Paul Auster is the bestselling author of The New York Trilogy and many other critically acclaimed novels. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in 2006. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Adult/High School-Auster's novella, originally published as part of the groundbreaking "Neo-Lit" series (Sun & Moon, 1985; o.p.), holds up in this adaptation. Daniel Quinn, a reclusive poet turned mystery writer living in New York City, receives calls from an unknown and perplexing individual who mistakes him for the detective Paul Auster (not to be confused with Auster the writer, who also appears in the book). After giving in to curiosity, Quinn accepts the case as protector of Peter Stillman, a young man whose father tortured him with experiments of sensory deprivation to discover the original language of God. As Quinn delves into the case, he becomes caught within the pair's obsessions. Karasik and Mazzucchelli tone down some of the metafictional aspects of the novella, but they streamline and focus the story without sacrificing too much of Auster's intent. Mazzucchelli's simple, straightforward artwork is ultimately what makes this version really work, transforming a highly intellectual tale based mostly around language and the word into a world of surreal visual meditations. The use of heavy black lines against a white background is reminiscent of the noir movies that partially influenced the original; when the characters dive further and further into insanity, the images become increasingly abstract. Combined with the unusual story, this technique makes for a unique introduction to some complex ideas of postmodernism without getting in the way of the plot.-Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
This is a masterly adaptation by Karasik and Mazzucchelli (nominated for both Eisner and Harvey Awards upon its original 1994 release) of Auster's 1985 novel of the same title. After the death of his wife and son, poet and playwright Daniel Quinn lives a life of quiet desolation. When a mysterious voice repeatedly calls him asking for Paul Auster, private eye, Quinn takes on the persona of Auster and becomes involved in the case of a man who as a child was shut in a dark room for nine years. Auster's novel of ideas isn't exactly tailor-made for a graphic representation. But Karasik and Mazzucchelli bring ingenuity and a deep understanding of the possibilities of the comics medium to the challenge. A new introduction by Art Spiegelman outlines the genesis of the project. Mature themes and a bit of nudity make this for adult collections, for which it's strongly recommended. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
We don't know much about Daniel Quinn. We do know that he is 35, and that at one time he had a wife and son, who are now dead. He writes mysteries under the pseudonym of William Wilson, and when a stranger phones asking to speak to Paul Auster, Quinn decides to answer to that name too. The caller is Peter Stillman, a man with a most unusual past, who fears that he will be killed by his father, recently released from an institution. Quinn (as Auster) agrees to trail the elder Stillman, who spends his days wandering the streets of New York. How Quinn gradually becmes drawn intoand finally obsessed byStillman's life and psyche makes for a labyrinthine, intriguing story. An impressive if not major work by the author of The Invention of Solitude.October 14
"Remarkable. . .the book is a pleasure to read, full of suspense and action. . .[A] strange and powerful adventure in Paul Auster's art."
- The New York Times Book Review
"Exhilarating. . .A brilliant investigation of the storyteller's art, guided by a writer-detective who's never satisfied with just the facts."
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A wondrous whodunit for metaphysicians, an intricate detective story and many-layered romance."
- Russell Banks