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

Mr Vertigo

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  9,313 Ratings  ·  397 Reviews
'I was twelve years old the first time I walked on water . . .'

So begins Mr Vertigo, the story of Walt, an irrepressible orphan from the Mid-West. Under the tutelage of the mesmerising Master Yehudi, Walt is taken back to the mysterious house on the plains to prepare not only for the ability to fly, but also for the stardom that will accompany it.
Paperback, 278 pages
Published 1994 by Faber and Faber Limited
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 Mr Vertigo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mr Vertigo

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rinda Elwakil
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

اختارني الأستاذ لأنني كنت الأضأل جسماً والأقذر والأكثر خسة. قال: "لستَ أفضل من حيوان، إنك جزء من العدم الإنساني". هذه أول جملة قالها لي، ورغم مرور ثمانية وستين عاماً على تلك الليلة، يبدو وكأنني مازلت أسمع الكلمات تنبعث من فم الأستاذ: "لستَ أفضل من حيوان. ستموت قبل انتهاء الشتاء إذا بقيتَ حيث أنت. وسأعلمك كيف تطير إذا أتيتَ معي"

كهدية عيد : )

هذا الرجل حكاء قدير مذهل ينسج خطوط الحكايا كما النسيج المغزول.. لا شئ في غير موضعه، لا شئ أقل إمتاعًا مما سواه

I read this book for class. No, I'm not going to follow that with an 'and thus I hated it', so if that's your type of thing, shoo. I won't deny that some of those mandated readings during those readers of yore were a total slog, but that was more if not wholly due to extenuating circumstances of teaching style/my young self than the novel itself. Now that I'm older and have an almost obsessively vested interest in literature, I can look at these classroom assignments in book form and say, hm. Th ...more
Skorofido Skorofido
Έρχεται ο χλέμπουρας στο σπίτι βλέπει τον Auster πάνω στο τραπέζι, μου ρίχνει μια από κείνες τις ματιές ‘ποταπό σκουλήκι της γης’ και μου λέει «καλά, Auster διαβάζεις; Ο τύπος δεν έχει τίποτα να πει, τα είπε μια, τα είπε δυο, παράτησε γυναίκα και παιδιά τάχα για ν’ανακαλύψει τον εαυτό του και μας τα ‘κανε τούμπανα, γράφοντας τα ίδια και τα ίδια…»
Τι να που κι εγώ του χλέμπουρα, που μπορεί και δίκιο να ‘χει, όμως εγώ τώρα ανακαλύπτω την Αμερική, τον Auster ήθελα να πω, κι είναι το πρώτο του βιβλίο
Hussam H Aql
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ما هذا الجمال ^^

رواية خاصة جدا، أسرتني بصفة شخصية؛ لأنها تتحدث عن حلم طفولتي المستمر إلى الآن.. عن الطيران والتحليق فوق الرؤوس؛ وانا لا اعني أحلام اليقظة وأفكار الصبى.. أعني أحلام حقيقية أثناء النوم :)

أما عن هبوط بول أوستر بهذه الفكرة من عالم الأحلام ودمجها بالواقع فكان مذهلا؛ إلتزم بالرمزية على طول الرواية؛ لم يقع في فخ المباشرة الذي يقع فيه الكتاب في مواطن كثيرة في روايات مشابهة.

نهايًة.. شكر خاص للمترجم، أجبرني أن أبحث عن إسمه، وأعماله الأخرى؛ ترجمة مثالية.
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it
'I was twelve years old the first time I walked on water. The man in the black clothes taught me how to do it, and I'm not going to pretend I learned that trick overnight.

Mr. Vertigo is the story of Walter Rawley, who recounts how at the age of nine he made a pact with the man who promised to teach him how to fly. Master Yehudi spotted young Walt on the streets of Saint Louis, sweeping the foul-mouthed and lonely kid off the ground with his promise. Yehudi swears that if he fails to teach Walt h
Ahmed Moghazy
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هذا الرجل مذهل، روائي قدير فعلاً، خياله خصب ومتنوع ومحكم البناء، قادر على دمج الأسطوري بالواقعي وخلق دراما شديدة الثراء بحبكة متقنة وأحداث متدفقة بلا تلفيق ودون ذرة واحدة من الملل.

