Friday, August 25, 2006

Locked Rooms in a City of Glass full of Ghosts

I just finished my first reading of Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy. I had never read Paul Auster for a couple of reasons.

First because I had the impression that his prose was dry, pretentious and literary. I don’t know why I thought that. Maybe from watching Smoke.

Second, he was highly recommended to me by a couple of people I reflexively didn’t respect much. That’s shallow and wrong of me I know. They are both well-read younger guys with that superior young guy attitude. Intellectually I know better than to let that bother me since I had the same attitude in spades. Ultimately I was able to overcome it and picked up the book.

Much to my surprise Auster wasn’t dry and pretentious at all. The New York Trilogy is deep literature that is very enjoyable and easy to read.

But I’m afraid that’s all I’m going to be able to tell you about it. Although I’m willing to play the critic on a few movies, there is no way I’m going to take away any of the pleasure you may get if you read those books. To discover what is going on in the many layers of the narrative provides much of the enjoyment of reading them. I still haven’t read anything about them, or Auster.

I want to read a lot more before I let others influence my opinion, but I do look forward to that day. Although Auster is fun and easy to read, he is tricky and I can easily see that there are a lot of hidden things and multiple ways of interpreting them.

So I recommend New York Trilogy. Go for it. And go for it in virginal ignorance of Paul Auster if you still can. That’s my advice.