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Report from the Interior

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  952 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Paul Auster's most intimate autobiographical work to date

In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts . . .

Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter Journal, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster now remembers the experience of his development from within through the encounters of his
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Audio CD, 6 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by Macmillan Audio (first published September 4th 2013)
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Madeleine
(This review was originally written for and posted at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography's site. The book was a present from my in-laws, who clearly did not give it to me in exchange for a review.)

I've not read anything by Paul Auster before, including his Winter Journal that's both a companion piece of sorts and predecessor to Report from the Interior. While the earlier work is an account of Auster's physical state, the title of this unconventional memoir is absolutely indicative
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Oscar
La última novela de Paul Auster, ‘Informe del interior’, es un libro de memorias en el que el autor norteamericano repasa algunos de los hechos que incidieron en su infancia, adolescencia y primera juventud. Paul Auster, en segunda persona, habla con el niño que fue, rescatando los momentos más divertidos, pero también los más dramáticos. De esta manera, asistimos a un ejercicio de honestidad por parte del escritor, que intenta desentrañar aquellos años, aderezados de pensamientos y conflictos i ...more
Will Walton
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Upon finishing REPORT FROM THE INTERIOR, I said to my friend, "This is a strange, interesting book." I stand by that remark; Auster's newest memoir is definitely unusual. But above all things it is beautiful.

I was captivated by Auster's odd mixtape of memories, his blunt honesty, his tenderness. His recollections of past anxieties, especially in passages recalling his early twenties, resonated with me (sometimes scarily - that was part of this memoir's effect). But INTERIOR is also incredibly c
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Sam Johnson
I had given up on Auster in recent years. The novels were becoming too repetitive in style and substance. (It pains me to say that, since I still think of The New York Trilogy all the time.) I picked this up when I saw it at the library for old times' sake and began it that day. The first two thirds are very good, and the middle third--where Auster describes two movies that affected him as a kid--is fantastic. Anyone who has ever been affected by a movie when he or she was a kid should read this ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never read anything like this. I had said that about Winter Journal some time ago. Now I say it about Report from the Interior, written by the same author. “Report from the Interior” is quite a deceptive title and yet only apt when you start reading the book and getting to know more about the content and what it is about. There are very few books that I can reread and this one is definitely one of them which I will go back to sometime. Perhaps, this year itself.

“Report from the Interior”
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Cocodras
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me ha encantado. Descubrí a Auster hace tan sólo tres o cuatro años, pero es un autor que me encanta. Su estilo es sencillo, pero fascinante y su Informe del interior no podía ser diferente. Nos cuenta su infancia como creo que todos recordamos la nuestra, a gotitas. Quizás la parte que menos me ha gustado... no, no puedo decir que no me haya gustado, pero cuando cuenta detalladamente las películas (El increíble hombre menguante y Soy un fugitivo) sentí que el ritmo que tenía hasta entonces la n ...more
Rod
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is rare for me. Most Auster books I've read (and I've read most Auster books) would get 3 stars or above. (Many would rate 4 stars.) So I was ready to love this, in it's Audible edition with Auster reading...but, it was fragmented and sometimes felt pointless. I really liked Winter Journal--this is meant to be a companion volume to that--but this didn't hold together as well from my perspective. The movie summaries were entertaining; the initial chapter, charting a young boy's thoughts and ...more
molly
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
What a strange and captivating memoir. It can be divided in two parts, really, the first being a brief trip through Auster's earliest memories, a piecemeal and seemingly dreamlike wandering through his early formative impressions, which range from cartoon shows to Nazi Germany. It invites the reader to do the same- to collect the flashes of memory that are all that we have left of our early years and wonder why these are the moments we are left with. I remember certain hours, certain sentences p ...more
Paul Gleason
Whereas Winter Journal is a fascinating and unexpected exploration into what it's like to have an American BODY in the second half of the twentieth century and the first decades of the twenty-first, Report from the Interior is a disorganized and half-baked foray into memoir as an exploration of ego. Auster annoyingly writes in the second person in an attempt to universalize experiences that many members of his generation have had over the past seven decades or so. In other words, he doesn't do a ...more
Amy
Apr 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange, uneven little piece that I nevertheless enjoyed reading. It feels more like a sketch, what with the sudden jump from boyhood-in-second-person to the epistolary university years, but somehow, reading about his French days, depressed and sick and poor, are evocative rather than boring (not something I can say about most musings of university students, my former know-it-all/impassioned self included). Auster has always been rather navel-gazey and pretentious (can you name another writer ...more
Holly
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2017-reads
I listened to this whole audiobook today while I was sick in bed. Was able to drift in and out of consciousness and still follow most of his meanderings.
Paulo
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been very much in love with Auster's prose ever since I first took the plunge and read «Sunset Park», feeling it served as a perfect introduction to the author. In the meantime, I've read another half dozen of his novels, including «The New York Trilogy», «Men In The Dark», «Leviathan» and «Invisible». Even though there is obviously a running thread in terms of style, it never felt dull or repetitive. Auster's writing is some of the most fluid I've come across in years.

