The Brooklyn Follies

ISBN: 0312426232
ISBN 13: 9780312426231
By: Paul Auster

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American American Literature Contemporary Favorites Fiction Literature New York Novel Novels To Read

About this book

Nathan Glass has come to Brooklyn to die. Divorced, retired, estranged from his only daughter, the former life insurance salesman seeks only solitude and anonymity. Then Glass encounters his long-lost nephew, Tom Wood, who is working in a local bookstore -- a far cry from the brilliant academic career Tom had begun when Nathan saw him last. Tom's boss is the colorful and charismatic Harry Brightman -- aka Harry Dunkel -- once the owner of a Chicago art gallery, whom fate has also brought to the "ancient kingdom of Brooklyn, New York." Through Tom and Harry, Nathan's world gradually broadens to include a new circle of acquaintances -- not to mention a stray relative or two -- and leads him to a reckoning with his past.With The Brooklyn Follies, the always astonishing Paul Auster has written what is undoubtedly his warmest, most exuberant novel, a moving, unforgettable hymn to the glories and mysteries of ordinary human life.

Reader's Thoughts

Donnie

I'd like to give this book 4.5 stars, but goodreads.com fails to strive for precision. I really, really, really enjoyed this book. The voice and tone of it is so warm and an inviting. I loved every character in the book, not so much for their personalities, but rather that Auster portrays each one with so much sensitivity and kindness. There is no judgement or scorn in his approach to these people, despite their "follies." There isn't much of a "story" here. Really, for me, the "story" occurs on the last page, when the events of the book are placed in a context larger than the book itself. It makes everything one just read seem less important and more important at the same time. Lately, I have been wondering how I should approach life. I mean should one take life seriously, or should we just coast- do what's good in the moment? And, if I take life seriously, does that cover investing in human beings or does it just mean "being an adult," being responsible, learning to stand alone. I don't know what the answer is, but this book made me think about it more. It would seem that Auster falls on the side of investing in human beings and not taking life too seriously. I feel as if he is asking us to put a strong value on retreat, giving in, the victory in flat-out survival. Every character in the novel is raising some kind of white flag. The characters are dashed; ephemeral hopes dissolved into concrete daily grinds, and the beauty Auster is trying to portray for us is the gentle pleasure of being ok with defeat. It is almost as if he wants us to revel in surrender. He shows us that there are rich intimate spaces and deeper connections, perhaps, in a world that is constructed around commiseration than the one we are used to, the one in which we lie about our aspirations, hide our failures, and strive to make something of ourselves. I wonder how plausible this world is; it does sound and feel very rich and comforting.Everyone fails, and when those around us fail, we somehow tend to love them more. The old adage that flaws and imperfections are what make each person unique and beautiful in his or her own ways, is reflected wonderfully in this book. Somehow, Auster is asking us to skip that whole part in between failure and others loving us, where we feel shame, embarrassment, and pain in the face of our missteps. We have so much to learn from our wrong turns and so much to take in during each fall that we might as well get over ourselves and open up to the world and people around us. There is a place that is referred to often in the book, called the "hotel existence" a place where one can escape the bullshit and miserable aspects of the world we live in, a place where one can retreat to a life less entangled in the morass of the planet. The people in the book never get there in a physical sense, but it becomes clear to me that Auster means to say that the "hotel existence" is bullshit in and of itself. There is no true escape from the bullshit. Life is fucked. It just is. There isn't escape there is only the white flag. It was an awesome book.

fleegan

Has this guy ever written anything bad? This novel was fanTAStic. It's about an older guy who's dying of cancer and he basically moves back to Brooklyn to die. But then he runs into his nephew and they become great friends and...so many great characters. There's little Lucy and everything she says (when she's speaking) is hilariously weird. There's the B.P.M. who turns into an actual character in the book. There's Harry (gay) who is interesting. The Chowders, Aurora, just lots of neat characters. He even throws in some lesbians at the end.And oh, this book is FILLED with great sentences. Anyway, the book isn't sad at all. Sad things happen, but they didn't make me cry...and i'm an easy mark for that kind of thing so that's why i say it's not sad. The ending was kind of abrupt and i thought that maybe the author was in a hurry to end it. But also, i think it works because so much happened in the book that to completely resolve everything normally would have stretched it into a giant tome. And no one likes that kind of thing, Ayn Rand.

