Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “El libro de las ilusiones” as Want to Read:
El libro de las ilusiones
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

El libro de las ilusiones

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  17,622 Ratings  ·  965 Reviews
David Zimmer, un escritor y profesor de literatura de Vermont, se pasa los días bebiendo y cavilando sobre el minuto aquel en que su mujer y sus hijos todavía no habían subido al avión que estalló. Una noche, por primera vez en seis meses, algo lo hace reír. El causante es Hector Mann, uno de los últimos cómicos del cine mudo. David escribe y publica un libro sobre Mann, u ...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published April 30th 2003 by Anagrama (first published 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about El libro de las ilusiones, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
David Yes it is; definitely. Also thought provoking and confusing
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Richard Derus
Jan 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: one furious, disgusted star of however many stars there are in a galaxy

I've never been fond of pompous writing, the kind that checks its look in the mirror of acclaim and piles on the self-satisfied smirking smugness that makes me want to torch all the MFA schools I can reach.

My review, which I've moved to my blog, says that and more. Apparently the hoi polloi slithering in from the Internet's more sanctimonious quarters don't agree with me, therefore I must be wrong.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Book of Illusions, Paul Auster
The Book of Illusions is a novel by American writer Paul Auster, published in 2002. It was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2004.
Set in the late 1980s, the story is written from the perspective of David Zimmer, a university professor who, after losing his wife and children in a plane crash, falls into a routine of depression and isolation. After seeing one of the silent comedies of Hector Mann, an actor missing since the 1920s, he
...more
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annet
Apr 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have changed my mind about this book. The first pages were tough to read and I wasn't sure if I could make it to the end. But the story grew on me. This book has been on my shelves for a long time, the first Auster I bought. I just love Brooklyn Follies, was intrigued by Man in the Dark and Auggie Wren's Xmas story is great as well. The story line is intriguing: A man looses his wife and two children in a plane crash. In sorrow, he is fascinated by a silent movie actor, who disappeared from th ...more
Erik
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Auster, you bastard!

The man writes such depressing stuff. As with the other Auster I've read (I know I've only read 2 Austers, I am such a failure at being pretentious), I finished this and I was like... what, why did I read this?

To explain myself I should say that I follow the Roger Ebert school of criticism. Roger Ebert cares more about how a movie makes him feel than on its technical merits. Granted, this is rather less valid in the medium of words on a page than the sound and fury of fi
...more
Jill
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By reading this book I have become a die-hard Auster fan. The man is amazing. So clever, so imaginitive, so poetic and almost profound. This book rambles, and in doing so touches on so many intertwined narratives that one almost gives up on what was assumed to be the original plot and assumes the opening catch phrase was just another Paul Auster smoke screen story line. But this one, even in creating such an intricatedly woven network of a character experiences, never looses sight of its ultimat ...more
Chris_P
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Auster obviously has a thing for men who linger between reality and nothingness. Men whose realities take a turn towards the vague, so much so, that they seem to dress themselves in the vagueness that surrounds them. Men who lose everything or men who never really had anything to begin with. Men who seem to be caught for good inside an illusion along with everyone that surrounds them. Now they’re here, now they’re not. There are two of those men in The Book of Illusions: the narrator and He ...more
Parastoo Ashtian
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب من از دل اندوه و افسوس عمیقی زاده شده بود. حتی حالا که آن دوران را پشت سر گذاشتهام آن اندوه رهایم نکرده است. نوشتن درباره کمدی بهانهای بیش نبود، دارویی بود که یک سال تمام هر روز بی رعایت زمان بندی میخوردم تا درد درونم را آرام کند. از برخی جهات این دارو اثر کرد.

متن از کتاب
...more
Krenzel
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ala-notables, 1001
*WARNING FOR SPOILERS*

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound or not? This famous question is closely examined in "The Book of Illusions," by author Paul Auster, as he tells the story of literature professor David Zimmer, who copes with the death of his wife and two sons by shutting out the real world so that he can inhabit the "silent world of Hector Mann," an obscure actor from the 1920s. After leaving a dozen movies behind that nobody seems to know about, Hecto
...more
Blair
David Zimmer is a teacher and writer whose wife and two young sons have been killed in an aeroplane crash. At his lowest ebb, suicidal and alcoholic, David sees a silent film on television and laughs for the first time since the tragedy. Thereafter, he develops a fascination with the actor featured in the old movie, Hector Mann - a minor star of silent comedies who vanished in 1929 and was never seen or heard of again. Travelling around the world in order to visit the film archives containing He ...more
George Georgiadis
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hamburger
Μου θύμισε εκείνη τη φράση που ειπώθηκε δια στόματος Μάθιου Μακόναχι στην πρώτη σεζόν του True Detective: "To realize that all your life, all your love, all your hate, all your memories, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room, a dream about being a person". Μεγάλος Auster και πάλι.
Doug
May 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who's stranded in an airport for 24 hours
I just recommended this book to someone stranded in the Minneapolis airport. I had forgotten how much I liked it until I saw it sitting there quietly on the shelf, minding it's own business.

