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Oracle Nightby Paul Auster
Synopses & Reviews
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 Austers 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 mans imagination, Oracle Night is a narrative tour de force that confirms Austers reputation as one of the boldest, most original writers at work in America today.
"[A]rtful, ingenious...both a darkly suspenseful domestic drama and a moving meditation on chance and loss....The plot of this bizarrely fascinating novel strains credibility, but Auster's unique genius is to make the absurd coherent..." Publishers Weekly
"Much of this is quite entertaining, but the story's pay, though fully explanatory, is disappointing....Oracle Night, fascinating as it is, is a lesser performance." Kirkus Reviews
"[O]ne spellbinding and provocative storyline leads breathlessly to another...Auster orchestrates a terrifying denouement that burns away all ambiguity, leaving his hero enraptured by the radiance of what matters most: love." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"[Auster] suggests that the terror of not being heard lies at the heart of writing....That a man who has produced more than 25 books is willing to convey the visceral ping of that terror is evidence not only of his talent but of his grace." Stacey D'Erasmo, The New York Times Book Review
Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, thirty-four-year-old novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationary 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 America's boldest and most original writers.
About the Author
PAUL AUSTER's most recent novel, The Book of Illusions, was a national bestseller, as was I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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