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4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
  

4 3 2 1

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A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

The contemporary magician of the post-modern and often quirky novel (maybe equalled by just Haruki Murakami) returns with a doorstepper at nearly 900 pages and apart from the initial concept, it proves wonderfully traditional, if not old-fashioned. From the moment of his birth, we follow the life, or rather the lives, of Archie Ferguson, a bright Jewish boy growing up in America from the 1940s to the 1960s. However, from a similar starting point, we are given four different versions depending on varying circumstances, as events run in parallel, relationships, fortunes and loves change according to the respective life stream. Ambitious but rewarding, an exquisite panorama of the way we live and feel seen through a microscope controlled by a writer in full control of his imaginative powers, which is not a metaphor as the character shares a birth date and a profession with Auster himself. An elegy for what could have been, might have been, could still be or should be. The choice is the reader's. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

If you like Paul Auster you might also like to read books by Don Delillo, Martin Amis and E L Doctorow.

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Synopsis

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

On March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four Fergusons made of the same genetic material, four boys who are the same boy, will go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Loves and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Chapter by chapter, the rotating narratives evolve into an elaborate dance of inner worlds enfolded within the outer forces of history as, one by one, the intimate plot of each Ferguson's story rushes on across the tumultuous and fractured terrain of mid twentieth-century America. A boy grows up-again and again and again. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written 4 3 2 1 is an unforgettable tour de force, the crowning work of this masterful writer's extraordinary career.

About the Author

Paul Auster

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Man in the Dark, The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. In 2006 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Among his other honours are the Independent Spirit Award for the screenplay of Smoke and the Prix Médicis Étranger for Leviathan. He has also been shortlisted for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (The Book of Illusions) and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (The Music of Chance). His work has been translated into more than forty languages.

He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author photo © Lotte Hansen

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Book Info

Publication date

31st January 2017

Author

Paul Auster

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Author's Website

paulauster.co.uk/

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Publisher

Faber & Faber

Format

Hardback
880 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780571324620

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