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Travels in the Scriptorium: A Novel Paperback – December 26, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
As the day progresses, the old man slowly pierces a shroud of guilty feelings by learning that he is somehow responsible for the lives of many others whom he has dispatched on various missions. Strange but vaguely familiar names crop up - Farr, Fanshawe, Fogg. The old man begins devoting attention to the manuscript on the desk. He discovers that it is a report, written by a man named Sigmund Graf, about events in a country called the Confederation and a border outpost named Ultima at the edge of the Alien Territories.Read more ›
Despite the caveats of other reviewers, I did not find my lack of familiarity with Auster's previous works any impediment. In fact, it probably added to the element of surprise.
When the book ended, I didn't know what to make of the book's conclusion. Who was Mr. Blank? I felt like the question had not been answered. Yet, I knew a book this masterfully and elegantly written had to have a point. Therefore, I did something I have NEVER done before - I immediately turned to page one and read the book all the way through again.
Upon second reading, Mr. Blank's true nature became clear to me, as did the true meaning behind the manuscript and the room itself.
Mr. Blank was not named without a reason. He is the writer, locked within the confines of his very own mind. Things come into existence in the room only when he notices them, as when a writer writes things into existence. The characters, stemming from Auster's other books, showcase how a writer's previous works forever pervade a writer's subconscious, affecting his/her life from their conception onward. Mr. Blank, the writer, is unable to write, locked within this scriptorium until his writer's block is lifted and he is able to conclude his story. The missions he sent the operatives on are the storylines he used his characters for.
WOW. Now that I have this (I believe) figured out, I must say, this is one of the most original, well-written, thought-provoking works of fiction I have EVER read.Read more ›
Now, I few years later, I went full circle. I read every single novel Auster wrote, so you can consider me a PaulAusterologist. Although I read a lot, Auster is the only author, prolific author (more than 7 novels) of which I read his whole work (novels) What did I found in this journey? He is very reiterative, very very. Most of his characters are some how in the writing business, if not writers. As he is. They went to Columbia. As he did. They speak french. As he does. They are avid readers. As he is. Of course that this happens with many writers, but this is maybe too much. Also, you always find the idea that little events, little decisions we make, can reshape our life in a blink. Last but not least, his characters are always commited to major tasks. Things that only they understand, but some how will be very important. Things that for unknown reasons, they must do. This is Paul Auster's world. And he is running out of ideas.
What about Travels in the scriptorium? Well, basically Auster is being visited by his characters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't know exactly what to think of this book. It was mildly interesting enough for me to keep reading yet I wanted to read simply to get to the end and escape whatever place... Read morePublished 9 months ago by InfiniteEuphoria
Since I was familiar with Paul Auster as a bit of a local literary icon, but had never dipped into his works I decided to check out this book from my Library's giveaway cart. Read morePublished on July 17, 2012 by Brooklyn Browser
I bought this book with enthusiasm, pursued it with mounting puzzlement, finished it deeply disappointed. Read morePublished on July 8, 2012 by Owen Brown
Paul Auster can write a sentence that makes you want to read it again and again, and then underline each word and finally add a check mark. Read morePublished on October 14, 2011 by M. Estorge
I felt a little like I did when I saw "The Sixth Sense." The novel was exactly what I expected it to be, with the only real surprise for me being the interaction between Mr. Read morePublished on December 29, 2010 by triskaidekaphilia
This is my very first Paul Auster experience and I really liked it although I can't quite clearly articulate why. The intelligence of the bizarre but coherent story of Mr. Read morePublished on November 5, 2010 by whj
quick read, sat down and was done in a few hours. auster is the best at telling a story within another story and travels is no exception. Read morePublished on October 15, 2010 by Heywould
Paul Auster is one of my favorite writers.
Many times, books spanning only one day don't have a proper flow to them but this book has a perfect flow to it. Read more