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City of Glass (New York Trilogy #1)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  12,506 Ratings  ·  783 Reviews
Nominated for an Edgar award for best mystery of the year, City of Glass inaugurates an intriguing New York Trilogy of novels that The Washington Post Book World has classified as "post-existentialist private eye... It's as if Kafka has gotten hooked on the gumshoe game and penned his own ever-spiraling version." As a result of a strange phone call in the middle of the nig ...more
Paperback, 203 pages
Published April 7th 1987 by Penguin Books (first published 1985)
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Glenn Russell
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing



Paul Auster's City of Glass reads like Raymond Chandler on Derrida, that is, a hard-boiled detective novel seasoned with a healthy dose of postmodernist themes, a novel about main character Daniel Quinn as he walks the streets of uptown New York City.

I found the story and writing as compelling as Chandler's The Big Sleep or Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and as thought-provoking as reading an essay by Foucault or Barthes. By way of example, here are three quotes from the novel coupled with key co
...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
Paul Auster, a guy who ushers you into the silky interior of his brand new Nissan Infiniti, makes sure you've got your seatbelt on, proffers bonbons, then drives you to distraction.

This book is in contravention of TWO of PB's commandments:

- Thou shalt not have a character in thy book with thy own name

- Thou shalt not portray the writing of a novel within thy novel such that the novel within the novel turns out to be the novel the reader is reading

Ahmad Sharabiani
219. The New York Trilogy: City of Glass (New York Trilogy #1), Paul Auster
City of Glass, features a detective-fiction writer become private investigator who descends into madness as he becomes embroiled in a case.
عنوان: شهر شیشه ای؛ پل آستر، مترجم: شهرزاد لولاچی؛ کتاب نخست از سه گانه نیویورک
شهر شیشه ای نخستین از سه گانه نیویورک است. ا. شربیانی
Bob Redmond
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my review of Paul Karasik and David Mazuchelli's graphic novel version of CITY OF GLASS, I wrote: "The graphic artists give it so much dimension that the text-only version seems (in my memory) to be no more than a screenplay to this version's fully-realized presentation."

My memory was wrong. I re-read the original and found it as multi-dimensional as the graphic novel version. Or perhaps the two versions together compounded the book into something greater. Or perhaps they cancelled each other
...more
Daniel
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
A very intriguing exploration of the power of language to make (and unmake) the borders of our existence and the reality we experience.

The main character, Quinn, is a writer of detective stories. One day, he decides to take on a serious detective job. His decision to do so, prompted by a mere phone call, seemingly represents the enthralling power of suggestion.

Quinn's willing engagement with the caller, and the events that unfold from there, convey a heavily slanted view of language-experience
...more
Paria
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1396
این کتاب اولین جلد از سه گانه ی نیویورک، معروف ترین اثر پست مدرن پل استره. داستان با یه ظاهر معماگونه و کاراگاهی شروع میشه. اما زیربنای فلسفی و روانشناختی داره. 

دانیل کوئین یه نویسنده ی کتابای پلیسی و کاراگاهیه که توی چند نیمه شب پیاپی تلفن خونش زنگ میخوره و کسی به دنبال یه کاراگاه خصوصی به نام "پل استر" میگرده. بعد از چندبار تماس پیاپی طی چند شب، کوئین تصمیم میگیره خودش رو پل استر معرفی کنه و همین موضوع اونو درگیر مسائل متعددی می کنه. کتاب بیش از اونکه مرتبط با این پرونده باشه، تحولات شخصیتی کو
...more
Drew
What a disaster. This is like a vastly inferior The Crying of Lot 49. People who like it presumably call it a brilliant subversion of traditional mystery-genre expectations. I call it bullshit.

Basically there's this writer, Quinn, who gets a mysterious call looking for a detective called Paul Auster (Auster, the author, is apparently the sort of author who includes himself as a character in his books...sigh). Quinn of course takes on both the case and Auster's identity. The only good parts of th
...more
Mohammad Ali

اون چیزایی که برای من جالب بود یکی بحث تحولات درونی کوئین بود و دیگری ارجاعات بیرون متنی استر - چه ارجاعات واقعی چه خیالی. داستان هم واقعا کشش داره

ترجمه ترجمه ی روون و خوبیه اما بی اشکال نیست - متاسفانه اشتباهات لپی داره مثلا ترجمه نکردن بعضی کلمات یا اشتباه دیدن یه کلمه. به نظرم هر جا دیدین ترجمه منطقا جور نیست یا زیادی مغلقه به اصلش نگاه کنید. اما به هر حال این اشکالات تا آنجا که من دیدم فراوان نیست. مترجم یه مقدمه ی چند بندی هم نوشته که بی سر و تهه
Negar
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
امروز صبح توی اتوبوس شروعش کردم، بعد زمان برگشت بازم توی اتوبوس ادامه دادم. هر دو بار هم نزدیک بود یادم بره سر ایستگاه پیاده شم.

