilogy have been largely experimental, post-modern cat and mouse between the author and the reader; The Brooklyn Follies is a novel with a pretty straightforward but nevertheless compelling plot and characters one can care about. As the title sugge...more
Terri
I know that there have been mixed reviews of this book. I picked it up in the bargain bin and then looked it up on Amazon. Some loved it. Some hated it, saying that their beloved writer had been abducted by aliens and forced to write this book by money grubbing editors. They claimed that there was no plot, nothing happened and I looked at the cheesy cover with trepidation thinking that I had spent some hard earned cash on what would amount to a dust collector and could've spent it on umm, a latt...more
Donnie
I'd like to give this book 4.5 stars, but goodreads.com fails to strive for precision.

I really, really, really enjoyed this book. The voice and tone of it is so warm and an inviting. I loved every character in the book, not so much for their personalities, but rather that Auster portrays each one with so much sensitivity and kindness. There is no judgement or scorn in his approach to these people, despite their "follies."

There isn't much of a "story" here. Really, for me, the "story" occurs on...more
Teresa
3 and 1/2 stars

While I enjoyed this while reading it, I'm not sure that it will be one that sticks with me.

It employs a few of the acknowledged Auster traits (coincidences, locked room, stories-within-the-story) but this time they're done in a much more straightforward, though subtle, manner.

The narrative voice is engaging, though I have to wonder how Nathan went from being a supposed uninvolved curmudgeon with nothing to live for (unless he's exaggerating) to an active retiree in such a short...more
Nino Frewat
Is Paul Auster worth your time?

This is my second Auster, the first was “Travels in the Scriptorium”Both works I have “read” as audiobooks while taking interminable journeys around the country. The journeys themselves were less taxing than the books.
The reason I checked both is because of -and I’m not ashamed to admit it- the publicity this guy gets!

“The Brooklyn Follies”, written in the first person narrative form, is about an ex-insurance salesman, Nathan Wood, well into his 60s, who survives c...more
Kelly
Nathan Glass, a retired life-insurance salesman diagnosed with lung cancer, moves out to Brooklyn to die. Throughout the course of the novel, he reunites with his nephew, becomes friends with a charismatic criminal-minded bookstore owner, and receives an unexpected visitor. The title stems from a series of notes Glass is putting together on life's mishaps, eventually to be formed into The Book of Human Folly. It's a touching book with the types of well fleshed-out, "I know that guy" type of char...more
wigwam
11/28
pp 248: "He was an odd, unpleasant man... with... an unnerving revulsion against small talk of any kind." I like this guy!

This ended up being excellent. i mean, it began that way too but i'd heard it was sub-par and I'd say it's neck and neck w/ Oracle Night in the Top 5. I loved every character and the meandering narrative and the somber elegiac tone Auster's been into since Book of Illusions. A great read, and if it's the last new Auster I get to read then this is a perfect finale...

11/24...more
Gerund
One of the numerous minor characters that flit in and out of The Brooklyn Follies is one James Joyce -- not the writer, but a Foley walker, a person who makes sound effects for movies. His job isn't all aural pyrotechnics, though: he is described as working on minutia, such as "turning the page of a book, or opening a box of crackers".

Similarly, Paul Auster textures his latest novel with little details that seem insignificant in themselves. When weaved into the narrative, however, they have the...more
Vasco
IN PRAISE OF FOLLY

The Brooklyn Follies
by Paul Auster

Do not fool yourselves. Behind a narrative with a literary style – the narrator’s – apparently intuitive and simultaneously filled with a straight simplicity and ornaments that seem to evoke a 19th century writing ('there is no escape from the wretchedness that stalks the earth'), a world of allusions and references are hiding, and these make The Brooklyn Follies one of the most inspired works of Paul Auster.

