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Neon Lit: Paul Auster's City of Glass
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Neon Lit: Paul Auster's City of Glass

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  3,142 ratings  ·  238 reviews
I cannot possibly offer enough praise for David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik 's adaptation of City of Glass. While some critics found it to be a dry choice of books to turn into a comics, I think the interplay between image and text only heightens the original metafictional narrative. The treatment of the first speech by the crazy antagonist, Peter Stillman - in which the ...more
Paperback, 129 pages
Published 1994 by Avon Books
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Sam
the original City of Glass, by paul auster, was a book that i enjoyed greatly when i first read it. i thought it was really unique, a thoughtful, stylish blend of raymond chandler, kafka, and borges. i still like it, but it hasn't aged that well for me. a lot of what i thought was playfulness now seems precious, facile. the prose is polished, but by the same token oddly eroded, flat, sanded down. often it feels like auster doesn't actually inhabit the english language--he reads like he's always ...more
StoryTellerShannon
This graphic novel was based on a novella by the same author and Comic Journals voted this in the top 100 for the 20th century. It's about a writer who takes on the role of his detective character to investigate a mystery but this choice sends him down a path of obsessive madness.

It blurs the line between reality and fantasy and even identity as the author of this tale finds himself changing roles, stories and overall identities. The voices coming out of objects and gradual changes and pullback
...more
Scott Mccloud
Not only a fantastic, engrossing read, but also the most teachable comic I know. My students in a recent 9 week class took a deep dive into the book and found layers of depth even I was unaware of.

It's also an adaptation that's true to the original, but does much more than merely illustrate the text. It uses every tool in the comics toolbox.
Violet
I haven't read the original book, but the story seems so unbelievable that I doubt I would enjoy it as a novel.
The visuals of this graphic novel told the most interesting story, despite the loosely held together strings that are the existential plot. I didn't see the deconstruction of language in the story at all.
I would describe the adaption of City of Glass (and possibly the novel itself) as Film Noir for 13 year-olds.
Luis
Se trata de una novela gráfica que relata el primer volumen de la Trilogía de Nueva York de Paul Auster, y editado por Anagrama.

Con un trazo sencillo y un tanto tosco, recorre la historia desde el punto de vista de su protagonista. Aparte de seguir la trama de forma bastante fidedigna, usa recursos muy imaginativos desde el punto de vista visual para hacer hablar a sus personajes y para describir ideas abstractas y confusas que aparecen en la narración original. Es además una oportunidad idónea
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Núria
'La ciudad de cristal' es mi favorita de todas las cosas que ha escrito Paul Auster. Es también lo primero que leí de este escritor. Es la primera parte de la 'Trilogía de Nueva York' que a día de hoy me sigue pareciendo la única obra de Auster realmente conseguida. Es por esto que me animé a leer esta adaptación en forma de cómic (o novela gráfica, lo que ustedes prefieran). Una parte de mí no era muy optimista. Una parte de mí sólo quería leerlo para ver como este noble intento fracasaba. Sin ...more
Gitte
There was nothing he could do now that would not be a mistake.





The Beginning: It was a wrong number that started it …

I read Paul Auster’s City of Glass about 10 years ago and loved it! It’s the story about an author whose life has come to a halt after losing his wife and son in an accident. A series of weird phone calls asking for Paul Auster awakens him slightly, and suddenly he finds himself ensnarled in an investigation. He becomes so involved that he loses whatever’s left of his life as he
...more
Penelope
I thought this was a pretty amazing graphic novel, and I definitely plan on reading the original City of Glass next. Concepts of identity, the role of the author in creating meaning, and the blurred line between fiction and reality are all present here, and explored in quite an intriguing way. I don't know how I felt about the ending, though. Maybe I just haven't thought about it enough, but it seemed too open-ended to me. In a way it makes sense, since this story is not a traditional narrative. ...more
Bob Redmond
Auster's first novel proves exponentially more risky and rewarding than almost anything he's written since. A tightly-wound postmodern detective story, its subject is language itself.

In short, a wrong number leads to writer Daniel Quinn taking on a case as a private eye. The subject of his investigation is a doddering old man who has threatened to kill his son. The old man, Peter Stillman, Sr., is a philosopher, and impresses Quinn to the point where he gets overly subsumed in the case.

Whether o
...more
Meran
I've not read the prose edition of this novel, so I can't fairly compare them to each other.