Tamuna Margievi

this book was one of the happiest and saddest book ever. great beginning, great ending. when you read something by Paul you want to read everything he has written. you always come up with new ideas in his books. just worth reading

Nereia

Desideravo leggere questo libro da diverso tempo. Fa riflettere che fosse posizionato alla ventesima pagina su ventiquattro della mia wishlist anobiiana. Però sapete tutti come funziona, no? Un libro può rimanere per diverso tempo, delle volte anche anni, tra i to be read e non aggiudicarsi mai il podio nella gara dei libri da leggere nel breve tempo.Questo è quello che è successo al povero Auster. Piazzato in wishlist appena uscito e poi superato sempre in gran carriera da altri libri, magari che non sono mai entrati in wishlist.Poi, grazie a un gruppo di lettura trovato su Facebook e organizzato da un'altra blogger, ecco che all'improvviso arriva il suo momento di gloria. Ho iniziato questo libro con delle aspettative altissime, alle quali hanno sicuramente contribuito la popolarità di Auster, le recensioni entusiastiche di altri suoi libri nelle quali mi sono imbattuta, la bellissima copertina (perché la copertina è bellissima, mi fa tanto pensare a Hopper). Sono sincera, forse sono state le mie aspettative altissime a farmelo piacere così tanto. Perché non volevo, assolutamente, che queste fossero disattese. Ho sperato con tutta me stessa che mi piacesse. E, infatti, così è stato. Per diversi motivi, non solo perché lo desideravo disperatamente.Lo stile utilizzato dall'autore, a tratti quasi confidenziale, l'incredibile quantità dei dettagli forniti da Auster circa la vita dei personaggi, la struttura narrativa, tutto di questo romanzo mi ha piacevolmente colpita e mi ha convinta a leggere tutti i suoi romanzi, prima o poi.La trama, semplice e molto lineare, non spicca di originalità né porta con sé particolari colpi di scena. La particolarità del romanzo, in effetti, è costituita dagli argomenti trattati e dall'umanità dei personaggi. Esatto, avete letto bene, parlo di umanità. Nathan, un uomo di mezza età la cui vita si è evoluta contro ogni aspettativa, dopo un brutto divorzio scopre di essere stato colpito dal male peggiore, il cancro. È proprio con la descrizione della vita di Nathan, che costituisce anche la voce narrante, che ha inizio il romanzo. E poi, come lunga passeggiata, l'autore ci conduce all'interno della vita di Tom, Harry, Rory, Honey e Lucy. E anche loro, come Nathan, sono caratterizzati da una forte dose di umanità. Questo, forse, è il grande merito di Follie di Brooklyn: tutti i personaggi, con i loro difetti e i loro difetti, sono reali. Potrebbero, infatti, tranquillamente far parte della nostra quotidianità, del nostro cerchio se non di amici certamente di conoscenze.Un aspetto che sicuramente non assume alcuna rilevanza nello svolgersi della trama, è la presenza all'interno di tutto il romanzo di dettagli che riguardano la vita di scrittori del passato. Nathan, infatti, oltre ad accompagnarci delicatamente all'interno della vita dei personaggi, fornisce al lettore anche un nuovo modo di approcciarsi alla vita di autori del passato. Non è mia abitudine inserire spoiler all'interno delle recensioni e, anche in questo caso, non lo farò. Dico solo che Kafka è una delle figure che più mi affascina del panorama letterario e che sento La metamorfosi un libro molto vicino a me. Ebbene, con la parentesi su Kafka che Auster inserisce all'interno di Follie di Brooklyn (perché sì, Auster inserisce anche Kafka, sapevatelo) mi ha conquistata completamente. Un romanzo che non considero un capolavoro ma di cui consiglio la lettura a chi, nella parte finale dell'autunno, desidera un libro caldo e avvolgente come una lenta passeggiata lungo un viale alberato coperto da un manto ruggine di deliziose foglie d'acero secche.Recensione presente anche sul mio blog: Follie di Brooklyn

