NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Friday, May 16, 2008


by Paul Auster

Margaret at Books Please recently read this also and wrote such a great review that I thought I'd start by saying you all should read that first to find out what this is all about. Go ahead. I'll wait. . .

I really liked Travels in the Scriptorium. True, if ambiguity is not your thing, you may want to pass this one by, but even though I have only read one other book by this author, I was transfixed from the first page to the last. Since many or all of the characters are from his previous novels, reading this has made me itch to pick up more of his work and find out who these people are. I'm not at all convinced that this particular story will make any more sense if I gather further knowledge of the players, but it's too late. I'm hooked.

As I was reading Travels, I kept thinking that the work felt like an immensely talented author working his way through a case of writer's block, jotting down a hodge podge of disconnected ideas and attempting to weave them together just to see what would happen. When I found out that these seemingly random people were from earlier books, it made sense to me. I also thought it could have been a clever way to introduce new readers to old books, even if they don't realize that is what is happening. I could see myself eventually reading another Auster book and thinking, "Hmmmmm. . . Where have I heard this name before. . ." Knowing where the characters came from, now I'll be searching them out. I can't help it. I'm a sucker. I played right into his hands. I know it, and I don't care. It's like I've found clues to a mystery that I need to investigate. Then later I'll return to Travels and see if maybe I found a treasure map or possibly a treasure.


Other Paul Auster books I have reviewed:

The Book of Illusions


BooksPlease said...

Thanks for the link. I really like your post, so interesting to read what someone else thinks.

I wondered as I was reading the book whether the story would make more sense if I'd read all his other books and like you I don't know that it would, but I think it helps to recognise the names. And it made me want to read more of his books as well. I just kept wanting to make more sense of it.

I like the idea that these characters live in Auster's brain and have got together for this book!

Now I'll have a look at your review of Timbuktu and see who I can recognise.

Lezlie said...

Margaret ~ There is a cameo from Timbuktu, just a very brief glimpse. If you can't figure it out, let me know and I'll tell you what it was.

Andi said...

Yep, I need to read more of his stuff before I tackle Travels. I have almost every one of his novels on my shelves. Guess I'd better get to reading!

Lezlie said...

Andi ~ I just ordered The New York Trilogy. I'll be reading my way through his novels, too. Travels was still good even without the background though.


Andi said...

I hope you love New York Trilogy as much as I did!!

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

New York Trilogy is on my TBR shelf. But now I'm interested in trying this one as well.

TAG! I just tagged you for the Six Random Things About Myself meme (although I still don't know what that word means). I hope you haven't done it already.

Lezlie said...

RC Reader ~ I haven't! I'm going to have to think about this for a bit. . . There must be something I haven't blabbed about here yet! :-)