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Leviathan by Paul Auster
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Feb 10, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read in June, 2007

Elegant Examination Of One Character's Descent Into Madness

Noted Brooklyn, New York-based novelist Paul Auster is in fine form in his novel "Leviathan", which can be regarded as an interesting, highly literate, example of crime fiction which ought to resonate with anyone interested in seeing a character's descent into madness. In this early 1990s novel, Auster has cast himself as a fictional doppelganger, the novelist Peter Aaron, who witnesses the gradual descent into madness by his best friend - and fellow writer - Benjamin Sachs. Aaron sees much in Sachs' complex personality which he - and so via his comments the reader too - that he found admirable, and quite enviable, ranging from Sach's own brilliant intelligence to having a marriage to a most beautiful woman that appeared to be a match made in heaven. Auster uses his elegant gifts for tight plotting, memorable characters and terse, yet lyrical, prose in an engrossing exploration of both Sachs' and Aaron's minds. This terse, rather quirky, novel may seem odd at first to a reader accustomed with a more traditional crime thriller, but there are ample rewards in store that awaits anyone interested in reading Auster's work.

(Reposted from my 2007 Amazon review.)
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