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The Red Notebook: True Stories Paperback – June 17, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
“Our pre-eminent novelist of ideas.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Auster has added some new dimensions to modern literature and―more importantly even―to our perspectives on the planet.” (Boston Globe)
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Top Customer Reviews
Like most New Yorkers, Therese's apartment could barely handle eating dinner, much less filming the eating of dinner. So we were filming at Therese's friend Leah's apartment, a jaw-droppingly big loft. I'd never met Leah, or the several other people recruited for the shoot. This I suppose lent an air of authenticity to the awkwardness of having ex-lovers at a dinner party.
All through the dinner, Leah, our host, appeared mildly distracted, her laughter always coming a moment too late. Her boyfriend, with whom she lived was away in Mexico and I simply assumed that she missed him.
On the subway up to the dinner, I read the first forty pages of the "Red Notebook". Like all of Mr. Auster's books it reads marvelously well. The plainness of his prose masks how quickly he draws you into his world of coincidences and meta-fictions. As I set the book down when I arrived, I mentioned how wonderful the little stories it contained were.
When I arrived at dinner, after first being struck by the size of the apartment, I was taken aback by Leah's cat, Felix. Even at first glance, you could tell Felix was no ordinary house cat, she was too long and slightly too tall. After innocently reaching my fingers down, offering my scent to Felix, Leah warned, "Oh, I wouldn't pet her, she's not really friendly.Read more ›
Auster seems to have noted these incidents through his entire life, and then compiled them in this book. The coincidences are extraordinary, but not things that are impossible, just things that are extremely improbable. Auster enhances his style, by the use of "Kafkaesque" elements. His use of initial names is something that Kafka did all the time. And his ironic twists are also in the vein of Kafka, but instead of being novelistic, they are real and true stories.
The book is sure to captivate virtually any reader, and its conciseness both in writing and in length makes it an easily absorbed and quickly read piece of literature.
If there was supposed to be a point to this collection of stories, some kind of deeper meaning to it all, I sure didn't get it. It either went way, WAY over my head, or else. . . borrrrrrrring! But go ahead -- give it a try yourself. And then you can let me know which one you think is the bigger idiot -- me or the guy who told Auster he'd love to publish this brilliant, insightful book. I know which one my money's on: one, two, three, NOT IT!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is an easy read but the connnections that the author makes are very tennuous. He talks about coincidences in life but the stories he writes about are vague and... Read morePublished on June 25, 2006 by A. Berger
I've never read Paul Auster before, but my wife made me read this slim little volume and thought it was enchanting. Read morePublished on December 14, 2002
I've missed out on the Paul Auster hype, and I'm not done with the book yet, but I like this one.Published on July 23, 2002