The narrator of the story is Nathan...more
Judy Mann
This was one lousy book. Now I've never read this guy before but this book had all the ingredients of good story.Here:
The narrator starts off miserable- which is great.
He's neurotic - which is also great.
His family is dysfunctional- which is marvelous.
His ex wife hates him.Wonderful.
He hates her.
Wonderful again.
And here he is in Brooklyn- Perfect. We're cooking.
So what went wrong?
Everything.
The book just sunk from there.
In fact if it hadn't been for those ingredients I would've stopped reading a...more
Hugo Emanuel
Uma das personagens de "Slaughterhouse-5 - The Children's Crusade" de Kurt Vonnegut proclama a certa altura que existe um livro que te pode ensinar tudo o que precisas saber sobre a vida, mas que este já não é suficiente. O livro a que se referia era "Os Irmão Karamazov" de Dostoievski. Esta citação levou-me a ler esta importante obra de Dostoievski. De facto, "Os irmãos Karamazov" explora e analisa - aliás, disseca - impiedosamente todas os grandes temas que assombram a humanidade. É abordado,...more
Michael
I remember not really enjoying City of Glass when I read it in the late 80s. I think I was too young--or too inexperienced--to appreciate Paul Auster back then. I'm giving it another go now, since I have recently been blown away by two back-to-back books of his, The Book of Illusions and now The Brooklyn Follies.

Both books are told in the first person, but their narrators are as different as night and day. The Book of Illusions narrator is a grieving academic while The Brooklyn Follies narrator...more
Elizabeth Bradley
Disappointing. Fell apart when I started to have the suspicion that Auster's narrator was one of those avuncular ciphers, the soulful philosopher king, able to stand outside everyone else's problems, a lover of all women, shopper of impeccable taste, good with children and dogs, devoid of all complications (such as hair in the sink or a penchant for scooping up peanut butter with two fingers) beyond a failed marriage and cancer in remission. Neither of which messy, presumably lively affair warra...more
Maria
Sebbene il romanzo nasca da un groviglio di avvenimenti complesso e succulento, è la scrittura di Paul Auster che padroneggia la scena: presente ma discreta, forte ed efficace quando la situazione lo richiede, scanzonata quel poco che basta per alleggerire il momento più drammatico.

http://startfromscratchblog.blogspot....
محمد
كأنك تقرأ فيلمًا لوودي آلان
Josh
"I've always had a soft spot for rascals," I said. "They might not make the most reliable friends, but think how drab life would be without them."

"I'm not sure Harry's a rascal anymore," Tom answered. "he's too full of regret."

"Once a rascal, always a rascal. People never change."

"A matter of opinion. I say they can."

"You never worked in the insurance business. The passion for deceit is universal, my boy, and once a man acquires a taste for it, he can never be cured. Easy money -- there's no gre...more
Talia Carner
This is a novel in which the subtext is by far more interesting than the narration appearing on the page. And Auster seems to have worked hard to weave this subtext.

The retired, recently divorced Nat becomes reacquainted with his nephew, Tom, formerly an English professor who's failed to complete his Ph.D. Tom says, "Poe was artifice and the gloom of midnight chambers. Thoreau was simplicity and the radiance of the outdoors." In these words Auster captures the two main characters: Tom, the erud...more
fleegan
Has this guy ever written anything bad?
This novel was fanTAStic. It's about an older guy who's dying of cancer and he basically moves back to Brooklyn to die. But then he runs into his nephew and they become great friends and...so many great characters. There's little Lucy and everything she says (when she's speaking) is hilariously weird. There's the B.P.M. who turns into an actual character in the book. There's Harry (gay) who is interesting. The Chowders, Aurora, just lots of neat characters...more
Kitty-Wu

