Auster, Paul Oracle Night: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780312428952

Oracle Night: A Novel

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9780312428952: Oracle Night: A Novel


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 bewildering events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality. 

A novel that expands to fill volumes in the reader’s mind, Oracle Night is a beautifully constructed meditation on time, love, storytelling, and the imagination by "one of the great writers of our time" (San Francisco Chronicle).

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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

About the Author:

PAUL AUSTER is the bestselling author of Travels in the Scriptorium, The Brooklyn Follies, and Man in the Dark. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was a national bestseller. His work has been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 bewildering events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality. A novel that expands to fill volumes in the reader s mind, Oracle Night is a beautifully constructed meditation on time, love, storytelling, and the imagination by one of the great writers of our time (San Francisco Chronicle). Bookseller Inventory # AAB9780312428952

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 bewildering events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality. A novel that expands to fill volumes in the reader s mind, Oracle Night is a beautifully constructed meditation on time, love, storytelling, and the imagination by one of the great writers of our time (San Francisco Chronicle). Bookseller Inventory # AAB9780312428952

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