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Man in the Dark Signed 1st Edition

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Man in the Dark Signed 1st Edition Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A new novel with a dark political twist from "one of America's greats" (Time Out Chicago).

Man In the Dark is 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 recovering from a car accident in his daughter's house in Vermont. 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.

Review:

"A retired book critic is targeted by an assassin from an alternate universe in Auster's flawed latest. August Brill lies awake in his daughter's Vermont home, making up stories to fight against insomnia and depression. The stories coalesce around a character, Owen Brick, a professional magician transported to an alternate reality in which the U.S. fell into a civil war after the 2000 election. His mission: to end the war by assassinating August. Back in the real world, August is worried about his 23-year-old granddaughter, who moved back in with her mother after her boyfriend was killed in Iraq. The suspense about whether August's reality and the assassin in his fantasy will collide baits a sharp hook, but about halfway in, the narrative devolves into a long night's tale of the literary New York of yore as August regales his granddaughter with stories. The merging of nostalgia with a Philip K. Dick conceit doesn't wholly succeed, but Auster's juxtaposition of two worlds is compelling and intellectually rigorous in Auster's trademark claustrophobic hall-of-mirrors fashion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

One doesn't want to say it, and yet it must be said: Here we go again. Another elegantly slim volume, the perfect size for palming single-handedly while riding the Metro or sipping a double espresso. Another wild fictive device that demolishes the walls separating author, character and reader, leading to that familiar through-the-looking-glass feeling — the one that blew you away when you first discovered... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Probably Auster's best novel, and a plaintive summa of all the books that — we now see — have gone into its making." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"Auster's trademark shattering ending...hauntingly revitalizes the book's theme of the horrors of war. This best-selling author with a cult following of literati finally offers one to please both fan bases." Library Journal (Starred Review)

Synopsis:

Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident in his daughter's house in Vermont. 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.

Synopsis:

A brilliant, devastating tale about the many realities we inhabit as wars flame all around us.

Synopsis:

A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

"Man in the Dark is an undoubted pleasure to read. Auster really does possess the wand of the enchanter."--Michael Dirda, The New York Review of Books

From a "literary original" (The Wall Street Journal) comes 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. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident at his daughter's house in Vermont. 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 desperately trying to avoid insists on being told.

 

Synopsis:

“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 Austers brilliant, devastating tale about the many realities we inhabit as wars flame all around us. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident in his daughters house in Vermont. 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 wifes recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughters 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, Brills 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 Tituss death. Passionate and shocking, Man in the Dark is a story of our moment, an audiobook 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.

About the Author

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

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Roger Sarao, August 24, 2008 (view all comments by Roger Sarao)
Imagination Goes to War in Paul Auster’s New Novel

The year is 2007, April, to be more specific, and the President of the United States is George W. Bush. Beyond those basics, little else seems familiar in the world described in the pages of Man In the Dark, the 12th novel from New Jersey-born author Paul Benjamin Auster.

In this alternate world, the 9/11 attacks on American soil did not occur. Instead, the contested outcome of the 2000 Presidential election resulted in 16 states seceding and an all out civil war. With 13 million dead already, the Independent States of America continue their bloody battle with the Federals. Eggs cost five dollars each, as does a cup of tepid tea. The one-dollar bill and coins are no longer accepted.

Wait. Stop. The narrator of our story – for it is indeed just a story – needs to urinate, in a jar by the bed on which he lies. His name is August Brill, an elderly man, ex-literary critic, recovering from a recent car crash in the downstairs bedroom of the house of his only daughter. Sharing the house with them is his granddaughter, Katya, a young woman who recently lost her boyfriend to the real war of our time, the one in Iraq.

August is a certified insomniac, and a man with a lifetime of memories, both good and bad. Rather that dwell on those unpleasant memories, he begins telling tales to himself in the darkness of his room while the rest of the house sleeps. Thus, the U.S. civil war of the 21st century is merely a tale told to no one but August Brill himself.

