Moon Palace

( 11 )

Overview

Marco Stanley Fogg is an orphan, a child of the sixties, a quester tirelessly seeking the key to his past, the answers to the ultimate riddle of his fate. As Marco journeys from the canyons of Manhattan to the deserts of Utah, he encounters a gallery of characters and a series of events as rich and surprising as any in modern fiction.

Beginning during the summer that men first walked on the moon, and moving backward and forward in time to span three generations, Moon Palace is ...

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Moon Palace: A Novel (Penguin Ink)

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Overview

Marco Stanley Fogg is an orphan, a child of the sixties, a quester tirelessly seeking the key to his past, the answers to the ultimate riddle of his fate. As Marco journeys from the canyons of Manhattan to the deserts of Utah, he encounters a gallery of characters and a series of events as rich and surprising as any in modern fiction.

Beginning during the summer that men first walked on the moon, and moving backward and forward in time to span three generations, Moon Palace is propelled by coincidence and memory, and illuminated by marvelous flights of lyricism and wit. Here is the most entertaining and moving novel yet from an author well known for his breathtaking imagination.

From New York Times-bestselling author Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy).

Against the mythical dreamscape of America, Auster brilliantly weaves the bizarre narrative of Marco Stanley Fogg in Moon Palace Fogg goes through a period of time when he nearly starves himself to death out of poverty and dejection, is rescued by a beautiful Chinese girl named Kitty Wu, and ends up as the live-in helper to an invalid old man, the recording of whose life story becomes Marco's obsession and the focus of the novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The moon as a poetic and planetary influence over earthly affairs runs as a theme, wittily ransacked, throughout this elegant fiction by award-winning novelist and poet Auster. Marco Fogg is a loner and a dreamer, whose ``mind is on the moon,'' and who in a state of elation unfolds moonlore to his friends. The year of the moon landing finds Fogg living in spartan reclusivity until forced from his New York apartment to roam as a Central Park vagrant. His rescue by Kitty Wu, a gentle Chinese girl, leads to their poignant and tenuous love. Like some of Auster's earlier protagonists, Fogg senses he has a kindred, submerged or vanished other self. Here, it is Fogg's father, who went into eclipse before his birth; the quest for the parent forms a narrative thread. When Fogg serves as reader/companion to the elderly cripple Barber, aka ``Effing,'' who recounts his adventures in a Western wilderness where he buried a cache of paintings, Fogg's fate takes an unexpected turn.
Library Journal - Grimm
The novel's fantastic quality can be hard to swallow, and some of the action is maddeningly distant, but it's interesting, worthwhile reading. -- Library Journal
Allon Reich
Moon Palace is a richly textured fairy tale which is his most sustained and powerful work to date. . . . The story is told in regulated, measured prose, sufficiently flexible to accommodate, at certain moments, an emotional intensity which Auster has not achieved in his fiction before. . . . [The book] becomes a semi-nostalgic epitaph for the lost innocence of the 1960s American dream, when a young man could still get west, chastened by his voyage through the vast empty wilderness, and declare that 'this is where my life begins'. -- The New Statesman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140115857
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/15/1990
  • Series: Contemporary American Fiction Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 930,097
  • Product dimensions: 5.33 (w) x 7.89 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of The New York Trilogy and many other critically acclaimed novels. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in 2006. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Biography

Much later, when he was able to think about the things that happened to him, he would conclude that nothing was real except chance. But that was much later. In the beginning, there was simply the event and its consequences.

This sentence from the opening of Paul Auster's first novel, City of Glass, could also serve as a template for the author's career, both in circumstance and theme. City of Glass is perhaps the best known of Auster's postmodern detective New York Trilogy, which is rounded out by Ghosts and The Locked Room. Though the novels nominally involve cases to be solved, at base they are about the mystery of identity and how easily it can be lost or altered. In City of Glass, a mystery writer mistakenly receives a phone call for detective Paul Auster and assumes his identity, becoming embroiled in a case. The trilogy was a welcome breath of fresh air for both detective stories and postmodernist writing, and it put Auster on the publishing map.

Setting out to write his subsequent novel, Auster kept in mind the subtitle "Anna Blume Walks Through the 20th Century." The result was a woman's post-apocalyptic urban journey, In the Country of Last Things. Subsequent works such as Moon Palace, The Music of Chance, Leviathan, and Mr. Vertigo offered heroes caught up in strange worlds, playing out their stories over existential subtexts. The Music of Chance carries references from Beckett's Waiting for Godot in its story about a drifter who ends up teaming with a card player named Jack Pozzi to hustle two wealthy eccentrics in a fateful poker game. In Mr. Vertigo, a boy who has the ability to levitate goes on the road in the 1920s as "the Wonder Boy," moving through a panorama of pre-Depression America.