Núria

Justo en el momento en que en esta novela apareció una niña de nueve años que no hablaba supe con certeza que todo estaba perdido. Así que desde aquel momento la única razón que me quedaba para terminar el libro era para poder destrozarlo después sin ningún tipo de piedad. Ya aviso. Juro que yo lo empecé con mis mejores intenciones, dispuesta a olvidarme de los incontables ratos de aburrimiento que me había proporcionado Auster en el pasado, dispuesta a olvidarme de todos los prejuicios adquiridos a lo largo de los años y a empezar de nuevo con él, pero hacia medio libro ya me entraron ganas de arrancarme los ojos con un tenedor para así no tener que seguir leyendo más. En mi primera adolescencia leí la 'Trilogía de Nueva York' y me impactó como pocos libros me habían impactado, sobre todo el primero de los tres relatos, 'La ciudad de cristal'. Era un libro complejo, inteligente, ambiguo, y desconcertante, que te hacía pensar y abierto a diferentes posibles interpretaciones. Todo lo contrario de 'Brooklyn Follies', que es el libro más superficial, simplón y obvio que he leído en mucho tiempo. Y ni en el mejor de los sueños se puede calificar con el eufemismo de "entretenido", porque es tan previsible que produce dolor de cabeza. Promete ser una colección de anécdotas divertidas de personajes variopintos del barrio de Brooklyn, pero no tiene ni anécdotas, ni personajes curiosos (los personajes son los de siempre de Auster). Y menos aún tiene diversión, sobra decirlo. ¿Y por qué me parece tan malo? No sólo porque Auster ya haya contado lo mismo otras veces, sino porque los personajes son tópicos, la trama es de lo más previsible y está mal escrito. No es que parezca que Paul Auster esté escribiendo con el piloto automático, sino que más de una vez me he preguntado de veras si aquel libro no lo ha escrito Auster sino un negro, aunque lo de asumir que un negro sea incapaz de escribir un poquitín mejor también es un prejuicio. El caso es que me cuesta creer que la misma persona que escribió 'La Trilogía de Nueva York' haya creado también semejante engendro. Se nota que es un libro escrito de cualquier manera, a piñón fijo, para las masas, aunque ni yo (esnob reconocida como soy) me puedo creer que las masas sean tan tontas como para que les tengan que escribir un libro de una forma tan simple como está escrito éste para que se lo puedan leer. Y es que es uno de los libros con menos misterio que he leído nunca, te lo da todo digerido, no es sólo que te cuente todas las motivaciones de los personajes de una forma directa y sin tapujos (y por tanto, aburrida), sino que encima te cuenta incluso qué lectura tienes que sacar de la obra. Y encima es ñoña ñoña, ñoña de verdad. Con reencuentros, reconciliaciones, niñas adorables y traumatizadas que no hablan, historias de amor cogidas por los pelos, fracasados que por fin encuentran la felicidad, muertes efectistas, malos malísimos sin escrúpulos, el once de septiembre, e incluso un rescate heroico... Cursi cursi. Todo especialmente diseñado para manipularnos emocionalmente. Pero conmigo no funcionó, porque juro que a veces se me escapaba la risa con tanto patetismo. Éste es un libro que hace todo lo contrario de lo que se supone que tienen que hacer los libros: te convierte en un lector totalmente pasivo, no te hace pensar, te lleva de la mano y no te suelta ni un momento como si fueras un niño estúpido que necesita vigilancia constante y una guía férrea porque sino te vas a perder. Es paternalista y condescendiente. En resumen es una novela que te atrofia el cerebro Y ¿he dicho que es ñoña? Ah, y contar una serie de anécdotas sobre escritores no te hacen parecer más listo (aunque sean anécdotas de Kafka, que ya conocía, por cierto).