ذكرتني هذه الرواية بروايتي ستيفن كينج The green mile و Hearts in Atlantis - وإن كنت لم أقرأهما للأسف لكنني شاهدت الفيلمين الجميلين المقتبسين عنهما - من حيث اعتماد القصة على فكرة خيالية ودمجها في جو واقعي مختلط بأحداث حقيقية وخلق دراما ثرية بناء على هذا التفاعل، كما أن الخيال هنا ليس مرسلا بلا ضوابط بل مرسوم له أس
James Barker
Hmmm. Three Paul Auster books under my belt and all three I have awarded 3 stars. I had higher hopes for this one. In fact I would go so far to say I loved the first third of the book. 'Tis a page-turning romp all about Walt, a poorly orphan, who is plucked from his destiny to fulfil another’s, that of Master Yehudi. For the Master has been searching all his life for the one boy he could teach to fly.

A punishing, almost sadistic training schedule begins, for the Master must break Walt in order t
Oct 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
I listened to more than half of this and could stand it no longer.

The audiobook narration by Kevin Pariseau is perfectly fine. I have no complaints whatsoever on this account. It is the book itself I had trouble with.

-It is about a boy who can fly. There is absolutely no way I can deal with the fantasy of this.
-I detested the crude, vulgar language. Farts and defecating and continuous swearing.
-The plot is simplistic.
-The details of the time and setting are minimal. This is not historical fi
Nada EL Shabrawi
يا جمالك يا بول يا أوستر.

يجب التنويه إلى أن الترجمة عظيمة جدا.
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, e5, l-1001bymrbyd
"Tinha doze anos quando caminhei sobre as águas pela primeira vez."
Assim começa a história fabulosa de Walt.

"É assim que se faz. O vazio dentro do nosso corpo torna-se mais leve do que o ar à nossa volta. A pouco e pouco, começamos a pesar menos do que nada. Fechamos os olhos; estendemos os braços; deixamo-nos evaporar. E então, a pouco e pouco erguemo-nos do chão.

Assim termina a história do Rapaz Prodígio.

Walt é um homem de meia idade, que nos conta a sua vida desde os nove anos. Com o a
غزل أدم
Not bad
Not good
It’s normal
Basim Mahmoud
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

أحببت هذه الرواية
I loved this novel
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Há quem diga que está aquém do habitual deste autor...Não sei, pois não tenho termos de comparação com outras de suas obras. Quero referir que é um dos tais livros que me "agarraram".
Paul Auster possui uma prosa indiscutivelmente bela, lógica e cheia de imaginação.
Narrada numa 1ª pessoa, agora já idosa, de nome Walter Rawley, a história desfia a sua vida desde os 9 anos, por meio de analepses. As restantes personagens vão tecendo as partes de um todo harmonioso,distribuindo-se entre uma realida
Oct 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Reading this book, I couldn't stop thinking about a very different author, Paul Coelho, who wrote a very similar kind of novel, The Alchemist. Both of them are more a parable than a book, a motivational speaking seminar designed to make you wake up and realize the miracles that you (yes YOU) could make happen if you only dared to believe they were possible.