اولین کتابی بود که از این نویسنده می خوندم و واقعا عجیب بود این سبک برام. هنوز هم طوری نیست که بتونم نظر بدم. بازی های نویسنده با جملات در حدی گمراه کننده بود که چند بار رفتم و متن اصل رو چک کردم و تطبیق دادم. حقیقتا ترجمه بد نبود، ولی نمی شد این کتاب رو دقیقا با همون تاثیر اصل کتاب ترجمه کرد.
هدف کتاب تفکر برانگیز بود. داستانش هم ...

+ خیلی برام جالب بود که یه سری چیز
...more
Nikki
Aug 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I find that I don't know what on earth to say about City of Glass. Perhaps that will resolve itself as I read the rest of this trilogy. I was intrigued by it, at times confused; I found it easy to read, but very quiet, muted. It doesn't spark off the page and leap about, at all. It sounds as if it's going to be very strange and dramatic, and yet it quietly slims down -- in the way the main character does -- to something else entirely. And what that thing is, I haven't figured out.

Like I said, pe
...more
Rauf
Apr 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Don Quixote ?
Not a real review. Just some random selection from my notes. Hope I can clarify some things for myself 'cause the book stymied me. Stymied, I says!
May contain spoilers. Probably. I have no idea, man. Just to be safe, though, I don't think anyone oughta be reading this.


1. Our main character, Daniel Quinn, wrote a series of detective novels using the moniker William Wilson. The detective's name was Max Work. When Quinn went to see Peter Stillman, he said his name was Paul Auster.
(Just a vessel for
...more
Stephen P
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Years ago, on a vacation I was without a book. At a nearby bookstore I picked out this one due to the cover attracting me. Up until then I read books of realism mostly plot driven. After the first few pages of City of Glass I threw it against the wall. My wife must have packed it. Our next stop was further out in the countryside with no bookstore in sight. I tried Auster's book again and after a few pages I fell in love with it. Thus began my ever growing interest in reading a different kind of ...more
Tim Lepczyk
I picked City of Glass off the bookcase because I heard Paul Auster interviewed on Radiolab.  In the interview he described getting a phone call, after the novel was published, by a man asking for Quinn (the character in City of Glass who takes on the identity of Paul Auster).  It sounded like an intriguing novel, and I decided to give it a chance.

It's no secret that I'm not a Paul Auster fan.  At times, it seems like he is more interested in exploring identity, whether it is that of his charact
...more
Darwin8u
Oct 02, 2013 rated it liked it
An interesting PoMo novella. Auster's first novel/second book/first of his 'New York Trilogy', 'City of Glass' is simultaneously a detective novel, an exploration of the author/narrative dynamic, and a treatise on language. I liked parts, loved parts, and finished the book thinking the author had written something perhaps more interesting than important.

My favorite parts were the chapters where Auster (actual author Auster) through the narrator Quinn acting as the detective Auster explored Stil
...more
Esther
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Just goes to show how good of a writer Paul Auster is. Writers like him and Cormac McCarthy get away with writing stories that I can't imagine writing, let alone understanding how to keep the momentum. The protagonist, Daniel Quinn (mistaken for Paul Auster), even in his most unbelievable moments, stays believable. The metafictional aspect of this book combined with the mystery novel nature was an intriguing cerebral mind fuck that kept me reading frantically. Not a book for plot cravers (not at ...more
Smitha
4.5 stars.

It started with a wrong number....
And this kept me hooked throughout.
It is very difficult to describe this novel as an ordinary reader without much knowledge of the factorums of literature. But I will try

It read like a nightmare - Not the scary kind, but the thrilling indecisive kind, where one loses name, identity, purpose and surrounding in the blink of an eye.

William Wilson is a defunct poet who has now assumes the persona of Daniel Quinn, the detective story writer, creator of a po
...more
F.X. Altomare
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had mixed feelings going into this novel given Auster's ambiguous relationship with critics; but he pulls a rabbit out of a hat here, weaving a metaphysical "detective" novel that might be considered a primer for postmodernism. All the elements are here: the author appearing as a character, questions about what is real, works-within-the-work, etc. Auster asks the big questions and gives us a relentless work that never quite answers any of them. Auster writes a tough lean prose that reminds one ...more
Balca
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yeniden
“bir nesne işlevini artık yerine getirmezse ne olur? hâlâ o nesne midir yoksa başka bir şey mi olmuştur?”
Seth T.
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
City of Glass was not what I expected. Which is not a bad thing.

I expected a well-crafted, pulpy detective fiction, perhaps borrowing liberally from Hammett, Chandler, and maybe Leonard. And it was to be fraught with New York-ish details and ambiance. I expected it to more or less follow the expectable twists, turns, and general direction of the genre I believed it to take part in.

What I got was something different. Not entirely so, of course. But different enough for me to not quite realize wha
...more
Eda
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-favoriler
Ve güzel bir kitabın ardından aklımı kurcalayan yine aynı soru; "NEDEN BEN BU KİTABI DAHA ÖNCE OKUMADIM!?"

