The Book of Illusions

The Book of Illusions Illuusioiden Kirja On Romaani Unohdetusta Mykk Elokuvien Tekij St Ja H Nt Tutkivasta Collegeprofessorista David Zimmerist Zimmer On Perheens Ja El M Nhalunsa Menett Nyt Mies, Jolle Vain Ty Tuo Lohtua H N J Tt Opettajantoimensa, Uppoutuu Unohdetun Elokuvantekij Hector Mannin Tuotantoon Ja Muuttaa Syrj Iseen Taloon Kunnes Er N P Iv N Saapuu Kirje, Jossa Kerrotaan Mannin Olevan Elossa Ja Kehotetaan Zimmeri Hankkiutumaan T M N Luo

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Report from the Interior, Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works He has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix M dicis tranger, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Premio Napoli He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Ac

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  • Paperback
  • 360 pages
  • The Book of Illusions
  • Paul Auster
  • Finnish
  • 12 January 2018
  • 9789524597500

10 thoughts on “The Book of Illusions

  1. says:

    Rating one furious, disgusted star of however many stars there are in a galaxyI ve never been fond of pompous writing, the kind that checks its look in the mirror of acclaim and piles on the self satisfied smirking smugness that makes me want to torch all the MFA schools I can reach.My review, which I ve moved to my blog, says that and Apparently the hoi polloi slithering in from the Internet s sanctimonious quarters don t agree with me, therefore I must be wrong.

  2. says:

    The Book of Illusions, Paul Auster The Book of Illusions is a novel by American writer Paul Auster, published in 2002 It was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2004.Set in the late 1980s, the story is written from the perspective of David Zimmer, a university professor who, after losing his wife and children in a plane crash, falls into a routine of depression and isolation After seeing one of the silent comedies of Hector Mann, an actor missing since the 1920s, he decides to occupy himself by watching all of Mann s films and writing a book about them 2009 1386 340 9789648838268 1391 1395 20 .

  3. says:

    After having lost his wife and children in a plane crash, writer and teacher David Zimmer is on a path of self destruction, drinking, behaving badly around people, rejecting any and all understanding and sympathy But seeing a bit of silent film comedy on TV, he takes up the task of examining and writing a book about the work of one comedic genius from the 20 s Soon after the book is published the wife of the supposedly dead film maker contacts Zimmer to ask if he might like to meet the man himself There is much parallelism here, Zimmer with both Hector Mann, the ancient film maker and Chateaubriand, the author of a lengthy autobiography that Zimmer is translating In a way all three are dead Zimmer and Mann had both attempted suicide And a character in the book ultimately succeeds in such an attempt.What is real and what is illusion Hector had been in the business of illusion, then had to present an illusion of himself for most of his life His film The Life of Martin Frost echoes the book s theme of illusion Sometimes an illusion can be a helpful thing, as when Zimmer is comforted by Alma on the plane see below.There is a passage in which Mann spots what he believes to be a blue stone on the street He has a detailed plan of what he will do with it, alive with human connection, only to find that it is a gob of spit Yet the imagining was enough to alter his life course Maybe illusions are what we tell ourselves, what we need, in order to survive I enjoyed the book very much It was a fast read, engaging, with interesting characters and enough suspense to sustain a level of tension There was, perhaps, too little told of Hector s wife and why she does what she does Well, Auster does explain, but I found it unconvincing I wish that I had kept better track of characters No, there are not hordes of them I just wish that I had tracked the braiding of the stories There is much interweaving here, much that occurs for some that also occur for others I was too tired while reading this to devote adequate attention to that C est la vie I was encouraged, however, to read of Auster.

  4. says:

    I have changed my mind about this book The first pages were tough to read and I wasn t sure if I could make it to the end But the story grew on me This book has been on my shelves for a long time, the first Auster I bought I just love Brooklyn Follies, was intrigued by Man in the Dark and Auggie Wren s Xmas story is great as well The story line is intriguing A man looses his wife and two children in a plane crash In sorrow, he is fascinated by a silent movie actor, who disappeared from the face of the earth a long time ago, and writes a book about him Then he receives a letter that the actor wants to see him I guess you either like Auster or you don t Paul Auster is not an easy read,always troubling in a way, but his style is beautiful, poetic and his stories always fascinating 3.6 stars Need to reread

  5. says:

    Born Again and Longing for It All to EndI m guessing, but I don t think this book was ever seriously edited It appears to have been written in a continuous stream, not of consciousness but of wherever Austen s characters wanted to take him at the moment to extricate themselves from frequent literary culs de sac And this includes an immense amount of random detail of relevance to neither the plot nor the characters The result is a fair short story imitating a rather bad middling size novel.One important thing happens in the entire book the accidental death of a young woman The plot revolves around this death but on threads which seem to be thrown aimlessly into narrative space The narrator, a widowed academic whose main aim is to distract himself from his loss, claims knowledge he couldn t possibly have about events occurring a half century prior and told to him second and third hand He informs the reader at great length about his perceptions but nothing about their meaning for him Eventually he discovers love and redemption sweet and then carelessly loses that.The protagonist, whose voice we hear only belatedly and briefly and only in indirect speech it is the constant indirect speech of he said, she said that is a source of tediousness throughout , is a minor Hollywood celebrity of silent films The academic has written a book about him and believes him dead He is not but he is dying The academic is ambivalent but agrees to meet the ex actor for reasons that are as unclear as all the other motivations in the story.All the characters seem to exist in a fog like drift of haplessness among the unlikely course of their lives They wander into and out of relationships without reason They do strange things insult colleagues needlessly and maliciously, threaten others half heartedly at gunpoint, attempt suicide both inadvertently and with intent , stop and start careers casually from sports goods retailing to the sex trade for example which punctuate otherwise pointless lives The protagonist spends a great deal of his inherited wealth making films that no one else is intended to see.The flatness of the prose is deadening There is little relief from the endless dump of uninspired description Dramatic structure is entirely absent Events follow each other with no cumulative effect There is a vague tension that something significant is about to happen But it never does What does happen is yet another episode leading nowhere, literary coitus interruptus.Perhaps Auster s point is that art only exists on the verge of extinction extinction of the reader if not the artist I blame myself Given Auster s prolificness and enormous following, it is clearly my unsympathetic inattention which is at fault Nonetheless, I am left with the feeling of having spent than several long hours listening to a drunk uncle at a wedding party My only ambition is to get away before he starts another chapter of family history about people I care nothing about.

