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Moon Palace

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  21,490 ratings  ·  993 reviews
Marco Stanley Fogg is an orphan, a child of the sixties, a quester tirelessly seeking the key to his past, the answers to the ultimate riddle of his fate. As Marco sets out on a journey from the canyons of Manhattan to the deserts of Utah, he encounters a gallery of characters and a series of events as rich and surprising as any in modern fiction.

Beginning during the summe
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by Penguin Books (first published February 1989)
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Alexander Vassallo I had the same reaction. I had actually thought that MS already knew who Barber was (and he did I suppose) since the narrator is MS. So it came a surp…moreI had the same reaction. I had actually thought that MS already knew who Barber was (and he did I suppose) since the narrator is MS. So it came a surprise to me and felt it was a gross over reaction on the part of MS(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  21,490 ratings  ·  993 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Moon Palace, Paul Auster

Moon Palace is a novel written by Paul Auster that was first published in 1989. The novel is set in Manhattan and the U.S. Midwest, and centers on the life of the narrator Marco Stanley Fogg and the two previous generations of his family.

Marco Fogg is an orphan and his Uncle Victor his only caretaker. Fogg starts college, and nine months later moves from the dormitory into his own apartment furnished with 1492 books given to him by Uncle Victor.

Uncle Victor dies before
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Paul Auster fans
This is a book about gettin' nekkid.

I discovered Paul Auster through the 1001 books list and then went on a big PA binge. I suppose I should have been more restrained because very soon all the PA plots and machinations and convoluted po-mo madness was churning in my brain. I'd given myself PAP. Yes, that well know literary syndrome, Paul Auster Poisoning.

This was my third consecutive read and I believe it can be directly attributed to the onset of a severe case of PAP. But I did enjoy this book
Χαρά Ζ.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-love
_Moon Palace_

Reading this books was a pleasure <3

I tried reading this in the summer but i was going out all the time and i was working and i was having so much fun (SUMMER I NEED YOU, PLZ COME BACK) so reading was not in my plans at all. I picked it up about a week ago and i must admit that i kind of fell in love with Auster's writing and Auster's story.
The way he uses the first person narrative is so well done that i started thinking all over again about narration techniques. Authors who ar
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who paint their nails black and write bad poetry
What on earth?

This book was recommended to me by a person whose taste in literature I hold in high regard. That's why I was surprised to discover, halfway through the book, that it's a really terrible piece of pretentious writing. I felt no empathy with the main character -- a really spoiled, pretentiously "eccentric" kid with an Asian fetish trying to revel in the black aethetic of his free-fall into poverty. He's saved by Kitty Wu, the sexually precocious daughter of Chinese royalty or some su
Steven Godin
Moon Palace is unquestionably classic Auster, and a great starting point, his writing style might not be to everyone's liking but for me he is the most natural of storytellers.This centres on Marco Stanley Fogg (another great name!) and follows him on a journey from a crummy New York apartment to the vast landscapes of the American west and beyond, after becoming intrigued by a story told to him by his old eccentric employer who he cares for. There is rarely a dull moment to be had and as storyt ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye

A Novel Which is its Own Critique

You can normally rely on authors of metafiction to set out their agenda in the text itself. Here, Paul Auster has his protagonist (M.S. [Marco Stanley] Fogg) say:

"The moments unfurled one after the other, and at each moment the future stood before me as a blank, a white page of uncertainty. If life was a story...and each man was the author of his own story, then I was making it up as I went along..." (41)

A Series of Improbable Occurrences

Making it up doe
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Candice by: Skud
I loved it. I loved reading this book, but I wish I hadn't read it so fast. I read it because of someone, and I can't thank him enough.

I put myself in M.S's shoes, and I cried, I laughed, I dreamt.

Paul has a poetic use of language, that's sure.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
While this book starts well, it soon goes downhill.