Nathan Glass ha sobrevivido a un cáncer de pulmón y a un divorcio después de treinta y tres años de matrimonio, y ha vuelto a Brooklyn, el lugar donde nació y pasó su infancia. Quiere vivir allí lo que le queda de su «ridícula vida». Hasta que enfermó era un próspero vendedor de seguros; ahora que ya no tiene que ganarse la vida, piensa escribir El libro de las locuras de los hombres. Contará todo lo que pasa a su alrededor, todo lo que le ocurre y lo que se le ocurre, y hasta algunas de las his...more
Yuwei
This book is about the silly decisions that human beings make in their lifetime. It is a story told from the point of view of Nathan, a retired life insurances seller. He is sad and depressed because of a divorce so he rent a place in Brooklyn to find a place to die.
In my opinion, this book was very realistic, because there were many choices that the characters in the book made that seems to be based on real motives, this makes the characters in the book more rounded. The events in the book wer...more
Inaniel
Definitely one of my favourite books of all time!
Wagdy El komy
رواية جميلة..عشت معها عدة أيام..كلما توقفت عن قراءتها كنت اعد نفسي بمزيد من المتعة..الترجمة رائعة وجميلة ونقلت روح النص فعلا، وأجواء المدينة
وعبق المجتمع الأمريكي الذي كان علي أعتاب الانفجار الإرهابي الذي أصاب أبراج نيويورك عام 2001
تستحق الرواية النجوم الأربعة
وتستحق هذه السطور وأكثر
وأشعر بالأسف إني لم أقرأ بول أوستر مبكرا
رغداء قاسم
حماسي الشديد لبول أوستر بعد قراءة "بلاد الاشياء الآخيرة"
جعلني أشعر بالخيبة مقارنة مع المتعة المدهشة في الأولى
ليست رواية سيئة اطلاقاً لكن لا دهشة فيها ،رواية عادية و إن كنت قد أحببت شخصية الطفلة لوسي لكن لا شيء آخر....more
Tariq Alferis
.«كنت أبحث عن مكان هادئ أموت فيه»

هكذا كانت الافتتاحية التي تفوه بها البطل ,وكانت الجملة تكفي بتوقف عن القرءاة لانه البطل واضح أنه عمره تجاوز الخمسين .

كانت التجربة الثالثة مع بول اوستر , لكن للأسف كانت الأسوء , ليست سيئة في الحكاية ,أبدا ,لكن كانت أقل من التوقعات وخاصة بعد كتابه "في بلاد الأشياء الأخيرة"

لكن أعترف ان كان فيه شئ حميمي في الرواية .شئ ممتع ممكن السبب ان أغلب الحديث في الكتاب عن الكتب والرواية ..فكرة العزلة , نسف حياة المدينة , تمجيد هدوء المزارع ..الحب خلافات العائلة , علاقة الأب وال
...more
Edward
Auster’s ORACLE NIGHT has a character who’s trapped in a dark undrground chamber and realizes too late that he’s never going to have the chance to live a life, now matter how miserable and unpredictable it might have been. A lot of Auster’s novels deal with being trapped, how to escape, and BROOKLYN FOLLIES follows the same route, but here, the “trap” while realistic enough, is not a literal one.

Nathan Glass, the narrator has moved to an apartment in Brooklyn to be by himself and die, returning...more
David
Plot spoiler included. The book was recommended by friends as a good, if not earth-shattering, read and the book lived up to its endorsements. The back of the book suggests that it is a redemption story: I'm not so sure. It is a contemplation of folly, but not say, of human bondage, a reflection on loss, death and old age (but not of the genre recently utilized by Roth and others), and a contemplation of religion, America, being, writing, and, in short, everything that makes up the great America...more
Iván
Paul Auster ha pasado a ser uno de mis autores favoritos. He tenido el placer de conocerlo durante las largas horas de viaje de Concepción a Santiago, cuando el tiempo parece extenderse en una línea sin fin hacia adelante. Paul Auster es mágico, así de simple, o su escritura lo es. Logra visualizar en cada línea las miles de cosas que todos vivimos diariamente pero que pocos sabían que se pueden escribir. Es un escritor de lo cotidiano, de lo usual, pero no de lo que usualmente llamamos usual, s...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
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The New York Trilogy The Book of Illusions Moon Palace Invisible Leviathan

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“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author's words reverberating in your head.” 4957 likes
“When a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappear. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists.” 179 likes
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