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Da Mão Para a Boca
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Da Mão Para a Boca

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,650 ratings  ·  220 reviews
A narrativa autobiográfica que compõe este volume conta-nos a história do jovem escritor Paul Auster. Num tom profundamente intimista e revelador, o autor abre-nos a porta para os anos da sua entrada na literatura e na vida, quando o que a mão escrevia servia para alimentar a boca. O relato comovente e divertido dessa época é assim, também, uma lúcida reflexão sobre o dinh ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 2009 by ASA (first published January 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  2,650 ratings  ·  220 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure, Paul Auster

Paul Auster's Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure is a fascinating and often funny memoir about his early years as a writer struggling to be published, and to make enough money to survive. Leaving high school with "itchy feet" and refusing to play it safe, Auster avoided convention and the double life of steady office employment while writing. From the streets of New York City, Dublin, and Paris to a surreal adventure in a dusty vil
Helene Jeppesen
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread, and this second time around was just as good as the first time.
"Hand to Mouth" is one of Paul Auster's autobiographies. This one (his first one out of two, if I'm not mistaken) is very controversial as it deals with Auster's failure of a life and career during his twenties. Auster lays out the bare facts and hides nothing, and it's refreshing to read this honest account.
However, what's peculiar about this autobiography is that only 125 pages is the actual autobiography. The
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading the musings of an author on his struggles to become an artist in his twenties doesn't sound riveting. But this is Paul Auster - and I have a literary crush on him. I am working my way through every single word he has published. Of course I liked this book! ...more
Jul 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: self-pitying hacks
God knows what impelled someone at Le Monde to call this flimsy and indifferent work "one of the most original and audacious autobiographies ever written by a writer." In fact, from its writing, you'd never guess Auster made his living as a novelist or even as a newspaper staff member reporting on hit-and-runs and smog levels. From the first line to the very last, this book is a manual on how not to write.

He had lots of experiences (none of which he deigns to mention), met many people (whom he n
M. Sarki
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A pathetic self-serving attempt by an otherwise very good writer. There is nothing of worth in this memoir. For a person of Auster's literary stature, I am surprised he would want this out there. It just was not that interesting and it was written as chronological straight reportage. In the long run, this will not help Auster's standing in the literary canon. ...more
mwpm mwpm
"In the three and a half years I lived in France, I had any number of jobs, bounced from one part-time gig to another, freelanced until I was blue in the face. When I didn't have work, I was looking for work. When I had work, I was thinking about how to find more. Even at the best of times, I rarely earned enough to feel secure, and yet in spite of one or two close calls, I managed to avoid total ruin. It was, as they say, a hand-to-mouth existence...."

Rather than lament failure, Hand to Mouth i
Debbie Robson
For me Paul Auster is a literary godfather. Not only is he a key to New York with his New York settings, particularly my favourite The Brooklyn Follies, but he is also, like me fascinated by synchronicity and coincidence. From the stories in The Red Notebook it was obvious that fame hadn’t come quickly to Paul Auster. In Hand to Mouth we find out just how much a struggle it was. Here is the opening paragraph:
“In my late twenties and early thirties, I went through a period of several years where
I'm not sure how to rate this book because I didn't dislike it but I also don't want to say it was okay. Most of it seemed rather plain and pointless. The autobiography portion didn't really offer any great insights into anything, the baseball card game was of no interest to me, and the three plays were cringe-inducing. Having said that, the detective novel isn't the worst thing I've ever read, but it had too much about baseball in it for my liking. When it comes to baseball, I prefer none. The ...more
Nov 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Not really accurately subtitled, as Auster goes long stretches being fine financially. And oddly enough, he writes nothing at all about his climb out of penury. I was looking forward to him detailing his process for writing "The New York Trilogy," but the book simply peters out before this event.