The central character in the beginning is Marco Stanley Fogg. He drew my attention. What happens to him gives the reader a lot to think about. He is an orphan and has no relatives. He is totally alone, or so he thinks. Until..... Well, I am not going to tell you. And he is broke. When? 1969. Where? Brooklyn. I liked the writing. I liked the philosophical thoughts, his thoughts about writing, about travel, about how people interact and our need
Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Zadie Smith, in an introduction for a Nonrequired Reading Anthology brought a James Joyce quote to my attention
"That ideal reader suffering from an ideal insomnia" -Joyce

"The ideal reader cannot sleep when holding the writer he was meant to be with." - Smith

This is how I feel about Paul Auster, especially concerning Moon Palace. An odd series of events lead me to read this book at the perfect time. I was on a road trip in which the route of my companions and I followed a route traced by the prot
Jul 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about writing and observations and hardship. This book is my first introduction to Auster. After reading this book, I went to the university library to look up obscure writers. One of the writers is Giordano Bruno who believed that there was a parallel universe back in medieval times. There is the theme of journey, travel and exploration into other worlds. The narrator has a name inspired by Phileas Fogg, the fictional character in Jules Verns ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
In terms of flow of language, this book was quite good. Paul Auster has a way with words. The coincidences he appeals to however are way too much (view spoiler). The main character goes through despair, a state of balance, happiness and then he loses everything, but he finds out the key to his past. I didn't really understand the point of this book: was it that everything in life is transient, was it ...more
Aaber  Rinstad
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I'd give this book one star only, but I feel maybe (though I'm not thoroughly convinced) that somewhere under all the awful, pretentious drivel there's a kernel of something interesting. I mean - by itself - the plot elements have the makings of something to pique the interest of even a casual reader; curious characters, strange happenings, wordplay and symbolism. And maybe I'm missing something others can see in this book. Apparently it's pretty well received overall. I feel, however, that this ...more
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Elizabeth Euresti
Auster's poetic use of language and the supremely convincing characterization of his protagonist made this novel one that I remember not so much by plot arches [though the plot is faultless], but in very vivid images of moments or point-surveys of MS Fogg's life.
Living in an apartment furnished only with boxes of books that for his bed, chairs, table, and entertainment.
Living in a shrub-cave in Central Park.
Outlaw cave hideouts in the desert, covered in obscure paintings.
Handing out money to pe
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Opening lines:
'It was the summer that men first walked on the moon. I was very young back then, but did not believe there would ever be a future. I wanted to live dangerously, to push myself as far as I could go, and then see what happened when I got there.'
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read Moon Palace in 2011 and I thought it was a fantastic read. Eight years later and I am glad to say that the magic has not disappeared.

Moon Palace is one of those rare books which stuff in a lot of themes and yet the end result is something cohesive and mind opening as well. In my awful 2011 review, I had to struggle in order to describe it due the book’s deceptive complexity. This time round I’ll attempt to improve on my past mistakes.

The story focuses on Marco Stanley Fogg. As one c
Jonathan Pool
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit
I came to Moon Palace as my third Auster this year, 2017. A year which includes the mammoth 4 3 2 1 and New York Trilogy. Glutton that I am for more, I also saw the London Lyric theatre stage production of New York Trilogy.

Paul Auster writes flowing prose, and stories. He is rather a one trick pony though, albeit he's lived in interesting times, and in an interesting place, New York City.
Paul Auster likes to write about.... Paul Auster. Sometimes he works his true self into the narrative. At ot
Irina Cebanu
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give it a 5 so hard, but the ending... God, why? T_T
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Again, I can't put my finger on why I like Auster so much. This took me more than a month to finish, reading small chunks at a time. The story meanders all over the place ending up in a tele-novella type ending but I really enjoyed it. I never know quite where Auster is heading or trying to say which I like. The pieces of the story are almost farcical ranging from homelessness in the middle of Central Park to a bandit hideout cave in Utah. There is a Moon theme running throughout the book but I ...more
Apr 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
This was the first Paul Auster book I read, before I realized that he basically just writes variations of the same book. It's a good book, though, so I read all of the variations. He's got a couple of main themes--randomness, chance, coincidence, obsession--and some of the books play more strongly on some themes than on others. I think of this as the "coincidence" book. ...more
Moon Palace is told by a young man with the memorable moniker of Marco Stanley Fogg. It's the story of his life, starting with his mother's death and his upbringing by an eccentric uncle, then moving on a period of intense penury during which Fogg becomes homeless and reaches breaking point. (He's miraculously rescued by a couple of friends.) Partway through, Fogg gets a job as companion to the elderly and even more eccentric Thomas Effing, and the narrative focus switches to this new and fascin ...more
Edwin Priest
I am beginning to love Auster, in the way that I love Cormac McCarthy, for his postmodern, pointless, but not-quite-so pointless, view of life.

