(Read in Spanish: "Palacio de la luna")

This is the first book by Paul Auster I read, after my friend warmly recommended the author. I read it in Spanish on my Palm, and must admit that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I understood huge portions without using a dictionary at all.

Set in the US in the late 60s - early 70s, the plot of this book is quite peculiar. Marco Fogg is a chap in his early twenties, an orphan with no family at all. He's quite intelligent, studying in a university and reading a lot of books. The "fun begins" when Marco starts working for Mr. Effing, an old paralytic, as a "companion" - reading books for him, taking him on walks, and so on. Effing tells him the story of his life which becomes the main theme of the novel, and eventually gets connected in complex ways with the life of Fogg himself.

The characters in this book are very well developed, and all (the males, at least) are similar in some ways. There's a strong smell of loneliness coming from this book - the author succeeds conveying this impression very clearly. I found it quite hard to connect with the main character - Fogg. His way of life in the first part of the book - "dragging it along", doing nothing, waiting for life to happen (which almost ended in a death of hunger) is, IMHO, quite dumb, and I really hate people with such outlook on life. The characters presented later turn out to be not a bit less weird :-)
The novel also has two sub-stories in it. One long - the autobiography of Effing, and one short - the novel Fogg's father sends him about the imaginary tribe in the desert. The second story has little to do with the main plot at all, except maybe present the same complex coincidence-full outlook Auster tries to convey.

All in all, it's hard to say I liked the book. It was OK, a bit too weird perhaps.


Comments

comments powered by Disqus