This is why real books are so much more awesome than ebooks--they come back to tickle your mind. That, and when you spill wine on them (like I did on my copy of The Book of Illusions) they don't give up the ghost in an electric funeral.

Anyhow. Take that, Minneapolis.
Steven  Godin
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, america
Being drawn into Paul Auster's fiction was one of the reasons my reading became more widespread. This story grabbed me from the off, and was indeed difficult to put down. Ok so he is an acquired taste, but there is just something about his writing that hooks you in and doesn't let go so easily. The story here is both captivating and strangely mysterious. It's all about digging into the past in quite an obsessive manner, just who was Hector Mann?, what happened to him?, is he still alive?, grippe ...more
Alika Yarnell
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grief-striken wordsmiths and lovers of silent film trying to piece their lives back together
A surprising book that is riveting through to the final words. I say "surprising" because at first it's not clear as to what kind of book this is going to be. As with some of Auster's other work, the novel is told through a first-person narrator who happens to be a writer. We get long accounts of the book he is writing (about a silent filmmaker who went missing some years prior) and almost forget that there is a narrator involved, that we aren't reading a third-person account of this filmmaker's ...more
Ingrid
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primo romanzo che leggo di un autore, Paul Auster, di cui ho letto sempre bene, special modo per il suo romanzo più famoso, vale a dire "Trilogia di N.Y".
Psicologicamente sopravvissuto alla morte della famiglia in un disastro aereo, David Zimmer attraversa un normale periodo di depressione e sconforto assoluto interrotto, quasi magicamente (o, per l'appunto, in modo illusorio), dalla visione di un film muto alla televisione. In questa pellicola, che lo fa ridere fino alle lacrime, c'è un attore
...more
Dimitris Passas
''Ένιωθε κάποιο ολοένα και μεγαλύτερο τμήμα του μυαλού του να διαλύεται μέσα στο κρανίο του. Η ζωή είναι ένα ονειρικό παραλήρημα, ανακάλυψε, και η πραγματικότητα ένας μετέωρος κόσμος γεμάτος με επινοήσεις και παραισθήσεις, ένας τόπος όπου όλα όσα φαντάστηκες ποτέ πραγματοποιούνται.''

Το ''Βιβλίο των Ψευδαισθήσεων'' δεν προσθέτει, αλλά ούτε και αφαιρεί κάτι από το προσωπικό, καλλιτεχνικό κεφάλαιο του Πολ Όστερ, ο οποίος καταπιάνεται, για μια ακόμη φορά, με το θέμα που φαίνεται να τον κατατρύχει
...more
Schuyler
Oh Mr. Auster, what are we to do with you? This might have been the last book I end up reading by Paul Auster. It's been a nice ride, but I think he's run his course in my literary life. He's not doing anything great with language, though that's not really his "thing" anyway...he's more about playing with narrative and building pseudo-complex plots whose ideas aren't fully realized.

There was a lot in this novel that I found almost laughably cliche, but the bath tub sex scene towards the end sta
...more
The Reading Bibliophile
I read this more than ten years ago, so I cannot write a detailed review. But I can still remember the feeling of eagerly reading this book. And that's a good memory.
Daniel Polansky
This sucked. Sucked sucked sucked sucked sucked. Utterly mediocre. Shoddily written, never pretty and often not even competent (a rough third of the book consists of the narrator describing movies which don't exist). The characters are paper thin, their motivations largely nonsensical. Its got Auster's usual obsessions about identity, and writing as a form of creation, and blah blah blah, but it doesn't lead into anything meaningful. This was my third Auster book, as mentioned, and I feel confid ...more
Benay
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okuduğum ikinci Paul Auster kitabıydı.
Yine adım adım beni avuçlarına aldı.
Okudukça sevdim, sevdikçe okudum.
David Zimmer'in, kendisi gibi ölüm ve yaşam arasında bir yerlerde var olmaya çalışan bir komedi oyuncusunun hayatını inceleyerek başladığı hayata geri dönüş yolculuğunu seveceksiniz. Çünkü hepimiz bazen kayboluruz, bizi mahveden olaylar yaşar ve yolumuzu bulamayacağımızı sanırız. Ama hayat yaşamak için var ve görmeyi istersek bir sürü çıkış yolu gözlerimizin önünde.
Michael
May 14, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Paul Auster
Recommended to Michael by: The library dollar bin
Paul Auster needs to stop. Now. In the beginning (starting with The New York Trilogy) his work was an interesting theoretical experiment. As of late he's become a caricature of himself. I'm tempted to accuse him of plagiarizing the Paul Auster of 20 years ago. The transcription of that court case would be like a general survey of his career and what he still insists on doing in his literature. The prosecution (Paul Auster) would convince the jury that the defense (Paul Austen, probably under a p ...more
Cat
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Como sempre, demorar um mês ou mais (como foi o caso) a ler um livro é mau sinal. Especialmente se for um livro com menos de trezentas páginas.

Esta minha primeira vez com Paul Auster não correu muito bem. Custou-me um bocado entrar na história, já que eu não estava nada à espera de começar com uma monografia sobre o cinema mudo do início do século vinte, e, quando a história supostamente a ficar interessante, eu já tinha desmotivado.

