Diane's Reviews > Travels in the Scriptorium

Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
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Feb 20, 2010

it was ok
Read in February, 2009

About four years ago I read a strange little book by Paul Auster called: Oracle Night, and only now have I realized my second Auster book: Travels in the Scriptorium, was the same kind of strange book. The cover (all black and white) is what drew me to this book: a stark white room with one window, a white horse and a desk and chair.

We are introduced to an older man who wakes up in this stark room; he is known as Mr. Blank. He does not seem to remember how he arrived to this room or how long he has been there. He begins to think that maybe he has always been there but just can't recall any details.

One thing that he does seem to know for sure is that he is feeling very guilty about something, but he also feels that he is a victim of some type of injustice. An overhead camera in the room is recording his every move; a microphone records his every sound; he is being watched --by who and why?

A woman named Anna comes to help him with his personal care. He senses something deeper about her, that she really cares about him. He finds a manuscript on the desk that he begins to read, it is the story of a prisoner in a place foreign to Mr. Blank. He senses that this manuscript was left for him for some reason--but why?

Various people come to visit who seem somewhat familiar to him; some people bring meds for him to take, and each person bring clues to who Mr. Blank is but, he remains frustrated and in the dark about his past. When the manuscript he is reading comes to a standstill his doctor suggests that he come up with an ending for it.

Mr. Blank.....white room.....Blank paper......Writers Block.....Scriptorium>> I get it.

I must say, this will be my last Paul Auster read. This story style is just not for me.
The unabridged audio edition was just four discs; the reader was fine, the story was just too bizarre.
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