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


[Just tossing words out] This must be one of those deconstructed, existential, minimalist detective stories for people who consider the genre beneath them. It spent a whole lot of time going nowhere, which I suppose is the point, and then ends suddenly and Spillainely. Perhaps it is just a send-up of the genre in an artier form for the cognoscente, but the observer/observed and writer/reader confusion was done to death by the 1960s and done by much better writers (Borges, for example). I kept hoping Mr. Blue would get the point sooner and ask Caleb Carr to help him with that Mr. Gold conundrum so something interesting might happen, but alas it was not to be. Mercifully, the book was short, however it took me two weeks to read 96 pages.


READ IN ENGLISHWith Ghosts, Paul Auster's second book in The New York Trilogy, I once again really liked the beginning. OK, I wasn't sure about all people having colours for names, but still, I really liked the story. And then, after that, it just kind of stopped for me. I found the end very unsatisfactory, and I'm still wondering if and how the three parts of this trilogy will fit together.

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.


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.


So the "trilogy" (City of Glass, Ghosts, The Locked Room) is really just one book. Like it doesn't even make sense to review them separately.And um, wow. Crazy & interesting & clearly with SO much going on below the surface. (Now that I know how everything ties together, I may need to read it again to really get it.) Dream-like & spooky & incredibly well-written.From a Washington Post Review - "Ever since City of Glass, the first volume of his New York Trilogy, Auster has perfected a limpid, confessional style, then used it to set disoriented heroes in a seemingly familiar world gradually suffused with mounting uneasiness, vague menace and possible hallucination. His plots — drawing on elements from suspense stories, existential récit and autobiography — keep readers turning the pages, but sometimes end by leaving them uncertain about what they've just been through." I'd say that's about right.Short, though, even with all three put together. I could've gone on reading this for weeks.


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?

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.


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.

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.

Joy Sandberg

"Such is the way of the world: one step at a time, one word and then the next. There are certain things that Blue cannot possibly know at this point. For knowledge comes slowly, and when it comes, it is often at great personal expense."


Reading Ghosts, I had the bizarre feeling, the whole time, that I'd read the story before. That I'd read about this premise being played out somewhere else. In any case, I think I've got more of a handle on the kind of story Paul Auster is telling. It's definitely not a clear-cut detective novel -- I didn't expect it to be, but some people tried to read it and the first book, at least, in that way.It's oddly absorbing despite the quiet feel of it; I read it more or less in one sitting. It's very odd. Quiet, like I said, with lots of space to think.

Rodrigo Curicó Fernández

Lo terminé de leer de mala gana. No sé si haya sido mi falta de interés en la historia o la falta de peso de la msima, pero confundí todo el tiempo a Azul y Negro y Blanco y etc. Innovadora idea la de usar colores en vez de nombres, supongo, pero en mí caso sólo contribuyó a enredarme aún más. El dramatismo del final no me llegó para nada. Los devaneos mentales del protagonista no se aferraban a nada que pudiera imaginar o sentir como suele ocurrir con otras novelas (otras novelas del mismo autor, incluso). Subrayé, de todos modos, esta frase que resume lo único interesante del libro: "¿Cómo salir de la habitación que es el libro que continuará escribiendose mientras él siga en la habitación?". Espero que la "La habitación cerrada" no me defraude, porque sinceramente tengo intenciones de que me guste Auster (?)

Jason Edwards

Took me three days to read this novel. Blame it on the weekend—I’m busier on weekends. Blame video games, football games, other distractions. Blame City of Glass, which impressed me in no way. Blame mostly this so-called existentialism. I guess I just don’t get it. I take no pride in that ignorance, you know. Ghosts is sixty pages of I don’t know what. (Is that even a novel. Is that even a novelette. Should I not be reviewing these titles individually). All of the characters have colors for names. Real names are reserved for referenced movie stars and the characters they play, or for the disguises main character Blue dons. So what? Yeah, so what.I said existentialism (cause that’s what it says on the ironic “pulp” style cover of the novel: “A Penguin Existential Mystery.” But all the critics say “post-modern.” Here. I think “post-modern” means “A writer who’s been published before has been published again and since other folks said what he wrote was good this must be good too but we don’t get it at all but we still have to say we do or we look like idiots.” Apparently, we have entered the post-post-modern age, thank goodness. Nevertheless, on for me to the next one in this Trilogy. I wonder if it will also have a guy watching a guy and losing himself.


In the second book of the New York Trilogy, Auster repeats a lot of the themes and plot elements from City of Glass, with a bit of a twist on them. Once again we have the endless stake-out, the obsessive main character, and the rumination on language and stories. Like CoG we don't get a clear explanation of what happened, but I think there's a firmer idea of it. I have to admit to being a bit confused as to what Auster's getting at here. Hopefully Locked Room, the final book of the trilogy, will shed some more light on things.Aside: All of the characters in this book are named after colours, which made me feel like at times I was playing Postmodern Clue.


** 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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