27 mar. 2005

I like Paul Auster's novels quite a bit. They are very readable, moving forward with a brisk narrative rhythm. They usually hook the reader toward the end. I like the little nods toward Raymond Roussel and Kafka, Beckett, Hammett, and Flann O'Brien. In short, the "European" resonance tinged with American noirish attitude. So yes, I am a fan of his work. I have always had a problem taking it seriously, though. There are false notes, moments when he telegraphs his punches. His thematic development and his modernist clichés become too explicit: he basically tells the reader how to interpret the text. I'm surprised that he gets away with it. He is good enough at narrative pacing and balancing predictability with unpredictability. Sometimes you think you know exactly where he's going and he goes there, but in an unexpected way. Oracle Nights is one of this best.