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9780312429010

The Book of Illusions: A Novel

Auster, Paul

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A NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE BOOK



Six months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. One night, he stumbles upon a clip from a lost film by silent comedian Hector Mann. His interest is piqued, and he soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to research a book on this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929.

When the book is published the following year, a letter turns up in Zimmer’s mailbox bearing a return address from a small town in New Mexico inviting him to meet Hector. Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever.

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Review:

Vermont professor David Zimmer is a broken man. The protagonist of Paul Auster's 10th novel, The Book of Illusions, hits a period in which life seemed to be working aggressively against him. After his wife and sons are killed in an airplane crash, Zimmer becomes an alcoholic recluse, fond of emptying his bottle of sleeping pills into his palm, contemplating his next move. But one night, while watching a television documentary, Zimmer's attention is caught by the silent-film comedian Hector Mann, who had disappeared without a trace in 1929 and who was considered long-dead. Soon, Zimmer begins work on a book about Mann's newly discovered films (copies of which had been sent, anonymously, to film archives around the world). The spirit of Hector Mann keeps David Zimmer alive for a year. When a letter arrives from someone claiming to be Hector Mann's wife, announcing that Mann had read Zimmer's book and would like to meet him, it is as if fate has tossed Zimmer from one hand to the other: from grief and loss to desire and confusion.

Although film images are technically "illusions," this deft and layered novel is not so much about conscious illusion or trickery as about the traces we leave behind us: words, images, memories. Children are one obvious trace, but in this book, they are not allowed to carry their parents forward. They die early: Hector Mann losing his 3-year-old son to a bee sting just as David Zimmer has lost his two sons in the crash. The second half of The Book of Illusions is given over to a love affair, and to Zimmer's attempt to save something of Hector Mann, and of the others he has loved. In the end, what really survives of us on earth--what flickering immortality we are permitted--is left to the reader to surmise. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

PAUL AUSTER is the bestselling author of Travels in the Scriptorium, Oracle Night, and Man in the Dark, among many other works. 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 more than thirty-five languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Auster, Paul Author
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Book Description Picador, 2009. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Mr. Auster's elegant, finely calibrated Book of Illusions is a haunting feat of intellectual gamesmanship. .Hector is an inspired creation. more immediate than many flesh-and-blood actors."- The New York Times "This noirish, layered tale will keep you guessing to the very end."- Time Out New York. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0312429010

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 206 x 138 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. A NATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE BOOK Six months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. One night, he stumbles upon a clip from a lost film by silent comedian Hector Mann. His interest is piqued, and he soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to research a book on this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929. When the book is published the following year, a letter turns up in Zimmer s mailbox bearing a return address from a small town in New Mexico inviting him to meet Hector. Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780312429010

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 137mm x 25mm x 208mm. Paperback. A NATIONAL BESTSELLERA "NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW" NOTABLE BOOKSix months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 321 pages. 0.299. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312429010

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 206 x 138 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. A NATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE BOOK Six months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. One night, he stumbles upon a clip from a lost film by silent comedian Hector Mann. His interest is piqued, and he soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to research a book on this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929. When the book is published the following year, a letter turns up in Zimmer s mailbox bearing a return address from a small town in New Mexico inviting him to meet Hector. Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780312429010

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Book Description Picador USA. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 336 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.4in. x 0.9in.A NATIONAL BESTSELLERA NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE BOOKSix months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. One night, he stumbles upon a clip from a lost film by silent comedian Hector Mann. His interest is piqued, and he soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to research a book on this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929. When the book is published the following year, a letter turns up in Zimmers mailbox bearing a return address from a small town in New Mexico inviting him to meet Hector. Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN, Momence,IL, Commerce,GA. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312429010

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