Horse Readish!

A man pieces together clues to his past—and the identity of his captors—in this fantastic, labyrinthine novel

An old man awakens, disoriented, in an unfamiliar chamber. With no memory of who he is or how he has arrived there, he pores over the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching his own hazy mind for clues.

Determining that he is locked in, the man—identified only as Mr. Blank—begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an alternate world the man doesn’t recognize. Nevertheless, the pages seem to have been left for him, along with a haunting set of photographs. As the day passes, various characters call on the man in his cell—vaguely familiar people, some who seem to resent him for crimes he can’t remember—and each brings frustrating hints of his identity and his past. All the while an overhead camera clicks and clicks, recording his movements, and a microphone records every sound in the room. Someone is watching.

Both chilling and poignant, Travels in the Scriptorium is vintage Auster: mysterious texts, fluid identities, a hidden past, and, somewhere, an obscure tormentor. And yet, as we discover during one day in the life of Mr. Blank, his world is not so different from our own.

A chilling story of isolation... TRAVELS IN THE SCRIPTORIUM is part dystopian myth and part literary seance; allusions intersect with allusions, identities are fluid, the past is folded almost chokingly tight into the present, shadows of the truth have shadows. All of this refracting inventiveness is why Auster is often referred to as a master of the metaphysical detective story. While in these pages there's no actual detective working a beat, still, as revelation after revelation is delivered, the reader is kept on edge, guessing until the very end. Auster is one of our most intellectually elegant writers. He has persistently subverted the ordinary mechanisms of suspense, chronology, even genre. In certain fundamental attributes, this new novel resembles his Oracle Night, published in 2003. Yet determined readers come to savor the inimitable way Auster keeps restructuring and vivifying his novelistic obsessions. Themes are hungry ghosts, Borges said. Fortunately, Auster’s ghosts are insatiable.
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of twelve previous novels, including The Brooklyn Follies, Oracle Night, The Book of Illusions, and Timbuktu. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn.

"Travels in the Scriptorium" - Paul Auster
Henry Holt and Co ● ISBN: 0805081453 ● HARDCOVER ● and it's on the way...


  1. Anonymous said...
    The first step is as good as half over.

    Harvard University
    Anonymous said...
    He that makes a good war makes a good peace.


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