Customer Reviews for

Travels in the Scriptorium

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    I love Paul Auster's books. They're always a surreal journey in everyday's life. His prose is always beautiful and 'Scriptorium' does not disappoint to that extent. The story unfolds and the reader is intrigued by what hides behind the story of the main character, Mr Blank. However, I was left hungry in the end and could have done with more. It felt like an unfinished experience. Great start but no end. I am one of these readers who need a good start and a good end to fully appreciate a book. Usually, Paul Auster provides both + fantastic style of story-telling. However, this one falls short ultimately and disappoints. My expectation may have been high. It was an interesting experience but that's it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    mindful of the 1960s TV show the Prisoner

    The old man awakens feeling disoriented as he has no idea who he is, where he is, how he got there wherever that is, why he is imprisoned in this room, or for that matter anything else except that he is locked inside this room. He is unaware of the camera in the ceiling that takes constant pictures of him at a phenomenal rate of one per second. --- Seeking any clue to his identity, he sits by the desk studying photos that mean nothing to him and reads a manuscript that he fails to relate to either. The outside ¿watcher¿ dubs him ¿Mr. Blank¿ as the old man reads the odd account of Sigmund Graf of the Confederation assigned to find a rebel soldier Ernesto Land. Throughout the day as he struggles with his memory, visitors arrive confusing him further as he vaguely recognizes the policeman, the doctor, and the attendants who subtly accuse him of horrific crimes against humanity. However, it is his lawyer who lets Mr. Blank know how much trouble he in. The man is accused of conspiracy, fraud, negligent homicide, defamation of character, and first-degree murder, but except for flashpoints he recalls nothing and once they leave he reverts back to Mr. Blank. --- This is a strange tale mindful of the 1960s TV show the Prisoner, as Mr. Blank, sitting in the austere room (and readers) wonders what is going on and when will it end not how will it terminate. The existential story line is not for everyone as the action is limited to the manuscript and even that in many ways is passive. Instead the plot focuses on what is existence when the essential soul of experience is deleted either from one of his tormentors (the watcher-narrator) or from within his own mind as a psychological device to cope with horrific crimes. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Travels

    This is a book that I enjoyed, I not sure exactly what it was about. It seems to be a form of prison for Mr. Blank who does not know who or why he is there and slowly he starts to remember by hints in his room and people from his past that help him remember his crimes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2007

    Reads like a metaphysical mystery

    This is my third Paul Auster novel after Book of Illusions and Oracle Night. I have enjoyed them all immensely. Scriptorium is a thought-provoking novel that leaves the reader with as many questions as it does answers. Auster is adept at playing with the perception of reality with his characters and always finds a way at unraveling the plot in unexpected and satisfying ways. While progressing through the narrative, the reader must question the reality presented and must suspend interpretative judgment until the end is reached. Much like watching a thriller unfold on a screen, you won't want to come to a conclusion until the credits roll. Auster takes his protagonists through tragi-comic, metaphysical journeys often touching on themes of guilt and restitution. Not recommended for readers who prefer novels in which all plot elements are sown together in a neat package ending leaving little room for doubt. Nevertheless, as Auster breaks down the typical barriers of story telling, you know the journey will be thought provoking. Read this novel with a partner as it will provide a lively discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2007

    LAME, REAL LAME

    This book was a chore to finish. I can't believe this book was really published. VERY QUICK READ like getting a tooth pulled. NOT RECOMmENDED!

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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