Giacomo

This is one of those books where you cannot be sure whether the author is just poking fun at you. In a celebration of brooklynite craziness, Auster creates a bunch of heterogeneous characters looking for their place in the world. A queer bookshop owner with a dark past, an intellectual cab driver with a disgraceful sister, and a down-to-earth baby-boomer writing stories he'll never publish, they will together try to make sense of a world ruled only by fate and coincidence, and will eventually be saved by a scheming little girl who doesn't want to speak.At times, it feels like Auster is really writing another "Smoke" film, mixing and matching stories with very little in common, and dragging on for a few pages too many. After desperately searching for the Hollywood-style happy ending, though, the author takes the last page to completely destroy the mood, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth in a completely unnecessary way. I guess the point is that you can work as hard as you want towards redemption (and even be successful), but fate has no rules and no obligation towards any of us.This is an easy read for a summer holiday, but certainly not a McEwan-grade novel.

Michael

I remember not really enjoying City of Glass when I read it in the late 80s. I think I was too young--or too inexperienced--to appreciate Paul Auster back then. I'm giving it another go now, since I have recently been blown away by two back-to-back books of his, The Book of Illusions and now The Brooklyn Follies.Both books are told in the first person, but their narrators are as different as night and day. The Book of Illusions narrator is a grieving academic while The Brooklyn Follies narrator is a street-smart insurance salesman. One is small-town, the other is big city; one hates his former wife, the other is mourning the loss of her. But despite these contrasts, they are both equally powerful and equally honest characters (honest in that they are true to themselves, not that they are infallible or saintly souls).The Brooklyn Follies was amazing. Like one of the reviews said, it's a soap opera, and it can be deceiving in its simplicity. If you think that what is happening on the page is trivial or obvious, think again. It's all leading up to a very clean and dramatic final paragraph. What happens in the end is not any great, fictitious mystery, but it is a perfectly timed moment within an exquisitely choreographed circus.I've been mulling over this moment for a bit now, and I'm on the fence about what the story as a whole means in light of that final moment. Could it mean that our lives used to be nothing but trivial follies, and that we used to waste our days hemming and hawing over the banal? Or is it a reminder of what life could be despite the tragedies of our modern world?I think I'm leaning more toward the latter, that we should not allow our tendency toward cynicism to take control of our lives, but that we should remember that sometimes, it's the little things that really matter. And that even a hard-nosed cynic like Nathan Glass can be transformed by hope and love.Absolutely fantastic book. I'm hoping City of Glass will take on new meaning for me now that I'm old enough to understand and appreciate Auster. He is a master storyteller.

Nancy

I want to say upfront: I enjoyed this. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The story is clever, engaging, entertaining. I didn't mean to read the end first, but I did, because I had to KNOW. The Brooklyn Follies is narrated by Nathan, a recently divorced cancer survivor who has come to Brooklyn to die (or at least, to write a book about Great Follies He Has Known.) Lucky for him, before he can sink into utter despair, he runs into his nephew Tom, an unhappy ex-academic who is now working in the used bookstore of Harry Brightman, a flamboyant rascal. Their lives are all changed when Tom's niece Lucy - ragged, smart, and stubbornly mute - appears at his door. Auster keeps a slapping pace going, and stories of folly are cleverly interwoven with the first-person narrative.But, oh dear, literary fiction. WHY is it always larded with guys who have been defeated sexually, brooding over hot women, and two-dimensional female characters defined mostly by their sexual proclivities? Why do critics always give literary fiction a complete pass for the very things that they decry in so-called "chick lit"? Somebody tell me THAT.

Amanda

My first introduction to Auster's work is a good one. He has a wonderful way of writing and created a "story of survival" that might even make a cynic think that things can get better.Follies is set around the time of Bush stealing his election and 9/11. But thankfully, not a lot of time is spent on national events. The majority of time is spent getting to know Nathan Glass, a 60ish year old man who comes to Brooklyn to find a quiet place to die. Recently divorced and a survivor of lung cancer, he's all but given up on himself. Enter Tom Wood, his nephew who he had lost touch with for years. Tom lives in Brooklyn as well and is in the same boat as his uncle, unhappy, feeling without redemption and unable to move forward.Family is key to this novel, not just blood relatives but the strangers-turned-friends kind of family. Everyone is trying to survive and banding together, the motley crue in Follies does just that.