In Mr. Vertigo, the feat is flying, in the Alchemist it's "becoming the wind" or something of the sort. Mr. Vertigo's telling is more nuance
Weldon Miller
I didn't love this book. It has some fun points and some interesting points in the book, but I thought the book kind of sagged in the middle with little happening. Then, the final 2-3 chapters rush through about 60 years of the narrator's life. The rush makes for some huge contrivances to move things along. I give it 2 out of 5 stars as a generous rating.
Ahmed Osama
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ستموت قبل انتهاء الشتاء اذا بقيت حيث انت و سأعلمك كيف تطير اذا اتيت معى
= لا احد يستطيع الطيران يا مستر .. ذلك ما تفعله الطيور وانا متاكد من اننى لست طائرا
- لا تعرف شيئا.. اذا لم اعلمك الطيران بحلول عيد ميلادك الثالث عشر يمكنك ان تقطع رأسى بفأس ، ساتعهد بذلك كتابة اذا احببت ، سيكون مصيرى بين يديك اذا فشلت فى الوفاء بوعدى
= حسنا يا مستر لقد فزت بالصفقة لكنك اذا لم تنفذ ما قلت لى يمكنك ان تقبل رأسك قبلة الوداع
كان هذا هو الاتفاق بين الطفل المشرد ذو التاسعة من العمر والسيد الغريب .. ليروى لنا هذا الط
This is the story of a boy who is teached to levitate by an Hungarian man. As a background, the author describes America's era before Depression and after World War II.

5* Leviathan
4* Moon Palace
5* The New York Trilogy
2* Winter Journal
4* The Book Of Illusions
4* The Music of Chance
4* Mr. Vertigo
TR Timbuktu
TR Invisible
TR The Brooklyn Follies
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was 15 and remember thinking at the time that I could levitate if i put my mind to it.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este foi o meu primeiro encontro com a obra de Paul Auster e abriu-me o apetite para mais. É um romance muito bem escrito, com uma prosa directa e muito fluida, personagens extraordinariamente bem construídas e um enredo muito bem urdido, em que a fantasia e o simbolismo se fundem admiravelmente com a quotidianidade e um realismo cru.

Conta-nos, na primeira pessoa, a história de Walt, um órfão de 9 anos, que o misterioso mestre Yehudi “adoptou” e ensinou a voar. Percorre grande parte da vida do p
Jeremy Zerbe
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could suit myself with simply writing, "The man is a genius," and letting my review at that, because that is what Paul Auster is absolutely deserving of. 1994's Mr. Vertigo is nothing short of astounding in its breadth and vision, encompassing a nation's loss of wonderment and innocence in the story of a poor boy from St. Louis who learns to fly.

Walt is a Holden Caufield of another era--a down and out, harsh little man in a boy's body, trying to keep a step ahead of the game he's convin
Feb 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Auster almost always delivers a provocative mind-bending story. Mr. Vertigo is no exception – the story of a young boy, living on the streets in the 1920s, who is taken in by Master Yehudi, a mysterious older man who promise he will teach the boy to fly.

After a grueling series of physical tests and challenges, some of which almost kill the boy, the promise is realized. Walt the Wonder Boy is born – a 10 year old who can levitate and move through the air performing acrobatic tricks.

Master Y
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again if it had not been for the 1001 list this is a book that I would never have read and that it would have been a shame. To be brutally frank I had never previously heard of Paul Auster let alone Mr Vertigo.

Initially it took me a little while to get into this book and I also found it a little hard to particularily like any of the main characters but as I got further into the book the more it and they grabbed me, so much so that I found it a little hard to put down at the end. The fact th
Lorenzo Berardi
When I was a young dumb teenager unaware of the complexity of the whole world, one of the hit songs I use to listen again and again and once more on a self recorded tape was "I wish I could fly" by Roxette.

Have you noticed that "When I was a young dumb etc." at the beginning of the sentence? Please do it.

