Customer Reviews for

Oracle Night

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Unusual Book

    This book is very different than most. It keeps you intrigued. I couldn't figure out where the author was going with the plot so I finished the book in one day. The plot is hard to describe for me. I just recommend that you read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011


    Sucked me right in immediately and I could not put it down. Auster is truly gifted and I am envious of his talent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2004

    Nesting dolls

    As previously noted, this novel is an adventure indeed. A book constructed as if it were a set of Russian nesting dolls, Oracle Night is the story of a writer who is writing a story about another reader who is reading a novel written long ago. If that seems circuitous, consider that the reader of Oracle Night is the outermost doll of the set. This is a book questioning the relationship between illusion and reality. Where does imagination stop and the real world begin? It is a facinating concept and one which requires an open mindset of the reader who chooses to approach it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004


    Writing instructors are forever explaining to new writers that they need to show and NOT tell. By this standard, Paul Auster is either the worst writer in America or a rather clever rule breaker. His book Oracle Night is tell wall-to-wall. He tells us ten times more plot than we need. It's like riding a horse for ten miles until it dies, then taking a train until you fall out of an open window, and then doing back flips into the subway. After a time, probability has been totally blasted away and all you have left is the voyage. It shouldn't work, and yet it somehow does work. It's like Dickens without the coherence or morality. It's like reading five comic books at the same time. Still, after a while, you start to get used to being talked at. You adjust to having little description or animation in the novel and settle down to being led around by the nose. The plot is so artifically transparent that you just about fall for it. There is no reason. After all, every story is ultimately a trick using words that suggest reality. Auster just gives over any effort to convey a sense that the story he is telling is or could ever be real. It's a story, get it? It's to be believed simply because he says it. The whole story is like a what if. Plot elements can go in any direction at any time. It's even told by a story teller who sometimes even admits that his plot is absurd and incredible. So when one story paints itself into a corner, he simply leaves it there and continues on somewhere else without excuses or explanations. Normally, this sort of high-handed treatment would be my definition of weak plotting, but somehow Auster pulls it off. It's an odd adventure in fiction but, in the end, an adventure nonetheless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

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