The story itself is a puzzle.. Who is Paul Auster? Why does Peter Stillman (Jr) phone him repeatedly? Where did Peter get Daniel's number? When Peter Sr turns up in the City, Peter sees a younger version peel off of him... why does Peter follow the older version and where did the younger one go? Why does Peter Jr's wife truly act as she does? These are all mysteries, to be sure.

Daniel sees his losses in j
...more
Chris
This is quite possibly a perfect example of how a graphic novel can tell a different (and in my opinion better in this case) story than the original work by introducing pictures to the words. In this first illustrated book of Paul Auster's New York trilogy (mid 1980s noir mystery series), Auster himself becomes a character in his own book via illustrator adaptation. Running the gamut of common noir novel character types, the reader is introduced to a madman (or is he sane?), a stable and sane de ...more
Mark
I serendipitously picked this newer edition (which is worth getting for the new Spiegelman Introduction) up from a dollar pile in a used bookshop this morning, and took a few hours this afternoon to re-read it--coming back to it 15 years after its publication.

The book has aged well--and I may have appreciated it more on a second reading. Auster's meditation on meaning (both language and life) is brilliantly captured via Karasik and Mazzuchelli's graphic "adaptation," a puzzling and engaging wor
...more
Maxwell
I had really high hopes for this, and for the first 1/3 of the book I was really impressed and confused and enjoying the abstractness. But then it took a big turn downhill.

This graphic novel is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Paul Auster, so I wonder if I would get more enjoyment out of the prose version (since I will admit I am not the biggest fan of graphic novels to begin with. I like them, but it takes a lot to really hook me.

Mainly, this book deals with really interesting top
...more
Đorđe Bajić
U okviru Komikove edicije Prvi izbor do sada su objavljeni neki od klasika devete umetnosti – uključujući Klouvsov Svet duhova i Tompsonov Habibi. Grad od stakla (1994) se odlično nadovezuje na ovaj prestižni niz stripovskih bisera. U pitanju je adaptacija istoimene novele objavljene u okviru čuvene Njujorše trilogije Pola Ostera. Strip verzija Grada od stakla je naišla na odličan prijem kritičara (u anketi časopisa Comics Journal uvrštena je među 100 najznačajnijih stripova na engleskom jeziku) ...more
Jeff Jackson
The rare adaptation that exceeds its source material. A doubly impressive feat since it's based on Paul Auster's best novel. With its deft ink strokes and airtight plot, this brilliant graphic perfectly captures and distills the original existential detective story. One of the great graphic novels and a perfect introduction to the fictional world of Paul Auster, too.
Stan Kutcher
City of Glass is drawn by one of my favorite artists of all time, David Mazzucchelli. The concept of the book is original and creative. Unfortunately, the creators tried to be overly artistic, almost like some art film with the over-emphasis on cinematography (or wanting to win some award, which I'm sure it has). This book would have been more to my taste if it was printed in a larger format, and if the "trying to be arty" would have been toned down a little. The story is not great either (but c ...more
sunny
this is an adaptation of a paul auster novel by the same name. the novel is very good and the comic might be even awesomer but in a different way. it's kind of amazing actually how well done the comic is considering how totally verbal and cerebral the novel is. it's not a story that easily lends itself to a graphic rendering. but render it they did!
David Schwan
A dark and psychological story. The main character writes detective novels and is asked to be a detective and investigate something. A surreal story unfolds and our detective becomes far too immersed in his work. The line between story and the real world is a blur.
Elin
I found it interesting, original, and memorable...but just a bit unsatisfying.

I liked the graphics/ artwork, and I liked the story's investigation of identity, existence and reality. But to me, I was hoping for a neater ending. I really wanted an ending to match the 'mystery short story' genre and retrospectively make sense of the madness. But...that didn't happen, and it turns out there was no alternative layer of events - it was all just a face-value thing.

I can't help but feel a touch disap
...more
Oleg Kagan
Dissolution of identity is a constant companion in the graphic novel of Paul Auster's City of Glass. My assumption, having not read the book, is that this slippery view of self is what the artists chose in this solid adaption.

Mystery author William Wilson (who writes about a P.I. named Max Work) is the pseudonym for Quinn, our protagonist, who gets a call for Paul Auster (the author of the book we're reading) which sends him on an enigmatic assignment to protect an emotionally-disturbed young m
...more
Jerry Ghazali
Mengilhamkan petikan kisah Tower of Babel yang direkod dalam Old Testament di mana umat manusia membentuk sebuah penyatuan berlandas satu bahasa pertuturan dan mendirikan menara setinggi mungkin menerobos awan dan langit di mana puncaknya kelak letaknya di syurga.

