Ghosts (The New York Trilogy, #2)

ISBN: 014009735X
ISBN 13: 9780140097351
By: Paul Auster

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About this book

The second book in the acclaimed New York Trilogy--a detective story that becomes a haunting and eerie exploration of identity and deception. It is a story of hidden violence that culminates in an inevitable but unexpectedly shattering climax.

Reader's Thoughts


I am torn on this review, I wanted to give it a 3 but I feel if I read it 2 or 3 more times, it would need to be a 5, so I went with 4 for now. Auster's writing make me feel that there is something just beneath the surface of the words that I am missing. I like that kind of writing only when I find out what it is. Unfortunately I didn't discover it... maybe there's nothing there to find.


I usually LOVE Auster books.........but this one I just found tedious. Maybe it's just my head space right now.


Part 2!This is a completely different novel than City of Glass , but it follows similar themes. Once again, this is at its heart a detective story with a postmodern twist. However, unlike the first book in the New York Trilogy--where the surreal and uneasy feeling grows gradually--in this installment, it's immediate from the first page that this is going to be a playful, unique novel when we're introduced to the characters who all have color names. (I briefly wondered if this might be an inspiration for the film Reservoir Dogs, but that's really the only thing the two have in common.) There's also an emphasis on writers, here, and writing itself as an art is a big theme throughout the narrative. I feel like the themes here aren't as obvious as in the first story, though, and the story is more vague and open to interpretation. I may not have gotten it all, but I definitely enjoyed the reading experience.

Kiri Little

Clever. Simple and clever. And short. For me, a more impressive story than City of Glass, although I preferred the writing of the first. Whilst they are thematically linked in many ways, the stories themselves are discrete...almost as if Auster is playing with the different sides of his own character, just as the voices in these novels/this trilogy explore the meaning of identity.


Preferred the first book ...This had a disappointing climax


This book is the second book from The New York trilogy and it has similar themes as The City of Glass. I don't really like this book because I don't like the plot. Even though, it has similar components like the first book, the author doesn't uses as many themes in this book. But yet; he conveys his plot and every detail of his characters through literary elements. I think he did a better job creating a well-rounded character in The City of Glass than this book. I think the author should've use more themes in this book like his first book because the themes allow the readers to connect well with the plot. Also, the themes also makes the plot seems more realistic. Overall, it is a great book and it has many mysteries ion it.

Pierre Fortier

Auster emprunte exactement le même chemin chemin que sur "City of Glass". Une filature qui n'en finit plus de finir. Même si l'exercice de style méritait un effort supplémentaire, j'ai baissé les bras à mis parcours.

Labeeb Xaman

I found this story more interesting than 'City of Glass'. From the beginning, I was hooked. At first I didn't like the names of the characters that much but later I didn't care that much. The other thing I didn't like was that, for me, the ending was either incomplete or unclear. I didn't understand why Black did that to Blue and whether future Mrs. Blue was angry because he didn't make any contact for a long time or because White or Black told her something negative about Blue.

Mary Overton

Auster strips down the detective story to its essential nature - the Outsider watching Others, the quest for identity, the revelation of secrets, the communication of that which is forbidden to say. One way to read GHOSTS is as an inner drama -- a dialog among the many aspects of the Self."To speculate, from the Latin speculatus, meaning to spy out, to observe, and linked to the word speculum, meaning mirror or looking glass. For in spying out at Black across the street, it is as though Blue were looking into a mirror, and instead of merely watching another, he finds that he is also watching himself." (20) "It suddenly occurs to Blue that he can no longer depend on the old procedures. Clues, legwork, investigative routine - none of this is going to matter anymore. But then, when he tries to imagine what will replace these things, he gets nowhere. At this point, Blue can only surmise what the case is not. To say what it is, however is completely beyond him." (24-5)"Writing is a solitary business. It takes over your life. In some sense, a writer has no life of his own. Even when he's there, he's not really there.... ghost." (66)


Wonderful short story (part two of The New York Trilogy). In some ways almost the same story as part one, but I found it more satisfying in the end. Can we watch ourselves and actually learn anything?

Hamidreza Hosseini

یکی از دوستان ما که داشت از ایران میرفت، تعداد زیادی از کتابهای کتابخونه ش رو به صورت اجاره ی 99 ساله داد به ما. از بین کتابهاش، به نظرم تعداد زیادیشون عجیب و غریب هستن. البته به شخصیت این دوستمون هم میخورن این کتابا«ارواح» پل اُستر کتابی بود که از اواسط تا اواخرش، ذهنم رو درگیر فضای عجیب و غریب توهم و درون نگری و گاهی هم پوچی کرده بود. کتاب رو دوست داشتم ولی چون موضوع جالبی داشت، حس میکنم بهتر از اینا میتونست باشه

Olga Sullivan

The loneliness and sadness are what this story is infiltrated with. And this is not bad at all. As the first book of the trilogy also has such an aftertaste, I believe it says a lot about the author himself. Also, the author's imagination has to be complimented as well as his ability to develop such a full-bodied plot with only two - roughly speaking- characters imprisoned voluntarily by one another in their rooms whose main activity comes down to - roughly speaking - sitting behind their desks for years. To me it is also very noteworthy that the trilogy is a hundred percent worth its name - New York trilogy - and it's not at all because the action takes place in New York city. It is rather for a reason that it kind of "smells" like New York. And it's no mere formality. Or may be it's just me who sees what wants to see :-) I especially liked the curious facts about the Brooklyn bridge construction. That was unexpectedly pleasant and informative. All in all, I give three which all goes to the author's genius.

Daniel Parks

First of all there is Blue. Later there is White, and then there is Black, and before the beginning there is Brown... That it is how it begins.Auster brings the meta with the second book in his New York Trilogy. The writer spys on the writer, the reader spys on the writer spying on the writer, who is also the reader because through the course of spying on the writer the writer reads his own story. Ghosts at times can feel a bit like what would happen if a brilliant writer was given a high school creative writing assignment ("Create a piece of fiction using as many color names as you can" or "Write a story where you put yourself into the story"), but its more than just creative writing, its existential philosophy.

DJ Dycus

Clever, interesting, puzzling, yes--but it didn't quite knock my socks off like City of Glass did. What is intriguing, though, are the connections between the two parts--it's certainly not a sequel in the conventional sense.


** spoiler alert ** Yeah,I liked this one, the whole watcher being watched was quite interesting, though to what purpose I never did understand.Lovely writing, let's you enjoy the story without too much wondering where is going.

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