Claro que se eu tivesse conseguido gostar da história, ou das p
...more
Mikheil
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ვიტყოდი, რომ ოსტერის საუკეთესო ტესტია, რაც მე წამიკიტხავს-მეთქი, მაგრამ "შუშის ქალაქი" და "ოგი რენის საშობაო ამბავივით" მაინც ვერ შემაყვარა თავი.
ისე კი ძალიან კარგი წიგნია.
უბრალოდ ამ კაცს რასაც დავაკვირდი, ზოგჯერ ძაან წიკებში გადასდის ამბებში კიდევ ახალი ამბების მოგონება, რაც ყოველთვის სასიამოვნო ნამდვილად არ ვერ არის ხოლმე. ამის გამო -1 ვარსკვლავი.
თუმცა ფრიად ბომბი ავტორი რომაა, წყალი არ გაუვა ამას! <3
Nona
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
უკომენტაროდ , უმაგრესია❤

"არსებობს ფიქრები,რომლებსაც შეუძლიათ შეშალონ ადამიანი,მახინჯი ძალმოსილების აზრები,გაფიქრებისთანავე რომ გხრწნიან.მეც მეშინოდა იმის,რაც ვიცოდი,მეშინოდა რომ ამ ცოდნის გამო საშინელების განცდას ვერ მოვიშორებდი,ამიტომ იმ ფიქრების სიტყვებად გარდათქმა არ მინდოდა და თავს მანამდე ვარიდებდი,სანამ სიტყვებმა ჩემზე ძალაუფლება არ დაკარგეს."
Carl
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few of my favorite things: smart men, secret lives, cinema, facial scars, multi-layered mystery, artistic masterpieces unveiled, itchy sexual tension...I can't love this book any more. One of my favorite books ever.
Bev
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, novel
Professor David Zimmer's life is destroyed when his wife and two young sons are killed in a plane crash. He goes on a destructive binge of drinking and taking pills until he happens to see a documentary in which he is drawn to silent film comedian Hector Mann, who vanished around 1929 after a brief but promising film career. Zimmer begins to investigate the work of Hector Mann, an interest which becomes an obsession which takes him on a quest to see the 12 films which were mailed, anonymously, t ...more
Cassie
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book! This is a story within a story within a story. It's no wonder why it's called "The Book of Illusions." What I like most out of it is that you can choose what is real and what is fantasy. Even if all the stories told within these pages are real (fictional real, I mean), it is still takes you on an amazing metaphysical journey. It is about a supposed "missing" silent film star, Hector Mann, who is presumed dead after so many years after his disappearance. We learn about him thro ...more
Shila shokouhifar
جدا از هر نقد و برداشت ادبى ،بايد حرفى را بزنم كه اين كتاب را برايم نماد آن كرده؛ كتاب اوهام تنها يك كتاب نيست كه شما از قفسه بر ميداريد روى كاناپه دراز ميكشيد و ميخوانيد ... نه . كتاب اوهام كتابيست كه انگار تمام كتابهاى قفسه را يك به يك برداشته ايد روزها و ماه و سالها وقت صرف كرده ايد ،روى كاناپه و موكت و تخت و پشت ميز نشسته ايد ،دانه دانه كتاب ها را زندگى كرده ايد.
كتاب اوهام همان فيلمى ست كه با تمام وجود ،پلان به پلان ديده ايد و حتى قسمتى كوچك از كادر هم از ديدتان در نرفته... اصلا تا بحال اينگ
...more
Hans Castorp
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
No es la primera vez que tengo esta sensación con Auster: la obra empieza bien, crea sensación de intriga, te mantiene a lo largo de trescientas páginas y justo en las últimas veinte o treinta, pum... todo se viene abajo. Es como si Paul Auster no sepa como terminar la obra, como si no supiera hacerla redonda y la terminara con golpes repentinos (suicidio, muertes histriónicas; coletazos de un pintor cansado de estar ante el mismo cuadro día tras día). En otras obras tiene su pase, en este caso ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Schooling
  • Gabriel's Gift
  • Shroud
  • In the Forest
  • Adjunct: An Undigest
  • Dining on Stones
  • That They May Face The Rising Sun
  • Thursbitch
  • Small Remedies
  • Islands
  • Spring Flowers, Spring Frost
  • Celestial Harmonies
  • The Lambs of London
  • The Heart of Redness
  • Super-Cannes
  • Everything You Need
  • Vanishing Point
  • The Blindfold
6,838 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
More about Paul Auster

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.20
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Covenant
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
    $11.99 $12.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In Between Days
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Last Storyteller: A Novel Of Ireland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Patriots
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow
    $11.99 $2.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Gates of Rome (Emperor, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
“We all want to believe in impossible things, I suppose, to persuade ourselves that miracles can happen.” 127 likes
“I was perfectly calm and perfectly insane, perfectly prepared to accept what the moment had offered. Indifference of that magnitude is rare and because it can be achieved only by someone ready to let go of who he is, it demands respect. It inspires awe in those who gaze upon it.” 27 likes
More quotes…