Tuhan kemudiannya turun ke bumi dengan kemurkaan lantas mengelirukan pertuturan sesama mereka, seterusnya menyelerakkan mereka ke seluruh muka bumi sekaligus bermula dari situ asal-usul kepelbagaian etnik tercetus.

Bapa kepada Peter, Bo
...more
Artur Coelho
Um solitário escritor de inconsequentes romances policiais recebe uma chamada a meio da noite, a pedir-lhe para investigar um caso policial. Envolvido numa trama de meias palavras e labirintos conceptuais, o escritor acaba por desvanecer-se nas ruas da cidade, deixando um caderninho cheio de notas que nos permite reconstituir a sua queda no esquecimento.

Se olharmos para as profundezas de um texto, descobrimos sempre cadas vez mais níveis de complexidade sempre que mergulhamos mais a fundo nas pa
...more
Emma B
I realized I hadn't been on Goodreads in a while again, so I decided to chime back in with a review of a book I just read today!

This book (graphic novel, actually) was given to me for my birthday, and I finally got around to it. I will say this - it definitely got me interested in the source material!

City of Glass is, at its heart, a thesis about the nature of stories and characters, and at what point something or someone normal becomes one of the above. In pursuit of this, it also confronts ide
...more
Toru
Enjoyed some parts... but overall, I'm glad to know that I wouldn't have enjoyed the book this graphic novel adaptation was based on without actually having to read the whole novel. It has a convoluted plot, and felt rather pointless. At one point, Quinn the protagonist ruminates on how he enjoys mystery writing because of its economy: every word means something, or otherwise has a potential to mean something. Well, alas I don't think City of Glass is like that at all. It's PoMo drivel with some ...more
Andrea
Having never read Paul Auster's City of Glass in bare text, it is hard to imagine it related more compellingly than it is here in his collaboration with artist Paul Karasik. The noir-ish narrative is built on acts of happenstance; intersections of personal losses, accidents and a search for answers that spin off into new configurations, like watching balls in a game of billiards.

In his introduction, Art Spiegelman, creator of Maus and ten-year contributor to the New Yorker, explains how it all c
...more
Paul
I first read this years ago, and my memory of it was as a 4 or 5 star book, but this time I'm going to drop it to 2. My thoughts on this reading was that it read a lot like reading Alan Moore's Watchmen, which most people would think is a compliment, but I don't.

Like Watchmen, this book spends an inordinate amount of time being clever, and that cleverness is an impediment to the story. There are only so many clever things to do with the art before a reader starts to look to the cleverness, and
...more
Tiffany
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jil
Apr 29, 2009 Jil rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: graphic novel enthusiasts, philosophical thinkers
Recommended to Jil by: Helen Diagama
Shelves: graphic-novel
I've been intending to exploit my roommate's stash of graphic novels for a class she's taking all semester, but this is (with the exception of reading McCloud's Understanding Comics) the first time I'd taken advantage of it.

I feel like I definitely would have appreciated this more had I read it for a class, or moreso, had I read the book on which it's based. Though I admired the visual style and layout, it was hard for me to truly understand what an accomplishment this is without having read the
...more
Jace
I was a little surprised to see this on the "Graphic Novel" bookcase at the library--because I'm still not convinced it needed to be re-writeen in comic form--but as thin as it is, I decided to check it out. I liked Auster's original City of Glass, but looking back that may have been because I was reading it for a class on Post-Modernism and was going to have to discuss it for 3 weeks anyway so I figured I might as well try and enjoy it.

This book was a fine read; my only reservation is that it
...more
Zen Cho
I think this is more of a graphic novel than a comic book, but I am so not creating separate shelves for graphic novels and comics, so suck it, invisible fairy advocates for a divide between high art and low entertainment. Anyway Art Spiegelman goes on a bit of a spiel in his introduction to this about graphic novels and how the term is a silly bid for respectability for books with pictures in, so I don't think he'd object.

I read this before I read the text-only version, because a) it wouldn't t
...more
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“Quinn froze. There was nothing he could do now that would not be a mistake. Whatever choice he made--and he had to make a choice--would be arbitrary, a submission to chance. Uncertainty would haunt him to the end. At that moment, the two Stillmans started on their way again. The first turned right, the second turned left. Quin craved an amoeba's body, wanting to cut himself in half and run off in two directions at once. (Chapter 7)” 1 likes
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