  6. says:

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  7. says:

    Paul Auster, you bastard The man writes such depressing stuff As with the other Auster I ve read I know I ve only read 2 Austers, I am such a failure at being pretentious , I finished this and I was like what, why did I read this To explain myself I should say that I follow the Roger Ebert school of criticism Roger Ebert cares about how a movie makes him feel than on its technical merits Granted, this is rather less valid in the medium of words on a page than the sound and fury of film, but I still stick to it I have no problem trashing Plath s Bell jar, regardless of its supposed literary merit or historical significance, because it bored and annoyed me.But getting to the point of this book, let me break it down for you literary thugs there is a man whose family dies in an accident He is depressed, but then he sees a silent comedy on TV and laughs for the first time in long while He then decides to write about the star of this silent comedy, a man named Hector Mann In the course of this, he finds out that Hector Mann disappeared, but he may actually still be alive Stuff ensues, there are some themes brought up, there s some angst, there s some sex, you know the drill And don t worry none of that s spoiler material, all on the first page basically.Worth reading for a few pieces of stellar writing I was particularly impressed by how Auster writes about a film that doesn t actually exist I bought into it, I was convinced It s a story within a story within a story within a story ad nauseam , and it s true that the inner stories are better told than the outer ones I m cool with that.In summary, though Paul Auster, you bastard is my review If you likewise enjoy calling famous authors bastards, then I recommend this book to you highly.As a side note, a result of this novel, I had to add a new shelf called bepretentious Just read some of the other, actually useful reviews and you ll see what I mean.

  8. says:

    By reading this book I have become a die hard Auster fan The man is amazing So clever, so imaginitive, so poetic and almost profound This book rambles, and in doing so touches on so many intertwined narratives that one almost gives up on what was assumed to be the original plot and assumes the opening catch phrase was just another Paul Auster smoke screen story line But this one, even in creating such an intricatedly woven network of a character experiences, never looses sight of its ultimate goal to explain how the supposed disapearance of a silent film actor affected the life of a professor and widower from Detroit The world created in this book is done with such care and is so full of unexpected and tangential details that I found myself wondering if I wasn t perhaps reading a work of historical fiction rather than just a plain old novel It s an amazingly well crafted narrative, heartwrenching and hopeful at the same time A man s life is an illusion to all except those who share in it.

  9. says:

    Being drawn into Paul Auster s fiction was one of the reasons my reading became widespread This story grabbed me from the off, and was indeed difficult to put down Ok so he is an acquired taste, but there is just something about his writing that hooks you in and doesn t let go so easily The story here is both captivating and strangely mysterious It s all about digging into the past in quite an obsessive manner, just who was Hector Mann , what happened to him , is he still alive , gripped by intrigue, professor David Zimmer makes it his life s goal to discover the truth, and step by step he pulls back the blanket on an enigmatic life that no body else would even bother about Could the great silent film star have been pulling the wool over everyone s eyes all this time , as we enter deeper and deeper into a cocktail of deceit and dissimulation, his quest for answers starts growing like a cancer Traversing through the American mid west and finally New Mexico, nothing could prepare Zimmer for just what is about to followThis could be viewed as the brother to The New York Trilogy , covering roughly the same sort of ground in places here, but whereas TNYT had cold complexities that either sucked you in, or drove you away, this although complex, has a warmer feel to it and by far is easier to read Hardcore Auster fans may view this as not his best, but I was totally immersed from start to finish, even if it wasn t the ending I was crying out for A dazzling masterpiece of fiction

  10. says:

    Paul Auster obviously has a thing for men who linger between reality and nothingness Men whose realities take a turn towards the vague, so much so, that they seem to dress themselves in the vagueness that surrounds them Men who lose everything or men who never really had anything to begin with Men who seem to be caught for good inside an illusion along with everyone that surrounds them Now they re here, now they re not There are two of those men in The Book of Illusions the narrator and Hector Man Bound to each other, they meet only for an hour toward the end but the echo of their meeting is present after as much as before the event.What strange time for me to read this particular book By the end of the first chapter it had grabbed me by the neck What s weird is that my present state has something of the book s essence As a result, book and reality mixed in an almost hurtful way I regret, however, that my own illusions take up much of my mental capacity nowadays, which proved unable to fully embrace this haunting novel Not that I regret the illusions themselves Where would the point in that be, after all It s haunting, intense, and filled with a melancholy that sticks on your fingers with every page that you turn There s a kind of sadness in the very idea of illusions, and Auster sure took great advantage of that It s the idea that everything you have can disappear in the blink eye Something precious falls into our arms and we call it a miracle One day, we open our eyes and it s gone Then, it s a tragedy The worst is that, once it s gone, one can never be sure if it was ever even there.Don t be fooled, The Book of Illusions is so much than my clouded mind can produce right now A story of lightnings that strike the same place twice against all odds As for me, I m becoming a fan.

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