Auster's ability to blur the line between fantasy and reality has resulted in unique stories that never operate solely as good yarns. The New York Times wrote of Leviathan -- a dead man's coincidence-ridden story, as narrated by his friend -- "Thus in the literary looking glass of Leviathan, in which things are not always what they seem, our pleasure in reading the story is enhanced by the challenge of making other connections." Auster's fondness for allegory has earned him both praise for his cleverness and criticism from reviewers who, even as they praise his talent, occasionally find him heavy-handed.

The director Philip Haas adapted The Music of Chance for the 1993 film starring James Spader and Mandy Patinkin. But it was Wayne Wang who drew Auster to the movie business in earnest, convincing him to write the screenplay for 1995's Smoke, which was adapted from the short story "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story." The film did well enough to get producer Miramax on board for a sequel bringing back star Harvey Keitel, Blue in the Face. This time, Auster not only wrote the script but co-directed with Wang; he later went full-fledged auteur with the 1998 film (also starring Keitel) Lulu on the Bridge.

In 1999, Auster made the unconventional choice of writing from a canine's point of view in Timbuktu -- although as Auster noted in the Guardian, Mr. Bones "is and isn't a dog." In telling the story of himself and his owner, a homeless "outlaw poet" named Willy G. Christmas, Mr. Bones offers a meditation on mortality, human relationships, and dreams. "If anything," Auster said in a chat with Barnes & Noble.com readers, "I thought of Willy and Mr. Bones as a rather screwball, nutty, latter-day version of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, the befuddled knight-errant and his loyal squire." The New York Times called Timbuktu his "most touching, most emotionally accessible book."

Auster earned some of his best reviews with his tenth novel The Book of Illusions, about a widower who develops an obsession with an obscure silent-film star and is surprised with an invitation to meet the presumed-dead actor. Book magazine called it "certainly his best...the book [has] the drive and dazzle reminiscent of the classic hardboiled yarns of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett."

Auster is an author who, in both his fiction and his nonfiction, rekindles hope for the romantic, the coincidental, and the magical in everyday life. He does this not with fantastic story lines but by heightening the significance of twists and coincidences that happen to us all the time -- if we approach things in a certain light, our lives become like movies. Auster spins the projector.

Good To Know

Auster's wife Siri Hustvedt, whom he met in 1981, is also a novelist and essayist; writing about her novel The Blindfold, the Village Voice Literary Supplement called Hustvedt "a writer of strong, sometimes astonishing gifts." Auster's first wife was writer Lydia Davis.

Desperately poor in the late '70s and working unhappily as a French translator to make ends meet, Auster wrote a detective novel called Squeeze Play to make some money. He also invented a card game called Action Baseball that he tried to sell to game manufacturers. However, Squeeze Play is "not a legitimate book," he told the Guardian; it was published under a pseudonym. Later, an inheritance from his father allowed Auster the financial freedom to focus more on his writing.

Auster has enjoyed a remarkably international following, even in the days before his Hollywood projects raised his profile; his novels have been translated into several languages, and web sites from Germany to Japan pay him homage.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Paul Benjamin
    2. Hometown:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 3, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newark, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., M.A., Columbia University, 1970

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Breezestar

    Sits.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Redtail

    Hi

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Shimmerheart

    Pads on...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Pyramidstar

    Is here for the gathering. Bringing her clan along soon with her.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Read Asassins claw at

    Claws all results

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2002

    nice, but

    I think people tend to take Auster too seriously. Auster writes nice, interesting books, but he never was or will be a great writer. This I say despite the fact that he tries to portray himself as so ¿ using intertextuality, complex narration, brooding and "deep" imagery - and this is his problem ¿ he does it as an amateur. It seems to me that Auster made his homework and read the masters, however, not hard enough. He doesn't have what they have, or have so little of it, yet he approaches writing as if he was one, and the result is dissatisfying. He is simply not Kafka, or Henry James, or even Salman Rushdie or Coetzee. For those of you who have some background, reading serious stuff ¿ and those who've done it know what I'm talking about ¿ stay away or you'll be disappointed. For others, who would like to enjoy more than average level of writing ¿ enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2001

    Now you have your own PALACE...right in the MOON

    Cheaper than travelling and pretty much the same excitement. Monn Palace really takes you to the moon!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2001

    excellent

    This is really an outstanding book. Well written, worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2000

    A new favourite

    Despite my better judgement on the insistent, persistent and downright annoying recommendation of a friend, I temporarily abandoned my quest to read all the classics before the age of 26 and read this novel. I was not disapointed and only scared as I seem to be in a similar position to the protagonist and inhabiting the same area of Manhattan. However the tips on eating an egg a day are invaluable. I am dying to read more Paul Auster.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2000

    Excellent

    Nothing else to say.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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