When someone inspires
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Karyl
My first Auster book was The Book of Illusions, which I picked up because another of my friends had loved it. One day, as I was at the library yet again to pick up my holds (including the aforementioned The Book of Illusions), I saw a stack of brand spanking new books on the counter, waiting to be checked in, and that is how I came across Report from the Interior. It wasn't until I got it home, and took a photo of my library haul for my online book club, that I realized I had picked up not one b ...more
Martin Raybould
Part one (Report From The Interior) is an interesting attempt to recall Auster's life in the U.S. up to the age of 12 - as fascinating for what is forgotten than for what is remembered. The second part (Two Blows To The Head) consists of detailed descriptions of two movies that made a big impact on him as an adolescent - The Incredible Shrinking Man + I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang. At this point I might have given the book 3 or 4 stars but the tiresome & self indulgent third section (Tim ...more
Max
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only part that was kind of disappointing was the sudden finale, very much like a TV season ending cliff-hanger...
Marthe Bijman
Report from the interior is not a travelogue or tale of exploration like the title suggests. It is the story of a boy, probably Auster himself, growing up, so in that sense it is a Bildungsroman – but it is not a novel. In other words, the “interior” is Auster’s own interior, his own feelings and thoughts. It has the oddest point of view I have ever read, period: it is written in the 2nd person – “you” in other words. It’s like looking at someone from a distance, someone else, or perhaps yoursel ...more
Steve Petherbridge
With the passing of Updike and apparent, though I do not believe it, retirement of Roth, Paul Auster could qualify, with Richard Ford, as the senior practicing master of the thinker's American novel. This is his most intimate autobiography to date. I will admit a bias!

I have read most of his 16 or so novels and he is, in the eyes of many critics, established as the contemporary master of solitary consciousness. This can be traced back to his childhood and his parents loveless non-marriage, which
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Yasmeen
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe more like 3.5? I did really enjoy it-- I think it's really hard to make retelling your experience of a movie interesting to a third party, but Paul Auster does it twice, somehow. I feel like he captures a lot of the intensity that comes with childhood experience of formative media (intensity that maybe doesn't fade away when you experience new books/movies/music as a teenager, but changes and somehow doesn't feel quite as unrestrained) very accurately. I was completely engaged despite neve ...more
Bobparr
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non so come mai sono arrivato cosi' tardi ad Auster, ma meglio cosi'. Non mi sono giocato subito i migliori. Questo per me e' in quel gruppo: uno dei migliori. Con un distinguo: la parte finale, di riscrittura (o di finta riscrittura, chissa'?) della "Capsula del tempo" mi è piaciuta meno. La scrittura piu' a scatti, giovanilistica, epistolare, non era nelle mie corde di inizio. La prima parte, quella relativa all'infanzia, mi e' invece garbata addirittura piu' del giusto. Quindi, subito in acqu ...more
Sharon Loveday
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this an interesting insight into a child's perspective on life in America. I particularly liked the film descriptions (they made me want to see these films). The correspondence was also interesting and how Auster reassesses himself later. His work is always well-written and different. I loved Moon Palace.
Linda
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Interesting. Nothing amazing here, but a compelling narrative of an older man looking back at the boy and young man he once was, looking back with curiosity, openness, and wonder, and addressing that younger self as 'you', an approach that in itself made it interesting.
Esra
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bir yazar hakkında, en ince ayrıntısına kadar.
Alma Jylhä
Ei ole mitään parempaa kuin olla kuusi vuotta vanha, kuusi on ihmisen paras ikä. Muistat ajatelleesi näin, yhtä selvästi kuin muistat mitä teit kolme sekuntia sitten; vaikka siitä aamusta on viisikymmentäyhdeksän vuotta, se hehkuu edelleen sisälläsi yhtä kirkkaana kuin mikä tahansa niistä tuhansista tai miljoonista tai kymmenistä miljoonista muistoista, joka olet onnistunut säilyttämään. Mikä tapahtuma mahtoi aiheuttaa tuon ylivertaisen tunteen? Sitä ei voi tietää, mutta epäilet sen liittyvän jo ...more
Jaclyn Michelle
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
http://wineandabook.com/2014/01/20/re...

