Monday, March 27, 2017

4321 by Paul Auster

Has anyone read Paul Auster's 4321? I am struggling through it.

I'm a big fan of Auster's works, having read New York Trilogy, Hand to Mouth, Sunset Park, Oracle Night, The Book of Illusions, and Invisible. 

In 4321, (866  pages) there are four Archie Fergusons, all sharing the same paternal grandfather. Each Archie has his own story. Yet, they are the same boy in separate circumstances and plots.

The novel is heavy on the inner world of  Archie, written in narrative, short on dialogue. Manhattan and New Jersey provide backgrounds. Themes of identity, fate and ambition play throughout, along with gender, race, and class.

I found myself forgetting which Archie I was following. They are alike but in different, complicated and detailed circumstances. And that's what I found frustrating at times, trying to keep each Archie separate. But it kept me thinking, way into the night. And I'm still reading on.


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