The best part though, is his incredibly visceral dislike for overweight women, a gaggle of which he encounters at Big Mary's Place in Tampa, Florida. Auster describes the scene in a number of ways, some
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seriously loved this book, but it speaks to me personally, which it may not do for everyone. I see a lot of similarities between myself and Auster, who writes here a memoir of his life through his twenties. the narrative revolves around Auster's interest in being a writer and his journeys in youth and the way the need for solvency affected those journeys and the choices he made in life. I think it's a wonderful novel for anyone interested in becoming a writer. It outlines, in an energetic a co ...more
Ruth Jalfon
disappointing - the first 100 or so pages were indeed autobiographical and enjoyable and you can see where he gets alot of his ideas for his novels especially the last two I've just read where there is a young male student protagonist in anguish (Moon Palace and Invisible). But then the rest of the book is made up of his early works including a failed enterprise at launching a baseball card game - none of which I read more than a few pages of. It seems that this book was just bunged together wit ...more
Lee Kofman
I've loved some of Auster's books very much, especially his novel Leviathan, but this one isn't that great. To begin with, the memoir itself constitutes only a 1/3 of this book and while I thought it'll be about Auster's creative struggle as expressed in his decision not to focus on money, almost all the stories ended up being about money itself... I learned little about Auster as a writer. Having said this, his (mis)adventures living in Paris as well as his subsequent few years back in America ...more
The first 130 of 450 pages is Auster's autobiography, detailing his home life, his early jobs, his depression over not amounting to anything, and finally his first steps to the road to success as a writer. (He wrote the movie Smoke among other things.) The rest of the book is made up of some of his prose. Here 'tis:

"Laurel And Hardy Go To Heaven," which is basically Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Waiting For Godot And Building a Wall For Some Reason.

"Blackouts," a weird hard boiled version of
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Auster. I enjoyed learning more about the author's eccentric early years, from his family life as a kid to his wanderlust-inflected early adulthood. There were several appendices that included early works of his, unfortunately I could not read the plays because I despise reading plays. However, one of the appendices was an early detective novel that he wrote. This is not a type of book I generally I read but I found it clever and very likable. ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book would be comforting to me, as I was a hopeless and unemployed new graduate when I read it. Made me feel so much worse! He was consistently employed at interesting jobs, and going to Paris and crap.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Carew
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One for the fans of Auster, and one for the writers. If you are both, then doubly interesting.

Five stars because I love Auster's writing, especially his tricksy ideas breaking the fourth wall - New York Trilogy is a modernist classic. If I were not such a fanboy then I might mention this apparent vanity project, as other less impressed reviewers have done. But remember that all fiction is autobiography, and all autobiography is fiction. How would you like to present the story of your life? Is it
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a review for readers who are new to this author or have not read any of his work.

At the point of writing this review, I fall under the above category. I was recommended this book by a random video on YouTube, and I am glad I decided to give it a go. Having never read any books by this author, nor having known him in any capacity, I decided to pick this one up merely based on its description in the video. The book did not disappoint. I got through the "autobiography" in two days, saving t
Ruby Jusoh
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hand to Mouth by Paul Auster. A memoir covering the first decade of his writing career. Not very long, only 150ish pages. Excellent flow, absorbing language. Not sure if I like his messages, though. Marvellous read, nonetheless.
Paul Auster knew early on that he needed to be a writer and nothing else. He kept on emphasising that he was an outsider, a rebel refusing to follow the mainstream path. Having travelled to US and Europe, he struggled for money constantly but without becoming broke per
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
This is quite an enjoyable and surprising memoir about Auster's early years as a writer, when he struggled to make a living, to publish, to write what he wants. It includes three early plays and a good yet very loyal to the genre of detective writing. Auster has a better sense of humor than most writers in this genre, and the twist is subtle and well done, but all in all, the genre characteristics end up annoying me... ...more
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? I like Auster's writing style. I just read a one-star Goodreads review of this book and she makes good points; Auster doesn't really bring anybody to life, it's true, but for some reason I couldn't put this book down. I suppose his writing is very readable and leads to the next thing and then the next, kind of like his novels which don't really go anywhere but while you're going it's an interesting journey. ...more
Erlend Tyrmi
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. The book includes some of his early works, and a baseball card game. The autobiography itself was funny and readable, and some of the other stuff was truly strange. I liked the detective novel.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Charles Kerns
Episodes in finding oneself. Buffed and cleaned through old memories.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
essential for all PA fans.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another swift book about Paul Auster struggle to live a free man from being an ant in the army of of labourers. After many years of misfortune he finally make it to fame and fortune.
May 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-mpls-lp
I liked the memoir part, but no way am I reading 316 pages of appendices. I would rather have read a fully realized book-length memoir.
Karsten Runquist
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Auster's Hand to Mouth should be required reading for nearly anyone - certainly any writer - who knows what they want to do in life but can't seem to find success. Because as sure as Auster is a literary hero, he was also a great failure, and he seemed to be good at coming up with bad ideas. From his marriage, 2 plays, detective novel, and somehow a baseball-inspired card game (all of which are on display here), Auster somehow managed to ultimately find success despite these pitfalls. And i ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 11 Dec 08, 2018 10:22AM  

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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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