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The Music of Chance Paperback – Deckle Edge, December 1, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Compulsive traveler Jim Nashe finances an epic poker match for a self-proclaimed jackpot winner. "In his lucid, captivating yarn, Auster quietly raises disturbing questions of servants and masters, of loyalty, freedom and the inexplicable urge to kill," said PW .
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This insightful novel is a taut study of the self-contradictory mind living by chance while thinking it can get away with anything. Jim Nashe is a frivolous Boston fireman who needs music as a life crutch. His wife abandons him just before his father dies, leaving him money that he squanders aimlessly while driving around America. Near desperation, he meets a bitter young itinerant gambler, Jack ("Jackpot") Pozzi, who lures him into a losing poker game with two shady recluses, Flower and Stone, on their Pennsylvania estate. Nashe and Pozzi must retire their debt by building a stone wall on the premises: what this Herculean labor does to them is the novel's leitmotif. An interesting story, but some may object that the journalistic prose merely tells the story instead of showing it.
- Kenneth Mintz, formerly with Bayonne P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I consider myself a big Paul Auster fan, and while I feel some of his recent books have had very prominent fault lines (Timbuktu, The Brooklyn Follies) TMOC is right in the heart of what was, in my opinion, Mr. Auster's best phase as a novelist. TMOC comes after "Moon Palace" and before "Leviathan," and then "Mr. Vertigo." Those three novels are a very clear representation of what Mr. Auster has to offer as an author. I'm aware that "The New York Trilogy" gets thrown in a lot, but honestly, I don't think the vision in TNYT was as clear as in the aforementioned stories. One of Mr. Auster's best abilities as a novelist is to make a short book feel like a Greek epic. TMOC feels like a 217 page book, and nothing more.
At the end of the day, you'll know if you'll like "The Music of Chance" before you read it. It's not the book people use to get into Paul Auster (I was personally recommended "Mr. Vertigo" as a starting point, and I pass on that recommendation) and by the time you work your way to TMOC, you'll know if Auster's style is for you or not. "Chance" will do nothing to upset that perception.