Heidi's Reviews > Man in the Dark

Man in the Dark by Paul Auster
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Aug 09, 09

bookshelves: lapl, recorded-books-lapl, written-review
Read in August, 2009

This was a very puzzling book for me. The first part has an insomniac older man constructing a story in his head around an imaginary civil war in America in the wake of the 2000 election. I thought that something about the story would relate to his problems, the reason for his insomnia, but it didn't. Abruptly the story stops as all his characters get blown up, and for the rest of the novel the narrator has a long 'healing' talk with his grandaughter, really just an excuse for re-hashing his life and her problems. The two parts of the novel were unrelated, as far as I can tell.
Paul Auster writes well, and I notice other readers in their comments mention previous books they enjoyed. Because of Auster's reputation and the premise of this book -- I love it when authors imagine what would have happened if different things had happened, historically, "the road not travelled" as it were -- I was looking forward to this but this left me feeling the editor should have sent the novel back and demanded some cohesion.
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Heidi This was a very puzzling book for me. The first part has an insomniac older man constructing a story around an imaginary civil war in America in the wake of the 2000 election. I thought that something about the story would relate to his problems, the reason for his insomnia, but it didn't. Abruptly the story stops as all his characters get blown up, and for the rest of the novel the narrator has a long 'healing' talk with his grandaughter, really just an excuse for re-hashing his life and her problems. The two parts of the novel were unrelated, as far as I can tell.
Paul Auster writes well, and I notice other comments mention previous books they enjoyed. Because of his reputation and the premise of this book -- I love it when authors imagine what would have happened if different things had happened, historically, "the road not travelled" as it were -- but this left me feeling the editor should have sent the novel back and demanded some cohesion.


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