This novel speaks about flying. This novel speaks about the hard training that a depaupered American child have to do to become a new kind of Barnum phenomenon at the service of a w
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reason why I picked up this book, why I was determined to finish it despite me being in a bad phase which wouldn't let me concentrate enough to finish this relatively short book, is because I believed the idea, I innocently believed that this is what I needed to finally fulfill the dream for that stubborn kid in me, I was going to learn how to fly. At last.
I patiently and proudly saw Walt transforming into a young decent man, my heart was with him, encouraging, as he went through the pain to
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having discovered and fallen in love with Auster's writing earlier this year, I have by now read most of his books. I liked them all very much and gave them all top ratings, but this book has really knocked it out of the ballpark. There is an epic quality to this story, a tale of a life that varies from strange to ordinary to strange and spans about eight decades. There are larger than life characters with grandness and pizazz and amazing supporting characters with so much kindness and love stor ...more
Sep 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could sound snobby and euphemistic, but I don't mean it that way at all--this is an extremely readable book. It's fairly short (compared to some of the stuff I've read in the past year or so, anyway) at less than 300 pages, and it moves pretty quickly. I think Auster does a very good job of creating this rich, convincing persona of the narrator, Walt--he's often but not always likable, he's imperfect and he knows it, he's got this fun early 20th-century vernacular. My only real complaint is ...more
رواية غريبة جداً عن طفل يتعلم المشي ثم الطيران في الهواء! وما يحصل معه بعد ذلك وكيف تسير مراحل حياته كلها، والمهن والأماكن التي يتنقل فيها. الصفحات الأخيرة والخاتمة الرمزية أنقذت الرواية والقارئ من الضياع.
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. I read this in one sitting. Auster writes a fable of America's growth in the 20th century without losing sight of giving us a good story. By the end, I wished it would keep on going.
Mohamed Shady
يتميز "بول أوستر" بأنه قادر، في أى وقت، على أن ينقل لك شعور اقتراب النهاية. الشعور بالخطر، التهديد، عدم الراحة، هناك شئ خاطئ يحدث في هذا العالم. أنت لا تعلم ما هو لكنه موجود وحاضر بقوة.
رواية عجيبة، طفل يتعلم الطيران على يد معلم غريب. يطوّر الفتى في داخله عقدة ستوكهولم الشهيرة ويصبح عبدًا لأستاذه.
تتحدث الرواية عن التحولات التي يمكن للشخص، ذو الحضور القوي، فرضها، الطفل البرئ الذي كان يمارس هواية اللعب في ثقب أنفه يتحوّل إلى فرد في عصابة، شخص قاسٍ يستطيع مواجهة الحياة بما تستحقه من عنف.
تجربة جيد
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how I feel about this book yet so I hope that writing a review will help. From what I can tell there are two things going on. First, it's a story about a boy who learns how to fly. Meet Walter: a begging, thieving, loudmouth little rascal. Austere uses Walter to narrate his story, constructing his story as a fictional memoir . What makes the book interesting is what makes Walter interesting -- that he can fly. Flight becomes Walter's passion and purpose in life -- the story chronicl ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Il coraggio del pettirosso
  • Gabriel's Gift
  • Islands
  • Cocaine Nights
  • Schooling
  • All Souls' Day
  • Altri libertini
  • Thursbitch
  • S.
  • Adjunct: An Undigest
  • Shroud
  • The Master of Petersburg
  • Stone Junction
  • The Talk Of The Town
  • The Lambs of London
  • Forever a Stranger and Other Stories
  • Operation Shylock: A Confession
  • Love's Work: A Reckoning with Life
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...

Share This Book

“Deep down, I don’t believe it takes any special talent for a person to lift himself off the ground and hover in the air. We all have it in us—every man, woman, and child—and with enough hard work and concentration, every human being is capable of…the feat….You must learn to stop being yourself. That’s where it begins, and everything else follows from that. You must let yourself evaporate. Let your muscles go limp, breathe until you feel your soul pouring out of you, and then shut your eyes. That’s how it’s done. The emptiness inside your body grows lighter than the air around you. Little by little, you begin to weigh less than nothing. You shut your eyes; you spread your arms; you let yourself evaporate. And then, little by little, you lift yourself off the ground.
Like so.”
“That's how it is with want. As long as you lack something you yearn for it without cease. if only I could have that one thing, you tell yourself, all my problems would be solved. But once you get it, once the object of your desires is thrust into your hands, it begins to lose its charm. Other wants assert themselves, other desires make themselves felt, and bit by bit you discover that you're right back where you started.” 13 likes
More quotes…