Nino Frewat

Is Paul Auster worth your time?This is my second Auster, the first was “Travels in the Scriptorium”Both works I have “read” as audiobooks while taking interminable journeys around the country. The journeys themselves were less taxing than the books.The reason I checked both is because of -and I’m not ashamed to admit it- the publicity this guy gets!“The Brooklyn Follies”, written in the first person narrative form, is about an ex-insurance salesman, Nathan Wood, well into his 60s, who survives cancer and returns back to his native Brooklyn (Auster’s perpetual home). Does this return symbolize or mean anything? No. Do we get to feel Brooklyn? No.Serendipity brings him in contact with his nephew; a would-have-been brilliant author / critic, had it not been for... Well we don’t really know. Tom Glass, Nathan Wood’s nephew (and yes, Nathan/Auster does mention this brilliant pun), foregoes his writing ambition for the “safe” job of a cab-driver. Gradually, characters inhabit the story, effacing any potential interest it might spur, besides it being a family-reunion fiction.It feels tedious, and possibly boring, to give an account of what happens along, but I can safely say that, in comparison with third-degree storytellers, no other writer I know of uses this “magical wand” so frequently, and liberally, to make things happen and work like Auster does: Love develops, people are reunited, oppressed freed, money distributed to those in-need, people cured... So much, that at the end of the story, I am impatiently waiting for: “And they lived happily ever after”In all fairness, real life is real life; monotonous, uneventful, duplicate acquaintances tending towards normality... and it is about this ever-flow with its stubborn perturbations, here and there, that Auster writes. But he could have done it with style, with some depth, with something original, something different, than the everyday banter we engage in.Throughout the book, a couple of stories are told about Poe, Melville, and Kafka, though they feel to me as”Did you know?”blurbs. To the post’s question, my answer is No! This will definitely be my last Auster; there are other contemporary writers out there, some certainly in Brooklyn, who better deserve our time and support.

nikki karam

Auster won me over long ago with Mr. Vertigo and The New York Trilogy, but I have grown tired of his increasingly self-indulgent, chauvinistic narratives.The Brooklyn Follies started okay, but the curious faux-stage play at page 99 signaled the demise of this story. Dudes blathering incessantly about "life" in the most pretentious, unrealistic terms possible. Dialogue that is unrealistic and breezy is one thing, but this was the opposite of breezy; this was tedious, contrived, undergraduate malarkey. If I knew anyone who really talked the way Nathan and Tom talk, I would avoid conversations with them at all costs. One could write a lengthy thesis about the embarrassing chauvinism that has hijacked many of Auster's books, including this one, but suffice it to say that, once again, every female character in this book is presented with minimal depth and often patronizing motives and emotions. "No more ethereal B.P.M.s, but an unmarried woman desperate to hook a man. A steamroller. A tornado. A hungry, fast-talking wench who could flatten our boy into submission." No doubt Auster thought he was being complimentary with descriptions like this...? The weird, unnecessarily derisive tangents became intolerable by the end of the book: "...I was turning into something of a woman myself: a person who wept at the mere mention of babies, a lachrymose saphead who needed to walk around with a box of emergency tissues so as not to embarrass myself in public." I've read about 7 or 8 Auster novels, but this will probably be my last. The plot formula has gotten tiresome, and so have the old "deep male / foolish female" pairings so ubiquitous in every one.

