The Locked Room (The New York Trilogy, #3)

ISBN: 0940650762
ISBN 13: 9780940650763
By: Paul Auster

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About this book

When Fanshaw disappears, leaving behind a wife, a baby and an extraordinary cache of novels, plays and poems, his boyhood friend is lured obsessively into the life that Fanshaw left behind.

Reader's Thoughts


My favourite of the three I think, it seemed to make a bit more sense to me, and brought in a few names from the other books, the characters felt more real, doing things I could imagine real life people doing.

Melanie Brewster

Loved, loved, loved this book.

DJ Dycus

*Spoiler alert*The goal of any work of art is to get the audience to think, to reflect, to examine the ideas it has presented. Toward that end Auster succeeded masterfully with these three novellas. Each one had me thinking about the others and moving back and forth among them. To present three versions of one story is an ambitious endeavor.Most of the time POMO works are amusing or quaint, but I think that these books really go beyond the typical tricks employed by recent authors who are doing the “self-reflexive” thing.


By far the best novel of the trilogy, which isn't saying much. The Locked Room is pretty deep and affecting, though, and Auster manages to keep himself from being *too* post-modernly cute as it plays itself out. Had I read this alone, I would probably rate it higher; in context, it stands out as being merely a cut above his previous entries in the New York Trilogy. While there are meta moments, none of them want to make you throw the book against a wall in disgust - a welcome change from the ending of City of Glass and the excuse-making literary criticism sections of Ghosts. Locked Room's mostly human characters (albeit occasionally beset by stilted dialogue) are another welcome change for the series.


New York üçlemesinin son kitabı olan "Kilitli Oda" herzamanki Paul Austerin karakterler üzerine değil olaylar üzerine yazdığı akıcı ve hep bi sonraki sayfada ne olcağını merak etme şeklinde yazılmış...Hayatında hep hayranlıkla izlediği ve hayranlık duyduğu coçukluk arkadaşı Fanshawe,aradan geçen uzun yıllardan sonra eşinin Paul'u aramasıyla başlar herşey..Fanshawe'n eşi Sophie'nın ona bıraktığı eserleri yayınlatıp eskiyle yüzleşmesini anlatıyor..Hep etkilendiği arkadaşının eşiyle evlenip,o yetmedi üstüne Fanshawe annesiyle de yatıp eskiden hayranlık ve hissettikleri hisleri gerçeğe dönüştürmüş.."...bir insan başkasının duygularına hitap edebiliyor ve onları bütünüyle ele geçirip kendi duygularının hiç de önemli olmadığını söylüyordu.""...içinden geldiği gibi iyilik yapmak,yaptığının doğru olduğuna duyduğu sarsılmaz inanç,sonra da bunun sonuçlarına karşı sessiz,neredeyse edilgen kalmak tam onun yapacağı bir şeydi.""Birçok yetenekli insanda olduğu gibi, bir süre sonra Fanshawe da kolayca elde ettiği şeylerden artık tatmin olmaz olmuştu""...bir adamın yüreğini dünyaya açmasını yalnızca karanlık sağlayabilir..."“Her yaşam alt tarafı bir takım rastlantısal olayların toplamından, rastlantıların, öylesine gelişigüzel oluveren ve kendi amaçsızlıklarından başka bir şey yaymayan olayların kesişmesinin güncesinden başka nedir ki zaten.”"Öyküler, ancak onları anlatabilecek olanların başından geçer demişti bir gün. Aynı şekilde, belki de yaşantılar, onları yaşayabilecek olanlara sunarlar kendilerini. Fakat bu zor bir konu, hiçbir şeyden de tam anlamıyla emin değilim."


You will encounter certain things in the New York Trilogy. These things will recur in eerie ways. They will be names, places, situations. Some of those things will be books: Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, Walden, books by Melville and Hawthorne, The History of the World by Sir Walter Raleigh, The Travels of Marco Polo. Spookier still, all these books are either important to me already, or are ones I've fixated on, and have intended to read for a while. I'm not sure that a careful reckoning of particular motifs and repeated elements would reveal anything more profound than the weird quality they impart upon a casual reading. There's much that's fake and phony in these books; characters lie to each other, narrators fool themselves, and us, and Auster himself sends us cryptic signals from the other side of the page. I don't think the anguish which the act of writing causes the author-characters in these books is fake. I don't think it's fake for Auster, either.


