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


Okay, so this is the final book of the New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, and, you know, I really don't know what it was all about. It was fascinating to read it, but I think I leave it as unenlightened as I came in. It's all very metafictional, and that is not usually my thing.Still, the fact that I read all three in a single day, and the fact that I do quite like the prose, quiet as it is, should say that I think it was worth it. I think it might even stick with me, to be turned over in my thoughts now and then, just to check on the moss growing underneath...


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.

Alfredo Peña

Primera novela de Auster que leo. El lenguaje es perfecto, leerlo en voz alta es una delicia. La trama sigue las pautas de una novela de misterio, pero de inmediato te das cuenta de que hay algo más. Fanshawe se vuelve en un símbolo más que en una persona real. Breve, pero potente. Altamente recomendable.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


Is it me or there was little of interest in this book or the other two preceding books! The search for the identity was somehow interesting but that was it! I didn't enjoy reading it, unfortunately, and I expected a better ending. However, the author(the narrator) was very well aware of his(or human's in general) inner thoughts or feelings, I was astonished by some of the reactions and intentions he mentions.

Labeeb Xaman

This was actually a slow book as compared to the first two stories which I loved in 'The New York Trilogy' especially 'Ghosts'. 'The Locked Room' got a bit boring for me in the middle, especially when the main character starts to work on the biography. But in the end it was almost as interesting a psychological tale as the other two stories. Because of the slow pace of this story it took me more days to finish it while the previous two stories were quite page turning.


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.


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.


This was both an interesting story in it's own right (up until the last few pages when it explicitly connected it to parts 1 & 2 of The New York Trilogy), and a very satisfying conclusion to the interconnect meditation on self and identity.


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 ** This is the final installment of the New York Trilogy and once again the story is completely unrelated to the other ones. However I actually found this book enjoyable despite the once again disappointing ending.This book is about a writer(whose name is not given) who gets a phone call from Sophie who is the wife of his old best friend Fanshawe who he hadn't talked with in ages. He is saddened and surprised to learn however that Fanshawe disappeared 6 months earlier. To his even greater surprise Sophie was told by Fanshawe earlier that in the event that something happened to him she was to call the writer and give him all of Fanshawe's written work if the writer liked it they were to be published if the writer disliked them they were to be destroyed. The writer does like them and gets them published and after much success was asked to write a biology for Fanshawe. Still unsure after a week of thought he excepts, this leds to even more exciting twists and turns that once again led to a disappointing ending.

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