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The New York Trilogy (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – March 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143039830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143039839
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of The New York Trilogy and many other critically acclaimed novels. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in 2006. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Luc Sante teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College. His books include Low Life, Evidence, and The Factory of Facts.


Art Spiegelman is a cartoonist who first came to attention in the early 1980s as editor of the magazine Raw. His books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust story Maus, Maus II, and In the Shadow of No Towers. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.


More About the Author

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Travels in the Scriptorium, The Brooklyn Follies, and Oracle Night. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was also a national bestseller. His work has been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Auster just seems to try too hard here.
Massimo Pigliucci
This is the first Paul Auster book I have read and if his other books are anything like this one I am excited about what I'm in store for.
Keith Dougherty
Auster achieves the feat of simultaneously having the characters understand themselves at the same time that the reader does.
Stone Junction

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Steven Reynolds on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for detective stories, look elsewhere. Auster isn't interested in the classic noirish private eye tale as anything but a way into territory vastly more compelling. Though his three novellas ostensibly revolve around men hired or driven into the pursuit of others, they end up being more about the psychology of the pursuer than the pursued. Surveillance of the self and the collapse of what we assume is our own identity is the abiding theme here, and Auster gives it three fascinating spins with simple plots which quickly spiral to literary altitudes. But don't expect simple resolutions. There are no straightforward answers here. If these were simple issues, they wouldn't justify the exploration Auster gives them. I had the pleasure of reading this immediately prior to Auster's "The Art of Hunger" (1997), a collection of essays and interviews which reveals, among other things, how "The New York Trilogy" blends aspects of his autobiography, literary theories and abiding interests into a fascinating work of fiction. Read them together. Then read everything else he's written. You won't be disappointed.
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74 of 83 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Paul Auster's "New York Trilogy" consists of three seemingly unconnected novellas which though complete in themselves should be read as integral parts of a total literary experience. Unlike a conventional mystery thriller which focuses on the "who done what to whom" aspect of the storyline, Auster turns the table on the reader by taking him on a journey of self discovery past a hall of mirrors which reflect and expose by stages the psyche of the pursuer, not the pursued. The effect is so spooky you want to scream in your head as you encounter the next slice of reality about yourself. Readers familiar with the music of rock star David Bowie will find the reading experience similar to that of listening to his 1977 album "Low", a dark and creepy introspective piece of work. All three vignettes deal with questions of identity, reality and illusion, the meaning of words and language and explores the fine line between commitment and obsession. Both Quinn in "City of Glass" and the anonymous narrator in "Ghosts" are trapped in their own circumstances and forced to make human choices which lead to their mental breakdown. There is also a noir-like cinematic feel about the trilogy that just begs for this masterful piece of work to be brought to the screen. Auster has produced a highly original post-modern thriller that will mesmerise and enthrall readers for years to come. It is simply superb and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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66 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Simone Oltolina on August 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The New York Trilogy", by celebrated author Paul Auster, is made up of 3, somewhat interlinked, long stories which were originately published separately at various times around 1985-86.

There is no doubt that Paul Auster is a terrific writer so I won't even get into that aspect of the book.

Let's get down to what's really important by trying to pinpoint the subject matter, i.e., what "the new york trilogy" is really about: in a sense, it's a mystery, in the true sense of the word, because even in the end many questions (most, I dare say) are left unanswered, many stones unturned and many cues are simply left hanging in the air.

The NYT has been described as metaphysical detective fiction and the description might in fact prove apt: each of the 3 stories follows the investigations of one man which always turn into an obsession, making the man completely lose touch with the reality. The NYT is thus much about mental processes, we see each of the 3 main chracters gradually become so absorbed by their quest that they lose all sense of proportion and stop thinking like the rest of us.

It's also a novel about writing because writing, depicted as the greatest obsession of all, always plays a role in the stories.

There is also a definite surreal element in most stories and, quite often, they reminded me of Dino Buzzati's short stories.

The author is obviously very pleased with himself, playing with his own name (much like B.E. Ellis does in his recent "Lunar Park") and toying with the other character's names (which pop up in different stories, alluding to the possibility of a strong link between them all).

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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Donald Frades on December 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Now that the academic and critic types have found Paul Auster, I guess he'll be lifted out of the general readership and stashed with the rest of the classics on some hoity-toity shelf. Once that "postmodern" labelling starts, it's goodbye accessibility, hello pretension.... Anyway: City of Glass is one of the best constructed stories I've ever read. There is an incredibly complex concentric circle of narrators: there's the author, then the narrator, then his pen name, then his detective character, then his pose as Paul Auster. Then there's the real Paul Auster he meets, not to be confused with the one who's writing the book. Kind of spooky.
Also, an English woman once showed me more disturbing information about City of Glass. If you take a city map of New York and mark out the well-described twisting journey of the characters, a picture emerges. What does it mean? With so much description of the streets they travelled, it can't be accidental. I was actually spooked.
Unfortunately, I think everything Auster's written since this trilogy has been sliding downhill in quality, and this opinion seems to be shared by friends all around.
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