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The Brooklyn Follies

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,433 Ratings  ·  1,192 Reviews
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. Through Tom and his charismatic boss, Harry, Nathan's world gradually broadens to include a new set of acquaintances, w ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Picador (first published 2004)
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Caroline .
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Warning spoilers!!:
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In the end, when Nathan is in the hospital, he thinks about all the human destinies he's come to know, and that they ultimately…more
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Warning spoilers!!:
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In the end, when Nathan is in the hospital, he thinks about all the human destinies he's come to know, and that they ultimately don't matter to the universe, they will die and their stories will only matter to them, and those closest to them. So he thinks about writing biographies about these normal people so that their story will be captivated forever. Probably only their closest relatives will be interested in it, but that's ok, their story is still worth telling. That was exactly like the doll, I thought. The ability to take a seemingly uninteresting fate or character and make it matter, freeze it in a story and make it last forever. I think in general Auster loves to create characters, it's as if he just goes on a roll, spitting out one destiny after another, constructing a character as if it was as easy as breathing :)

in terms of the last names I guess I could come up with some connections to what they normally mean in litterature, and the characters they represent in Brooklyn Follies... But I just noticed this question was asked a year ago, so I guess I'll just not.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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عبدالله ناصر

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
Maciek
Feb 29, 2012 Maciek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Wafa
Jun 23, 2015 Wafa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wafa by: eman
حمــــاقـــات بروكليــــــن
بــــــــــول أوستــــــــر


بول أوستر

هذا الرجل العجيب الذي لا يجيد شيئا كما يجيد السرد .. أحبه

السرد وسيلة معرفة لأن السرد هو ما يمنح الأشياء شكلاً
إبراهيم أصلان



هذه رواية تمنح كل شيء يحيط بك تراه يوميا شكلا .. تمنحه شكلا لأن أوستر يعرف جيدا أنك تنظر إلى هذه الأشياء يوميا ولا ترى .. تنظر إلى حياتك دوما ولا تعي ما هنالك .. لذا جاء أوستر ليرسم لك حيواتنا نحن الناس العاديين _ النكرة_ ويعطيها شكلا وروحا أيضا

يحدث أحيانا أن حيواتنا ،على رتابتها ، استثنائية جدا لدرجة أنه ما
...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
Roberto
Feb 03, 2015 Roberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Una persona muore, e a poco a poco tutte le tracce di quella vita spariscono. Un inventore sopravvive nelle sue invenzioni, un architetto nei suoi edifici, ma la maggior parte della gente non si lascia alle spalle monumenti o prodotti duraturi.”

Nathan, sessantenne in pensione con un tumore in via di guarigione decide di tornare a Brooklyn, città dove è nato, lontano da tutte le persone che conosce, per morire.

“Quando un uomo arriva alla nostra età è poco più che una serie di ex.”

Le cose però no
...more
Donnie
Dec 30, 2010 Donnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub, fiction
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
Nov 21, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 supposedly uninvolved curmudgeon with nothing to live for (unless he's exaggerating) to an active retiree in such a shor
...more
Terri
Aug 02, 2008 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Judy Mann
Sep 12, 2011 Judy Mann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Simona
May 17, 2016 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Avrei resuscitato quella persona in parole, e una volta che le pagine fossero state stampate e la storia rilegata dentro la copertina, i cari avrebbero avuto qualcosa a cui aggrapparsi per il resto della loro vita. Anzi, qualcosa che sarebbe vissuta dopo di loro, che sarebbe vissuta dopo tutti noi.
Mai sottovalutare il potere dei libri".

Paul Auster è, come al solito, molto bravo a descrivere, raccontare i lati bui e meno bui di ognuno di noi.
"Follie di Broolyn", che come dice il titolo, si sv
...more
Allan
Jul 14, 2015 Allan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I've read quite a few Paul Auster novels overthe years, but this is one of those that was on my shelf unread until Audible put the audiobook on sale recently.


Set primarily in Brooklyn, the story is narrated by recently retired life insurance salesman, Nathan Glass, who after his divorce settlement has moved to Park Slope believing that he'll spend his last days there,having recently suffered from lung cancer. For a while he plays the part of a misanthropist, but then runs into his nephew Tom, on
...more
Nino Frewat
Apr 16, 2012 Nino Frewat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-fiction
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
Michael
Apr 02, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelly
May 09, 2007 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mona
Jul 10, 2015 Mona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Me ha dejado sin palabras. Llevo 3 intentos para escribir este parágrafo. Quiero decirlo todo y al mismo tiempo sé que no podré hacerle justicia. Solo decir que su sencillez y sus incontables historias han sido lo que me han atrapado. El narrador, Nathan, tiene una manera tan peculiar y a la vez cercana de contar las cosas que me ha llegado muy hondo.
Roya Shaban
Sep 29, 2015 Roya Shaban rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
بعد اعجابي الشديد برواية ثلاتية نيويورك ، شرعت بقراءة هذه الرواية ، و اظن ان رحلتي ستكون طويلة مع بول اوستر الذي انضم بقائمة كتابي المفضلين الطويلة .

