‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

“As the weird world rolls on.”

leave a comment »

August Brill, a seventy-two year old widow lives with his daughter, Miriam, and his grand-daughter, Katya. August spends his nights creating worlds in his head, a retired book critic, August writes stories in his mind to keep the insomnia at bay.

I want to desperately share more about this book with you, my fellow readers but this short novel, at a whopping 180 pages, does not allow for too much insight into the plot, else it would be spoiled.

Man in the Dark, Paul Auster’s latest novel,  focuses on the worlds in which we create to keep the world in which we live more bearable.

August begins the narrative of his mind, of the long night in the dark, by fashioning a tale of a middle aged husband, Owen Brick who finds himself thrown into a world in which a 9/11 never happened; instead a war of a different kind has erupted, at home within the United States, a civil war. Brick is given a mission that will ultimately destroy the world he lives in. August Brill & Owen Brick,  must both confront realities they’d rather just leave alone. Along the way August and the two women left in his life must find a way to live in the real world, to move beyond the pain of past memories.

For fans of Auster this novel is standard fare. I urge you to give this author and this particular book a chance. Auster sits most comfortably when he steps outside of his fiction, into the post modern, into the meta where he fashions authors and writers who create characters that fashion and shape their very authors. Can I be more obtuse or confusing? Only way to understand what the hell I’m talking about, is to just pick up this book and give it a quick read. It took me only two days, the style is fast and the story is engrossing. August, Owen, Miriam, Katya, they’re all very real people dealing with the same struggles that everyone deals with. I believe that is what is at the heart of this novel, the struggles we have with facing reality and how we find ways to escape: film, literature, fantasy, dream, all of these are temporary respites for a world that is sometimes too overwhelming. Auster brings this into focus and the potential good and bad that results from this act of escapism.

Enjoy. Cheers.


Written by thebeliever07

September 1, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: