Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster, Paul)

Auster, Paul

Published by Henry Holt and Co., 2003
ISBN 10: 0805073205 / ISBN 13: 9780805073201
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Signed 0805073205 Fine. Signed by Paul Auster. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, thirty-four-year-old novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationery shop in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of this blank book, trapped inside a world of eerie premonitions and puzzling events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality.

Why does his wife suddenly break down in tears in the backseat of a taxi just hours after Sidney begins writing in the notebook? Why does M. R. Chang, the owner of the stationery shop, precipitously close his business the next day? What are the connections between a 1938 Warsaw telephone directory and a lost novel in which the hero can predict the future? At what point does animosity explode into violence? To what degree is forgiveness the ultimate expression of love?

Paul Auster’s mesmerizing eleventh novel reads like an old-fashioned ghost story. But there are no ghosts in this book—only flesh-and-blood human beings, wandering through the haunted realms of everyday life. At once a meditation on the nature of time and a journey through the labyrinth of one man’s imagination, Oracle Night is a narrative tour de force that confirms Auster’s reputation as one of the boldest, most original writers at work in America today.

Review: In Oracle Night, Paul Auster returns to one of his favorite themes: writing about writers and the act of writing. Recovering from a severe illness that has left him weak and prone to nosebleeds, struggling novelist Sidney Orr takes the suggestion of his mentor, the acclaimed novelist John Trause, and begins a story about a man who, upon considering a near-death experience as an omen (or excuse), walks out on his wife and begins a new life. Nick Bowen, Orr's protagonist, moves to Kansas City and finds work with a man engaged in creating a sort of catalogue of all known persons from a warehouse filled with phonebooks. Dressed in Goodwill clothing, Nick finds it "fitting to don the wardrobe of a man who has likewise ceased to exist--as if that double negation made the erasure of his past more thorough, more permanent." Grace, however, acts strangely soon after Sidney begins the "novel-within-a-novel" in a mysterious blue notebook.

Auster uses footnotes to provide interesting backstory and develops Sidney's insecurities regarding love and fidelity, but when Sidney hits a patchy spot and writes Bowen into a corner, he (and Auster) shrugs and drops the story. The mystery that seemingly unrelated coincidences may have a causal connection is left unresolved, and Trause's delinquent son shows up to facilitate a hollow, climactic ending. Auster is a gifted writer, to be sure, but once trapped by the inner story, Oracle Night loses steam. --Michael Ferch

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster, Paul)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.

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Auster, Paul
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (2003)
ISBN 10: 0805073205 ISBN 13: 9780805073201
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Book Description Henry Holt and Co., 2003. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 0805073205 Ware in the top left corner on the back of front cover and in the right corner on the back of back cover of the jacket. Book is in good condition. Discolouration present. Creasing present. Fingermarks present. Cover has very little wear. Sloped spine. Small marks on front and back cover back of the front and back cover front of first page and back of the last page. Small mark on a few pages. Scruffs at the side of a few of the pages top and bottom of every page. Foxing. Small ware at the top and bottom of a few pages. Seller Inventory # Z0805073205Z3

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Book Description Henry Holt & Co, 2003. Ausreichend/Acceptable: Exemplar mit vollständigem Text und sämtlichen Abbildungen oder Karten. Schmutztitel oder Vorsatz können fehlen. Einband bzw. Schutzumschlag weisen unter Umständen starke Gebrauchsspuren auf. / Describes a book or dust jacket that has the complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc. (which must be noted). Binding, dust jacket (if any), etc may also be worn. Seller Inventory # M00805073205-B

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Book Description Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Seller Inventory # 2950668955

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Book Description Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2964332514

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Book Description Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2966864863

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Book Description Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2967310246

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Book Description Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2974210735

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