But what a tale it is. In the hands of Paul Auster – the undisputed king of American meta-fiction – Brill’s story begins with Owen Brick, a simple magician who earns a meager living entertaining kids at birthday parties, waking up in the middle of the night not beside the love of his life, his wife Flora, but in a deep, 12-foot diameter hole whose clay sides are slick as glass. No way out. He is not dressed in his pajamas (or however he normally dresses for sleep), but in a ragged military uniform. Come morning, he is hoisted up to ground level, given a gun, money and a crucial assignment by his sergeant: He must assassinate the man who started the war, a man named August Brill.

Back in reality, Brill contemplates suicide, using his stories as elaborate strategies for completing this final act. Yet here in this house, with his daughter and granddaughter – the only family any of them have left – be searches for a purpose to his life and finds not one but two. Miriam, his daughter, is writing a book on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s youngest daughter, Rose.

Why does Auster choose to incorporate such an obscure, real life person into this fantastical tale? Rose Hawthorne was a failed poet, but late in life dedicated herself to the care of indigent patients diagnosed with incurable cancer, and later founded a religious order of Catholic nuns to further their mission in life. In other words, Rose Hawthorne had nothing until she found a cause. And this is important to our story.

The second purpose in Brill’s life is to help his granddaughter, Katya, overcome her grief at the loss of her boyfriend in Iraq. She blames herself for his death. Rather than resuming her life (she is still young, in her mid-20s), she spends the days watching old films with her grandpa, August Brill. Ozu’s masterpiece “Tokyo Story” gets special attention – a fact that other reviewers felt slowed down the plot, but one that this reviewer felt was an astute connection that demonstrated the universality of life in all its suffering and happiness.

This novella (at only 180 pages) is a constant surprise. As always, Auster’s prose is beautiful, and his literary tricks of the trade are still very much in play. In the final analysis, Man In the Dark is a very good Paul Auster novel, though falls just short of being a great one.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780805088397
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Auster, Paul
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Autobiographical fiction, American
Subject:
Imaginary wars and battles
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Political fiction
Subject:
Psychological
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1st
Large Print:
Y
Publication Date:
August 19, 2008
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 CDs, 4.5 hrs
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Man in the Dark Signed 1st Edition Used Hardcover
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$19.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Henry Holt and Co. - English 9780805088397 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A retired book critic is targeted by an assassin from an alternate universe in Auster's flawed latest. August Brill lies awake in his daughter's Vermont home, making up stories to fight against insomnia and depression. The stories coalesce around a character, Owen Brick, a professional magician transported to an alternate reality in which the U.S. fell into a civil war after the 2000 election. His mission: to end the war by assassinating August. Back in the real world, August is worried about his 23-year-old granddaughter, who moved back in with her mother after her boyfriend was killed in Iraq. The suspense about whether August's reality and the assassin in his fantasy will collide baits a sharp hook, but about halfway in, the narrative devolves into a long night's tale of the literary New York of yore as August regales his granddaughter with stories. The merging of nostalgia with a Philip K. Dick conceit doesn't wholly succeed, but Auster's juxtaposition of two worlds is compelling and intellectually rigorous in Auster's trademark claustrophobic hall-of-mirrors fashion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Probably Auster's best novel, and a plaintive summa of all the books that — we now see — have gone into its making."
"Review" by , "Auster's trademark shattering ending...hauntingly revitalizes the book's theme of the horrors of war. This best-selling author with a cult following of literati finally offers one to please both fan bases."
"Synopsis" by , Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident in his daughter's house in Vermont. 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.
"Synopsis" by ,

A brilliant, devastating tale about the many realities we inhabit as wars flame all around us.

"Synopsis" by ,

A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

"Man in the Dark is an undoubted pleasure to read. Auster really does possess the wand of the enchanter."--Michael Dirda, The New York Review of Books

From a "literary original" (The Wall Street Journal) comes 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. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident at his daughter's house in Vermont. 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 desperately trying to avoid insists on being told.

 

"Synopsis" by ,

“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 Austers brilliant, devastating tale about the many realities we inhabit as wars flame all around us. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident in his daughters house in Vermont. 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 wifes recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughters 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, Brills 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 Tituss death. Passionate and shocking, Man in the Dark is a story of our moment, an audiobook 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.
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