Okay, color me deeply impressed. That's two for two, if you're keeping track. Now I want to read all of his novels. ^_^Auster, Paul. In the Country of Last Things. New York: Viking, 1987.Summary
: Anna Blume has arrived in the city in search of her brother and promptly descends into a nightmare world where people are starving and scavengers roam the streets. By the end, she has made some friends with whom she plots escape from the city, but her original goal remains as yet unaccomplished.Comments
: Nightmare cityscapes of some unspecified future are popular 20th century fiction destinations, but Auster's, unlike many that have come before his, is anything but cool. No cyberpunk. No roving boy gangs. No hardass jacks of all trades for hire. Forget that shit. People suffer, and it ain't pretty. It IS fascinating, though, and these denizens of an unnamed city perhaps resembling New York (or maybe Newark, NJ?) has come up with some really inventive ways of dying. (The Runners in particular were a witty touch.) The story's theme and structure is quite similar to the later Timbuktu
, but that book is the better one. No way that a 19-year-old young woman of privilege is going to rival a mongrel as a charismatic protagonist. Still, both Mr. Bones and Anna find themselves in three novel situations apiece, and in the end decide to travel to locales heretofore unknown. As expected, Auster's prose is impeccable, and the voice of his narrator is both beautiful and believable. And even if we're not necessarily breaking grand new territory here, in the details it's a pleasure nonetheless.Notes
: hardcover, 1st edition (library book) Rating
- The sort of thing that the boys always seem to have orgasms over...only Auster's so good that other persuasions will love it, too.