another psychic trip: Paul Auster’s “the book of illusions”

imagine losing touch to everyday life out of a tragic loss… and then imagine being reconnected to right that everyday life also through another tragic loss. it’s obvious: Paul Auster surely is what you’d like to call a strange, intense writer; ever since I first read the “manhattan trilogy” back in 1999, I sort of got caught by Auster’s “cinema for the mind”, by his incredibly visionary stories filled with dark, wretched images and moods obviously taken right from the minds of the distorted and insane. “the book of illusions”, once again, is right this way; it is a book very hard to read, a book very hard to feel good after, a book that somehow leaves you touched, leaves you with a bunch of questions and doubts that hardly will go away immediately. somewhere more or less in the middle of the text, things all of a sudden seem to look like the book now will proceed right into a calm, happy ending after all is said and done, after the last mystery about long-lost artist Hector Mann is solved and Mr Zimmer, the protagonist of this book, finally seems to be back in touch with life again. Then again, Auster is little likely of letting his readers get away that easy, so things once again drastically change within the last few pages of the book, suddenly everything that happens up to then seems to turn unreal, illusionary within the wink of an eye, and in the end there even is sort of a happy end after all, but just sort of, though completely different to what you’d might have expected during the second half of the book and so somewhat dull, burdened by the course of strange events, mental confusions and weird stories told throughout the book. A worthy read, somehow…0

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