Friday, 3 February 2012

Friday Fiction 4/52

Sunset Park by Paul Auster

This was my first Auster read, even though it's his 16th written, and I was definitely left wanting to read more - it was so good!

The story is told from multiple perspectives, but is centered around Miles, a man wandering around the country, trying to come to terms with having caused his brother's death, and knowledge that he may or may not have done it on purpose. He left behind his wealthy family and we find him living in Florida with his brilliant, but high school aged girlfriend, clearing repossessed houses for a living. He is forced to leave, so as not to be arrested, when her family turn against him and ends up in a squat in New York with a idiosyncratic band of characters, with the emotional and financial constraints of the 2008 economic crisis as a back drop.

It's not an action packed novel, but I relished the delightfully slow pace and the beautifully written characters. The changing narrative of the chapters allowed them each to become fully formed and come alive in a wonderfully rounded way. I did find some chapters weaker than others - the Miles section griped me and pulled me in right from the beginning, but the Morris one left me a little cold - and I've read that some people were disappointed with the ending, which yes, for me it lacked a little conclusion, but this in no way spoiled the book for me.

As soon as I'd finished I was raving about it to my friends, and immediately went out and got my hands on another Auster  - The Brooklyn Follies. His writing style consumed me and I am so very excited to read more. It really was a joy to read, and apart from a few niggles, a truly wonderful book, 9/10.

P.S. I'm not sure if this review reflects quite how much I loved it, but trust me, I did. Go and read it for yourself!

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