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Man in the Dark
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'I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American wilderness.' So begins Paul Auster's brilliant, devastating novel about the many realities we inhabit as wars flame all around us. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is staying in his daughter's house in Vermont, recovering from a car accident. When sleep refuses to come, he lies in bed and tells himself stories, struggling to push back thoughts about things he would prefer to forget - his wife's recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughter's boyfriend, Titus. The retired book critic imagines a parallel world in which America is not at war with Iraq but with itself. In this other America the twin towers did not fall, and the 2000 election results led to secession, as state after state pulled away from the union, and a bloody civil war ensued. As the night progresses, Brill's story grows increasingly intense, and what he is so desperately trying to avoid insists on being told. Joined in the early hours by his granddaughter, he gradually opens up to her and recounts the story of his marriage. After she falls asleep, he at last finds the courage to revisit the trauma of Titus's death. Passionate and shocking, Man in the Dark is a novel of our moment, a book that forces us to confront the blackness of night even as it celebrates the existence of ordinary joys in a world capable of the most grotesque violence.
Product Details

Promotional Information

South Bank event on 9th October 2008

About the Author

Paul Auster was born in New Jersey in 1947. After attending Columbia University, he lived in France for four years. Since 1974 he has published poems, essays, novels, screenplays and translations. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews

Suffering from insomnia while struggling to cope with multiple tragedies, 72-year-old August Brill passes the time by creating stories of a parallel world wherein the United States is at war with itself, not Iraq. Postmodernist novelist Auster's merging of the real and imagined worlds is nothing less than brilliant; the book's intriguing twists and turns will mesmerize readers. As with The Book of Illusions, The Brooklyn Follies, and Oracle Night, Auster here narrates. With just the right pace and modulation, he reveals events that explain the complex mind of the memorable protagonist. Highly recommended for public libraries. [The Holt hc, too, received a starred review, LJ 6/1/08.--Ed.]--Valerie Piechocki, Prince George's Cty. Memorial Lib, Largo, MD Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Auster, a man of diverse creative achievements, defies convenient labels with regard to genre and the divisions between literary fiction and the mainstream popular marketplace. Given his experiences with such multimedia endeavors as National Public Radio's Story Project, it's not surprising that Auster has a flair for dramatic narration when performing his own work. As he gives voice to ailing retired book critic August Brill, Auster milks the story-within-a-story structure to full effect. Impatient listeners may wonder exactly where this disparate tale of revisionist history, war, marital disappointments and grief might be headed. But with the nuanced--yet palpable--use of inflection, Auster compels his audience to await the twists and turns. As an invalid with an active imagination and time on his hands, Brill makes his frailties tangible and emotionally compelling without descending into full-blown pathos. A Henry Holt hardcover (Reviews, May 26). (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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