Saturday, October 30, 2010

Paul Auster: Brooklyn Follies

Paul Auster: Brooklyn Follies

Picture from Wikipedia
Brooklyn Follies ended up in my bookshelf after a sale at the local bookstore. If my memory serves me correctly it was three paper backs for 10€, so I got quite a good deal.

Brooklyn follies is a book Paul Auster first published in 2005. Mr. Auster is well known writer in the United States and probably he is well known among European book worms. Paul Auster first made is big break in the 80’s with his New York trilogy.

Back to Brooklyn. The book starts with section where divorced cancer patient, Nathan Glass, is looking for a place where to wait for death. Of course it would be a very short book if this would be the only story arc in the book. The events in the book start to roll out bit by bit and at the end of the book the lives of the characters have gone through a total transformation. But I won’t tell you if it takes turn for the positive or not.

The language in the book is very light and enjoyable to read without being simplistic. It feels like this book had been quite easy to write for Mr. Auster. There couple of things that annoy me in the book. Firstly in some place the book unnecessarily underlines the liberal east coast attitude and thinking, like in the section where one of the characters (Nate or Tom can’t remember which)  thinks about the events in Kosovo. Secondly the ending is a bit dull, maybe in 2005 it was still effective way to end a book, but somehow as time has passed the world did not end in September 2001. Yes the events created lot of suffering and problems but I think we now have other problems to solve. Book could have more universal appeal if it was not so tightly knitted to turn of the century USA. As a snap shot of its time the book is however very good.

By no means is “Brooklyn Follies” a bad book. Auster is able to paint a picture of Brooklyn that this believable and very likeable. The themes the book handles are something that many of have felt during our lives and continue to feel. Brooklyn follies is a very light book and not that intellectual, but it will definitely touch you emotionally and tells you something how we should live our lives.

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