That last book riled me up so much that it took me a bit longer before I was ready to wade back into the literary waters. Well, that and the fact that this whole month has left me feeling like I’ve gone 10 rounds of Velocity with a former Borg drone (come on, you know you’ve got to keep up with my geek references…or at the very least, tolerate them).
I know that I’ve mentioned Paul Auster before and how I discovered him by way of one of his books having a dog on its cover. Thank goodness I’m a softie like that. I believe Paul Auster is a brilliant writer, one of the best in the modern literary game today. Every time I read one of his novels, I’m transported to places and ideas and imaginings of the most wonderful varieties.
Man In the Dark is no exception to this rule. In fact, I daresay that this particular novel might be one of my favorite Auster offerings so far, as it resonates with me on a particularly intimate level. The main character, August Brill, weaves a tale for us through reality and imagination, seeking truth and comfort in the small hours of night, as he lies awake in the darkness of his room…lost in the stories he constructs within his mind (sounds familiar, no?).
A large portion of this book, in fact, takes place in these stories that Brill creates to keep himself entertained and distracted as he awaits sleep’s arrival. I love how deftly Auster is able to craft this scenario, shifting us from Brill’s imagination to his reality with effortless certitude. That’s what it means to be a master of your craft.
If you have never read Paul Auster before, I urge you to give him a try. His works are surreal, but not complicatedly so. This is an excellent place to start. So is Timbuktu…you know, the book with the dog on the cover.
Final score: 5/5. More than likely I’m biased, but there wasn’t one part of this book that failed to hold me rapt and ready for more. I may even have to add this one to my personal collection.