الرواية مُميزة جداً ، و اكثر ما احببته في اعمال اوستر ، هو خط سير الاحداث الغير متوقع ، فالدخول لعوالمه يشبه البدئ في رحلة مجهولة المعالم .
Frahorus
Prima opera che leggo di Auster. In questo romanzo l'autore ci narra la storia di Nathan Glass, che torna a Brooklyn dopo cinquantasei anni di assenza dalla zona di New York in cui i suoi genitori lo avevano cresciuto prima di trasferirsi altrove. Si sta riprendendo da un cancro ai polmoni ed è alla ricerca di "un posto tranquillo per morire". È in pensione, ha divorziato dalla moglie Edith e fatica a mantenere una buona relazione con la figlia Rachel. Vince la sua battaglia con il cancro e deci ...more
Gerund
Sep 05, 2009 Gerund rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 04, 2012 Vasco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Hugo Emanuel
Nov 13, 2013 Hugo Emanuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
Barbara
Jul 04, 2015 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Auster tells the story of Brooklyn, the Park Slope neighborhood, as it is beginning the transition to gentrification. Nathan Glass is 60-soemthing and newly divorced. He moves to Brooklyn from some distant suburb. He runs into his nephew Tom who has ended up in the same neighborhood and they are both aimless and misfits. This is a novel about male angst but in a funny way. I liked the men in this book, except for two of the husbands who cheated and/or were abusive. Nathan helps others and e ...more
Hakan
Dec 04, 2015 Hakan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uzun zamandır Paul Auster okumamıştım. Daha önce New York üçlemesinin ilk kitabı Cam Kent ile özyaşamöyküsü Hand to Mouth'u okumuştum, yıllar önce. Brooklyn Follies hoş bir sürpriz oldu. Akıcı dili ve ilginç hikaye örgüsüyle kendisini okutan kitaplardan. Zaman zaman bir suç romanı havasına da bürünüyor. Kanser teşhisi konan ve eşinden ayrılmış 60'lık emekli bir sigortacının, hayatının sonunu geçirmek üzere taşındığı Brooklyn'de başından geçen maceralar anlatılıyor. Son kısımlarda olaylar biraz z ...more
Raghda Elwakil
Sep 12, 2015 Raghda Elwakil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foreign-novels
احببت اسلوب الرواية الساخر..
رواية مليئة بشخصيات غريبة الاطوار..
كانت ممتعة كتيير.. ^^
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Brooklyn Follies, Paul Auster
عنوان: دیوانگی در بروکلین؛ پل آستر؛ مترجم: خجسته کیهان؛ تهران، افق، 1386، در 357 ص؛ شابک: 9789643692957؛ داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 21
Fran
Feb 28, 2015 Fran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, alpha2015
Tre stelle e mezza.

Piacevole. Vagamente surreale, ma d'altronde sono Follie.
Inaniel
Definitely one of my favourite books of all time!

2nd read.
Nikhilesh
Jun 26, 2015 Nikhilesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
4.5 / 5
The ending was the home run. Made up for a sagging middle. This has been the most feel-good Auster novel so far. As ever, the language and mood of his writing is such that it does not do any literary- linguistic gymnastics, but glides along smoothly and I really cannot put the novel down.

What is it about? Its mostly about the small things. And how the bigger picture is ever so elusive. this "about" game is tricky - this novel worked for me- what can be said for sure is that it does not ta
...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
fleegan
Aug 04, 2007 fleegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-books-ever
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
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #22 The Brooklyn Follies 1 1 May 20, 2016 10:11AM  
MADS: The Brooklyn follies 17 11 May 16, 2015 08:22AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Missing Cover & Page count 3 15 Mar 14, 2015 09:24AM  
Goodreads Librari...: please, add book cover 1 12 Jul 14, 2013 06:54PM  
Goodreads Librari...: please, add book cover 1 9 Jul 14, 2013 02:44PM  
Destiny: Does a person's destiny open up or is it created? Is it small moments or big achievements? 4 44 Feb 16, 2012 10:13AM  
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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...

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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.” 5576 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.” 221 likes
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