Moon Palace is an accessible story. There are no absurdist meanderings or confusing psychological side trips here. No, this is the straightforward chronicle of Marco Stanley Fogg, a young man, an orphan, struggling to find his identity and his place in the world. And it is the stories of those he comes to meet along the way, his friends, family and lover.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I did not expect this emotionally attached to M.S. but I did. By the end of the novel I was crying and cursing Auster for writing this. However obvious it may be that all the characters are only on paper, and were purposefully treated like they did, it did not stop me from feeling sorry. Starting from Effing, over the Kitty incident to the Sol's fate, I just hoped that M.S. would catch a break, but it obviously wasn't meant to be, and it is in their family to be unhappy and broken. I just notice ...more
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who likes books
Recommended to Oceana2602 by: bought as part of an ebay package
So there is that guy who grows up, moves to New York and then ends up living in Central Park for a while.

Doesn't sound interesting? Yep, I admit I wouldn't have bought the book, but it was given to me and I cannot NOT read a book when you give it to me. I am now convinced that Paul Auster could make everything, well, maybe not interesting in a literal sense, but he makes you want to know. I couldn't stop reading, but if you ask me what I liked about this book, I come up blank. The closest I come
Probably one of the best-constructed and intelligent novels on origin and destination I‘ve ever read. Auster is an ace at skillfully dealing out certain themes, among them coincidence, monetary loss, failure and the idea that language is the key aspect of understanding and sensing the world. Obviously, these topics are repeated throughout his quiver of works, however, they are always introduced in a gentle fashion.

In Moon Palace, published in 1989, Auster delves deep into the interconnectivity
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
This was a Friends of the Library book purchase - only a dime; and I'm writing in it. Underlining sentences, circling words. Auster has the authorial voice I need to hear right now - a zen melancholy. ...more
Alexander Popov
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Moon Palace about four months ago. I really wanted to write something about it, even though its trace is no longer as fresh in my mind as it was then. This text is not a review. The book is wonderful, possibly the best Auster novel out of the three I’ve read (the other being The New York Trilogy and Timbuktu), and I’d recommend it heartily to anybody. This text isn’t an attempt at an exhaustive analysis either – I’m too far detached from my reading experience at this point. Which is not n ...more
PJ Mblt
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful novel in wonderful prose. It reminded me in some ways of one hundred years of solitude, but less magical realism.

Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
A bit too contrived and far-fetched plot-wise.
Not to mention it was set as a compulsory reading at University by some teacher rooting for it.

Matching Soundtrack :
Codex - Radiohead
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Postmodern American tragedy.

This was my first Paul Auster work and it was clear early on that this man can write, a wonderful storyteller with a naturally flowing style. Early on I would have said that this was going to be a 5-star review from me, but as the story all started to come together, my adoration began to evaporate. There are coincidences galore and eventually these piled up upon one another to being a bit too much for this reader. The story's trajectory is a side-winding, strange rol
Mark Joyce
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Slickly written but forgettable and possibly entirely pointless.

I have a feeling Moon Palace will fade quickly from memory just like The New York Trilogy, which I enjoyed at the time but struggle to recall anything of substance about less than a year after finishing it. There’s a vaguely similar central character – obsessive, ascetic, self-destructive – and a series of coincidences and callbacks, the point of which completely defeated me.

It falls somewhere mid-way between fiction and philosoph
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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

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