Nigel Bird

Brooklyn Follies is told by an older man, Nathan, whose cancer is in remission and who has decided to return to his Brooklyn home to see out his final years. While there, he sets out on the writing down of the follies of his life in order to pass the time. The follies have led him to where he is, a lonely man who has managed to lose his family in one way or another; carelessness, boredom and chance have all played their part in this. Life changes when he bumps into his nephew, Tom, in a bookstore. Tom is an ex-academic who has worked his way through taxi driving to find his new home. Philosophically, Tom wants to withdraw from the human world so that he can live life in a pure form as inspired by some of his literary heroes. It’s an idea that Nathan can understand and they spend time together discussing their love of ideas and literature and to work out where they should be heading. They’re joined in this by Tom’s boss who turns out to be an art-fraudster and an ex-convict who has been living with a new identity to protect his interests.The plot thickens when various other family members join the story, especially when Tom’s niece arrives to live with them having escaped her mother and step-father and sworn herself to silence.The plot thickens and becomes more complex as the lives of the group are woven together. The resolutions are pleasing and satisfying and the book closes with a positive tone that offers a pleasing glow and a sense that there needs to be a little reflection done just at the point when all seemed done.This is unlike most of the work I’ve read by Mr Auster. There’s a slightly different feel to the work than I’m used to and it took me a while to find my way. Often that difference relates to the tone and this is largely due to the voice of the character who tells the story. Some of the themes seemed familiar and there are definite trademarks in here. What I missed in the work, though, was the sense of rhythm and tone that I’ve tended to enjoy in his books as if the poetry and flare had been cut away. Follies has a lighter tone and seems to swim in shallower waters. It’s like an artist who works in fine detail has put down the small brushes for a while and decided that broad strokes can be just as powerful as tools.I liked the story. Enjoyed the ups and downs of the lives as they bounce off each other and through their journeys. If I understood the book, I’d say there’s something wonderful in its conclusions. There’s an acknowledgement of the hopelessness and futility of existence at its heart because that’s where we all are – doomed to die and to be forgotten. There’s also a delight in the breaking away from this truth in order to live. It’s not in the withdrawing from the world that one can find enrichment and happiness (or even failure and unhappiness), but it’s in the taking of decisions, the mistakes that are made, the people we grow close to and the warmth of those interactions that help us build our own epitaphs. It suggests a level playing field of sorts where acts of greatness are to be found everywhere. That we are all heroes at some point in life and at some time or other and this needs to be celebrated and understood to help make the most of our time here, for ourselves and those around us. Auster tells a story of Kafka in the last year of his life as he tries to help a girl to overcome her distress at losing her favourite doll. To help her, he creates a story that allows her to come to terms with the loss, ‘for as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists’. My take on this relates to that need to work on our own lives to hide away from that painful truth. That in the building of relationships and patterns we are creating stories of our own and that these stories are our salvation.Even though I felt this novel lacked a little seasoning in some way – a little salt or pepper, perhaps - I did really enjoy it. Well worth a read and the time it will take to draw your own conclusions.

Katie

I read this book in one day after picking it up on a whim at the library. It really drew me in. I didn't like the last third quite so much--I hate to complain about a happy ending, but all those strings were just wrapped up a little too beautifully and happily for my liking. It's a story of the redemption of two men, and if Auster had a few things go wrong, that would have been okay with me and made it ring a bit truer.I loved the concept of the Hotel Existence, I'm sure it's something that will become a mental reference point for me (but I've been thinking about this kind of thing lately, trying to find the path to the good life, so maybe Auster caught me in just the right month). For that and many little bon mots, and for wonderful characterization of a lost young man, a lost middle-aged man, and a swishy imp with unexpected depths, it gets my five stars. I asked a few friends today and it seems not many people have read Auster but I look forward to picking up something else and recommend you check him out too.

