The Best Bookpost…

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:

  1. I’ve re-read it,
  2. I persuaded my book group to read it,
  3. It’s a book I often recommend to adventurous readers,
  4. 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:

  1. City of Glass
  2. Ghosts
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. City of Glass was my first encounter with metafiction and I thought it was so clever, (I still do).

new-york-trilogyNow, I wondered – what thing made me pick up The New York Trilogy in a book shop all those years ago…

  1. 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.

10 thoughts on “The Best Bookpost…

  1. Rebecca Foster says:

    Wow, 880 pages! I’ve never read any Auster and don’t imagine 4 3 2 1 would be the best place for me to start. I think I even got the NY trilogy out of a library once but never found time for it. Maybe next year…

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      880 pages is a bit daunting! His previous novels have tended to be 200-300 pages. But I’m looking forward to it.

  2. FictionFan says:

    Oh, it’s so exciting to get a new book from a favourite author before it’s published – congratulations! I’ve been meaning to read The New York Trilogy for ages – maybe 2017 will be the year! Enjoy your book, and Merry Christmas. 🙂

  3. Brona says:

    That’s a great cover for TNYT.
    I also read it pre-blog & would like be to reread it one day.
    I received an arc of 4321 at work, but I can’t justify the weight of this book in my holiday luggage allowance! So I’ll have to wait until Feb.

    I look forward to you thoughts…

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