4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
Just had to share this one with you, because a new book by Paul Auster is a cause for much excitement for me, it’s the first for seven years. 4 3 2 1, which weighs in a 1.25kg and has 880 pages, will be published at the end of January – I’m not going to say anything about it here yet.
Those nice folks at Faber are running a private invitation reading group for the book and had a competition to pick its members. Entrants were invited to tell them “which Paul Auster novel is your favourite and why”.
I entered, and was delighted to be picked to join the group – hence my copy arriving yesterday. During January, ahead of publication, I and the other members will be having weekly discussions as we read the book. Here’s my entry, which I was quite proud of as I dashed it off in my lunch-break:
My favourite Paul Auster book is the first one I read:
- I’ve re-read it,
- I persuaded my book group to read it,
- It’s a book I often recommend to adventurous readers,
- and I bought the wonderfully illustrated Folio Society edition after my original Faber paperback got so tattered.
Which book is it? The New York Trilogy, which comprises three novellas:
- City of Glass
- The Locked Room
These stories just blew my mind the first time I read them about 25 years ago, (re-reading just made them better) but and they stuck with me that first time because:
- I’d been reading loads of classic noir – Chandler and Hammett, and I loved the homage Auster paid to these authors while bringing a contemporary twist to the narrative.
- City of Glass was my first encounter with metafiction and I thought it was so clever, (I still do).
Now, I wondered – what thing made me pick up The New York Trilogy in a book shop all those years ago…
- I was drawn to the cover (right), and to use one of the book’s themes – that can’t be a coincidence!
Paul Auster is my literary hero (see here on my blog), and having devoured most of his novels before I started writing my blog, I must re-read them, and fill in the gaps too.
However, most of all, I’d love to read 4 3 2 1.