Cam Kent Paul Auster'ın ilk romanı olarak geçiyor. Sanırım daha önce farklı bir isimle bir kitap daha çıkarmış fakat ona ün kazandıran kitap bu olmuş. Aynı zamanda New York Üçlemesi'nin de ilk kitabı.
Sanırım kitabı alalı 1.5 sene oluyor emin değilim. Ama bir türlü elim gitmiyordu. Bir kaç gün önce dedimki artık bu kitabı okumam gerek ve şu an kendimi yumruklamak istiyorum. Kitap baştan sona
...more
Person113
Where do I even begin? Where could I even begin?! First off, this novel is a masterpiece, although it is definitely not for everyone for many, many, many reasons. The writing is very meta and postmodern (that is sort of what this book, and the trilogy it belongs to, is known for), some sections, while not exactly difficult or hard to follow, are intentionally obscure and offbeat in an inaccessible way, and, despite this technically being a mystery novel, there is no conclusion to anything reall ...more
Sarah
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I was torn between 3 and 5 stars and have settled on 4.

My 3 star review: This is solidly written. The prose is good but not breathtaking. The themes and premise are thought-provoking if slightly contrived, consciously self-conscious. I respect what Auster has done here. I can't say that the story resonated with me in a deeply personal way. There are parts I still don't quite understand.

My 5 star review: This library book had been calling me from the shelf for so long, I finally gave in and read
...more
Мартин Касабов
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Велика работа...
Παύλος
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Πρώτη επαφή με τον Οστερ και σίγουρα όχι η τελευταία! Εξαιρετικό βιβλιο, πολυ ενδιαφέρουσα η πλοκή και σίγουρα πρωτότυπη!
Daniel
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I told the guy in the bookstore (whose name is also Daniel) that I wanted a book that would open my brain up. He didn't think too long before he pointed me towards this short weird book.

Imagine that David Lynch and Haruki Murakami got punchy one night and decided to write a noir detective novel together. And Samuel Beckett stopped by to contribute a chapter or two? I recognize this sounds crazy, but it's hard to imagine that this book was written by a single person. There are so many thoughts cr
...more
Bandit
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely incredible book. To simply describe it as a NY detective story would be an epic understatement. Paul Auster has been one of the authors I've discovered this year and he continues to amaze me. The man is a natural storyteller and he weaves his stories with such cleverness and ease and warmth. His stories are interesting in the way that M.C. Escher's art is, particularly in this case it reminded me of the Drawing Hands, the way the author so cleverly wrote himself into the story, the mu ...more
Nadi Ghaffari
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: فیکشن
خیلی خوشخون و جذاب بود.پر از جمله های کوتیشن مانندی که دوسشون داشتم.استر همیشه نویسنده ی جذابی بوده که خوب بلده معما طرح کنه و تو رو دنبال خودش بکشونه.کمتر از یه روز و نیم طول کشید خوندنش اونم در شرایطی که 5 دقیقه یه بار یکی صدام میکرد یا مزاحم میشد.وگرنه کمترم طول میکشید.
Heaven Yassine
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Plutôt que de vous philosopher au milieu d'un roman conventionnel, comme Kundera. Auster place ses personnages dans des situations philosophiques.
Une réflexion sur l'Identité, la place d'un individu en ce monde et ses différentes possibilités d'être qui il veux, de s'oublier totalement au point parfois de devenir un autre.
Bref pas évident à appréhender mais ULTRA COUP DE COEUR ! 5/5
Judy Mann
Feb 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book is complete crap. It's one of those books where you read the critic's reviews and you think- what in God's name are they talking about?? Kafka? Post modern ? Are they crazy?? This book first of all- was boring.
I skipped 10 pages at a time.Second of all-it was boring. Third of all - you get it. BORING.
More than anything-this book lets you see the pretentiousness of New York critics. Why is that now? Because the critics are so pompous and so full of hot air- using all these high brow te
...more
Vit Babenco
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Whatever he knew about these things, he had learned from books, films, and newspapers. He did not, however, consider this to be a handicap. What interested him about the stories he wrote was not their relation to the world but their relation to other stories.”
City of Glass is a game – an intellectual game of a private eye and a criminal. But it’s a game of madmen – a paranoid writer pretends to be a private detective and attempts to save the paranoid son from his paranoid father.
The novel is ap
...more
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6,927 followers
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

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“Each time he took a walk, he felt as though he were leaving himself behind, and by giving himself up to the movement of the streets, by reducing himself to a seeing eye, he was able to escape the obligation to think, and this, more than anything else, brought him a measure of peace, a salutary emptiness within...By wandering aimlessly, all places became equal and it no longer mattered where he was. On his best walks he was able to feel that he was nowhere. And this, finally was all he ever asked of things: to be nowhere.” 122 likes
“He would conclude that nothing was real except chance.” 18 likes
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