The Locked Room is het beste verhaal van The New York Trilogy. Paul Auster weet net zoals bij de twee andere boeken perfect hoe hij de spanning moet opbouwen, maar deze keer is het verhaal realistischer. Ook hier is Auster een echte taalvirtuoos. Het verhaal neemt een verrassende wending wanneer personages uit de eerste twee verhalen opeens opduiken. Algemene conclusie: mijn keuze voor Paul Auster bleek tot nog toe goed. ( Tussendoor lees ik wel non-fictie (Kahneman, Ons feilbare denken), kwestie van de verhalen van Paul Auster niet door elkaar te gooien. Next: Moon Palace.


** spoiler alert ** Auster creates a character and makes him travel towards the meaning of his own life. It is a travel to the deep of himself. But to reafirm the austerian conception of life, this travel is condemned to fail: the meaning of life, the sense of life, is a mistery and will always be a mistery for human: it will always be a locked room.Fanshawe it is only a character that represents the sense of life. The main character (whose name is not revealed) remains always at the back of Fanshawe. For Auster, life is a labyrinth without exit, and is made of casualties and guided by the laws of chance. That is why the locked room is not opened, that is why the red notebook is not undestood.

Daniel Parks

On the surface it's a trio of loosely connected detective stories, but at its heart its a novel in three parts about the solitude of a writer that comes from alienating loved ones through the act of self-imposed isolation. And for all of that it's beautifully subtle, which is rare.

David Balfour

Lacks the colourful imagery of City of Glass and the fast pacing of Ghosts.


Hm. This whole trilogy makes my head hurt, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm frustrated though, that basically any conclusion I draw could possibly be true, and nothing is definitely true. Overall, I liked the last book best and I'm giving the whole thing three stars. It definitely made me think, and I enjoyed discussing it.


A wonderful read. Very dense for such a slender novel. I found it to be very similar to the Robertson Davies' The Deptford Trilogy, an excellent Canadian author. However, Auster's locked room is distinctly American in how the main character approaches the physical and philosophical challenges presented to him.

Jason Edwards

I know this guy who used to be a poet. He told me about how he would go to these writer’s retreats, and sit around with other poets who would just blather on, all these anecdotes meant to pre-inform their poetry. And he hated it. And I hated The Locked Room.Because I feel like City of Glass and Ghosts where just blatherings setting up icons in The Locked Room. There’s the various names of people, the various artifacts. Graves and Alice in Wonderland and red notebooks. Borrowing an overcoat might be a metaphor for something, at the reader’s discretion. But when it’s mentioned in one story and then another, the reader no longer has a choice. And as a reader, I do not want the author telling me what to think.This is not a screed affirming “show don’t tell.” I don’t even want the author to show me anything, not on purpose any way. Just write your damns story. I’ll find meaning in it if I want to. The Locked Room is so damned Freudian, and I mean that pejoratively. The main character has sex with his child-hood friends wife—and it’s angry sex! Bullshit.The only part of The Locked Room—or the entire New York Trilogy, for that mattered—that I found the least interesting was Fanshawe’s sister. Finally, I thought, a part of the story leaked through and not “expertly crafted” as a symbol of something. That is, until the sentence: “Ellen is no more than a literary device.” I gnashed my teeth. I decided that no, Auster must have realized that she’d leaked in, and so he came to grips with his lack of control by shoving in that sentence. Ha.Whatever. I’m done with the novel(s) now, and I can move on to middle-class meaninglessness. Fiction forwarded by cognitive dissonance, existential angst held at arm’s length and not propped-up by so-called Post-Modernism. Post-Modernism can bite my ass.


Read my thoughts on this one on my full review of The New York Trilogy.

Kiri Little

Again, although enough to hold my attention, I was underwhelmed. I liked the elements that tied the trilogy together...the mentions of Quinn, Henry Dark, a red notebook. And the looping of themes across the three books. It just all seemed a little pointless to me. Overall, I am left feeling disappointed in a book that I had expected more from.

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