Last week, I shared with you my thoughts on Siri Hustvedt’s The Sorrows of an American, and this week, I’m talking about her husband’s new memoir Report From the Interior, though memoir doesn’t seem to be the correct term. Scrapbook? Exploration? Contemplation? In Winter Journal, Auster tells the story of his physical self, whereas in Report From the Interior, he begins to map his intellectual, moral and emotional development: his childhood in New Jersey,
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Paul The Uncommon Reader
One too many maybe?

It pains me to say it, but this is the first book of Paul Auster’s that I’ve read that… bored me. I enjoyed Winter Journal, though not as much as his novels. Winter Journal had the plus that it, intriguingly, was written in the second person (a whole book in the second person – how unusual is that?). It was the autobiography “of his body”, whereas Report from the Interior is the autobiography of Auster's mind.

Aside from the issue of whether this book isn’t one too many autobi

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Grady
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The inner self portrait

Paul Auster continues to be one of this reviewer's favorite authors. Deeply moved by his previous autobiographical book WINTER JOURNAL the following was that response: `Paul Auster is a hero among readers of his works, actually a hero among contemporary writers in general as is book always both challenge and entertain the reader, and finishing one of this books offers that rare sensation that you have been through an important experience. In WINTER JOURNAL Auster is in a r
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Scott Foley
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you follow this website, you know I’m a Paul Auster fan and will read anything he publishes. I love the man’s fiction just as much as his nonfiction, and I’ve learned more about the craft of writing through his personal tales than I thought possible.

Report from the Interior is about his coming of age through his very own eyes. He recounts his thoughts and feelings on a great number of subjects from the time he was a little boy all the way into adulthood. Somehow, he makes almost all of it riv
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Brian
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first thing you notice when reading this memoir is that it's written in the second person. And it could be gimmicky, but I think I get why he did it. I mean, he says: "You think of yourself as anyone, everyone." But there is a problem with writing a memoir like that. A.) it's annoying, and B.) it isn't written about me. It is one thing for Paul Auster to believe himself to be any you and to address his readers as such. He identifies himself with us, or maybe he just doesn't identify with him ...more
Marcus Backman
An interesting insight into Paul Auster's mind - both from his memories of his inner development as a young child, and from reading excerpts of letters he sent to his ex-wife Lydia Davis throughout his early twenties.

I would only recommend this book only to die-hard Auster fans, as it is mostly a rambling recollection of his past in a more abstract manner than he captured in the brilliant 'Winter Journal' (which I much preferred to this work).

The first sections consists of Auster delving into hi
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Edith
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Paul Auster seems to have a thing about getting down all the minute details of his life in biographical form. It’s as if he wants to have a complete scrapbook of his existence (in word form) and he is loathe to leave out any detail. He appears to be reconstructing a diary of his life.

This book is divided into sections again - much like "Winter Journal". I enjoyed the first section most because here he was recalling memories of his childhood, beginning as early as 5 years of age. His recall of e
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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...
“In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts, and even the clouds had names. Scissors could walk, telephones and teapots were first cousins, eyes and eyeglasses were brothers. The face of the clock was a human face, each pea in your bowl had a different personality, and the grille on the front of your parents’ car was a grinning mouth with many teeth. Pens were airships. Coins were flying saucers. The branches of trees were arms. Stones could think, and God was everywhere.” 6 likes
“You were too young back then to understand how much you would later forget—and too locked in the present to realize that the person you were writing to was in fact your future self. So you put down the journal, and little by little, over the course of the next forty-seven years, almost everything was lost.” 4 likes
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