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Moon Palace (Contemporary American Fiction) Paperback – April 1, 1990
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- Jessica Grim, NYPL
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a strange novel, but if you've read Auster before, it's going to feel as familiar as that pillow you sleep under every night. There's this guy named M.S. Fogg, he's an orphan, and all sorts of crazy things happen to him, some by his doing, some by coincidence. The density of Auster's plot is staggering; the entire story of Effing, a character Fogg meets, could easily have been another book. That whole section almost reads like a Reader's Digest version of a bigger book, but I didn't mind at all. I don't mind efficiency when it's done right.
Don't expect much from the ending. It just is. If you expect a nice tidy package at the end, you're gonna be disappointed. Just take it for what it is.
This is my third Auster, already having read "In the Country of Last Things" and "The New York Trilogy." I love them all. I'm also a fan of Haruki Murakami, and I highly recommend you check out his books if you like Auster. They have striking similarities: both tend to utilize an unsure unwilling first person voices (faux noir, almost), work with weird plots, have coincidences aplenty, and have nonstandard endings.
I finished the book in one sitting. It seems to be more than a novel or stories strung together to tell a tale, but rather a grouping of real and beautiful pictures orchestrated with words. There is a sense of loss at its end, as if people you have known are now, once more beyond reach. It is one of those books that you wish you had only just begun, or that it was three times longer in length.
I'll go back to the book and read it again and I will read the rest of Auster's work.
Auster has a fabulous way of leaving you feel at unease, unsettled, and almost always absolutely alone. This is a book of books, from MS's initials, to his uncle's gift, to his relationships almost always defined in some way by words, so if you like... stories that leave you basically feeling weird, Paul Auster's your dude, and this is a great novel to start with.
Basically, all these reviews sound like intense intellectual reviews, and I just figured people should realize that these books aren't just for people that sound like they write reviews and analyze things for a reason. Anyone can enjoy Auster and the significance of his writing, understand his themes (the quest for identity is one of the most common themes in just about anything) and storylines, and I hope my review helps people from getting scared off! One of my favorite things about Auster is the concise manner in which he writes, which can feel sterile at times, but makes the read a lot less intimidating.
But the novel is actually a series of stories and antecedents, all woven together through a tangled web of improbable coincidences and interactions. Many of the sections are virtually self contained. The tale of Fogg's inward retreat as an undergraduate culminating in his descent into homelessness in itself could be a well formed short story or novella. Likewise Effing's bizarre tale of adventure in the wilderness of Utah is story in itself. The links between these sections are a haphazard series of coincidences and connections, some which are seemingly intentionally suspect.
Perhaps one of the most interesting stories-within-a-story literally *is* a story - Fogg's summary of a book written by Effing's long lost son, who in my opinion is one of the most interesting characters in the book.
Auster's eye for detail and appreciation for the absurd is in top form in Moon Palace. More than one passage made me laugh out loud. This isn't conventional humor, Auster amuses through his sheer audaciousness - he is an author that takes risks and the reader appreciates this.
The characters are an interesting mix. I found Effing to be fascinating, and his unpredictability largely mirrors the unpredictability of the novel itself, but he ultimately reads much like a caricature.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I find the author very intriguing and talented, I have read 3 books by the author and found each book so vastly different from another. Read morePublished 1 month ago by whj
Paul Auster's high literary reputation is a mystery to me. At best I have found his work so-so and at worst pretentious and badly written. Read morePublished 7 months ago by John Fitzpatrick
I'll start with something positive: Auster can write, indeed, and the different stories he unfolds in this book are interesting and easy to read. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Marc L
Paul Auster's is without doubt my favourite living autho;, so I am predisposed to his writing and his themes. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Eric Wilton
I couldn't finish it. REALLY boring. Like going through a boring person's day, minute by minute. Who cares? Read morePublished 12 months ago by kitty kat
This book will suck you up and change your day :) what an incredible read. From beginning to end. Yes!Published 20 months ago by Andy Suzuki
I am still only 95% through this wonderful story. I don't want to finish it. But I can't wait to see what happens to Fogg. I love Effing and Kitty and Uncle Victor. Read morePublished on April 10, 2014 by jspassnthru