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The Book of Illusions

by Paul Auster

The Book of Illusions Synopsis

The Book of Illusions, written with breath-taking urgency and precision, plunges the reader into a universe in which the comic and the tragic, the real and the imagined, and the violent and the tender dissolve into one another. One man's obsession with the mysterious life of a silent film star takes him on a journey into a shadow-world of lies, illusions, and unexpected love. After losing his wife and young sons in a plane crash, Vermont professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in grief. Then, watching television one night, he stumbles upon a lost film by silent comedian Hector Mann, and remembers how to laugh . . . Mann was a comic genius, in trademark white suit and fluttering black moustache. But one morning in 1929 he walked out of his house and was never heard from again. Zimmer's obsession with Mann drives him to publish a study of his work; whereupon he receives a letter postmarked New Mexico, supposedly written by Mann's wife, and inviting him to visit the great Mann himself. Can Hector Mann be alive? Zimmer cannot decide - until a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever. 'A nearly flawless work . . . Auster will be remembered as one of the great writers of our time.' San Francisco Chronicle 'Auster's elegant, finely calibrated The Book of Illusions is a haunting feat of intellectual gamesmanship.' TheNew York Times

The Book of Illusions Press Reviews

A nearly flawless work . . . Auster will be remembered as one of the great writers of our time. -- San Francisco Chronicle Mr. Auster's elegant, finely calibrated Book of Illusions is a haunting feat of intellectual gamesmanship. -- The New York Times This noirish, layered tale will keep you guessing to the very end. -- Time Out New York A nearly flawless work, and is the best argument among many that Auster will be remembered as one of the great writers of our time. -- San Francisco Chronicle Mr. Auster's elegant, finely calibrated The Book of Illusions is a haunting feat of intellectual gamesmanship...Hector is an inspired creation...more immediate than many flesh-and-blood actors. -- The New York Times One of his finest [novels]: an elegant meditation on the question of whether an artist or his public 'owns' the work he creates, and a thickly plotted succession of interlocking mysteries reminiscent of his highly praised New York Trilogy...gripping and immensely satisfying. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) An older and wiser Auster has added a new ingredient to the metaphysical play and deft storytelling, a sadness that colors all illusion, that creates a stunningly moving and very real portrait of a man over-marked by death....It is a story of unspeakable grief told with virtuousic brilliance, which Auster finally brings safely to Earth with a very human simplicity. -- Los Angeles Times A nearly flawless work, and is the best argument among many that Auster will be remembered as one of the great writers of our time. -- San Francisco Chronicle Mr. Auster' s elegant, finely calibrated The Book of Illusions is a haunting feat of intellectual gamesmanship...Hector is an inspired creation...more immediate than many flesh-and-blood actors. -- The New York Times One of his finest [novels]: an elegant meditation on the question of whether an artist or his public ' owns' the work he creates, and a thickly plotted succession of interlocking mysteries reminiscent of his highly praised New York Trilogy...gripping and immensely satisfying. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) An older and wiser Auster has added a new ingredient to the metaphysical play and deft storytelling, a sadness that colors all illusion, that creates a stunningly moving and very real portrait of a man over-marked by death....It is a story of unspeakable grief told with virtuousic brilliance, which Auster finally brings safely to Earth with a very human simplicity. -- Los Angeles Times

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571276639
Publication date: 2nd June 2011
Author: Paul Auster
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 336 pages
Categories: Classic fiction (pre c 1945),

About Paul Auster

Paul Auster is the best-selling author of Invisible, Moon Palace, Mr Vertigo, 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 Medicis Etranger for Leviathan. He has also been short-listed 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 ...

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