Hugo Emanuel

Uma das personagens de "Slaughterhouse-5 - The Children's Crusade" de Kurt Vonnegut proclama a certa altura que existe um livro que te pode ensinar tudo o que precisas saber sobre a vida, mas que este já não é suficiente. O livro a que se referia era "Os Irmão Karamazov" de Dostoievski. Esta citação levou-me a ler esta importante obra de Dostoievski. De facto, "Os irmãos Karamazov" explora e analisa - aliás, disseca - impiedosamente todas os grandes temas que assombram a humanidade. É abordado, através de duas gerações de Karamazovs, nascimento e morte; fé e ateísmo; amor e hedonismo; perdição e salvação; a diferença de classes; a resiliência, perversidade e grandiosidade do espírito humano - em resumo, quase todos os aspectos e questões que caracterizam a existência humana. "Anna Karenina" de Tolstoi fá-lo também, mas sob uma perspectiva mais "burguesa" e menos impiedosa, desviando o olhar dos seus aspectos mais desagradáveis e perturbantes. Mas de facto "Os Irmão Karamazov" já não contém em si "toda a vida". Afinal, foi publicado no Século XIX e desde então o homem deparou-se com novas questões e dilemas morais, usufruindo de um acréscimo de liberdade religiosa, politica e social para o fazer (pelo menos numa boa parte do globo). No relativamente curto numero de páginas de "The Brooklyn Follies" são abordados quase todos os mesmos temas, e alguns outros, mas sob uma perspectiva mais moderna e menos ambiciosa. Não estou de todo a sugerir que "The Brooklyn Follies" esteja ao nivel de "Os Irmãos Karamazov" ou de "Anna Karenina". A comparação refere-se apenas ao facto de ser uma obra que abrange muitos temas e questões sobre o género humano sobre uma perspectiva moderna. Ouvira sempre esta obra ser catalogada, no contexto da obra do seu autor, como um "Auster-inferior" por isso abordei-a com algum cepticismo. Fiquei agradavelmente surpreendido. A sua prosa simples é viciante, as suas personagens fáceis de amar e os temas que aborda são inúmeros e abordados de uma forma tão directa e simples (mas não simplista) que se torna fácil nos identificarmos e relacionar-nos com estes. A sua narrativa não vai além de retratar momentos e conversas na vida de um leque de personagens bastante variado, sui-generis e credível, mas estes momentos e diálogos são tão interessantes e a forma como comunicam tão enternecedora que se torna um verdadeiro prazer espreitá-los. Da obra transpira ainda um despretensioso e genuíno amor pela leitura e inclui ainda uma belíssima historia sobre Kafka e uma boneca que me humedeceu os olhos. Apesar de ser um livro essencialmente terno e sobre o poder do amor e da tolerância, a crueldade, fanatismo e indiferença do ser humano também se encontra devidamente representada em certos momentos que poderão ser chocantes para alguns leitores. Mas apesar destes o amor e tolerância prevalece sobre a dor e crueldade existente na vida destas personagens, tal como o leitor deseja que assim seja durante a leitura do livro.

Abdullah

رجل ستيني يبحث عن مدينة صالحة لكي يموت فيها بسلام ، بعد حياة لا يمكن وصفها بالناجحة أبداً فقد خلّف ورائه مطلقة ناقمة و ابنة ترفض الرد على رسائله و سرطان قرر الانضمام إلى المعسكر الآخر . و هناك يلتقي بابن أخته الشاب الذي كان يحلم أن يكونه في صباه و لكنه هو الآخر قد تاه في رسالة الدكتوراة فوجد نفسه دونما انتباه سائقاً للأجرة و من هذه الظروف غير الجيدة أبداً تنطلق القصة و أستطيع القول بكل ثقة أنها رواية أمل من الطراز الأول على الرغم من كون الكاتب لم يغفل ضربات الزمان القاسية و التي لا بد أن تأتي بين الفينة و الأخرى و بحبكة غاية في الدهاء والتشويق تجد نفسك لا تتوقف عن القراءة إلا مرغماً فالرواية جميلة جداً و مكتوبة بعناية فائقة و بحس فكاهي و فلسفي في ذات الوقت . يؤكد بول اوستر في هذه الرواية على صعوبة حياة أبطالها أنها حياة تستحق العيش . أمر آخر ، هناك مكتبة و هناك حديث جميل عن الكتب و الكتابة و الكتّاب و هذه أشياء لا يمكن مقاومتها .توصية مغمضة العينين لحماقات بروكلين .

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