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The Music of Chance
     

The Music of Chance

2.7 3
by Paul Auster
 

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An “exceptional” (Los Angeles Times) tale of fate, loyalty, responsibility, and the real meaning of freedom, from the author of the forthcoming 4 3 2 1:  A Novel

A finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award

This “rich and dazzling” (Wall Street Journal) novel follows Jim Nashe who, after

Overview

An “exceptional” (Los Angeles Times) tale of fate, loyalty, responsibility, and the real meaning of freedom, from the author of the forthcoming 4 3 2 1:  A Novel

A finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award

This “rich and dazzling” (Wall Street Journal) novel follows Jim Nashe who, after squandering an unexpected inheritance, picks up a young gambler named Jack Pozzi hoping to con two millionaires. But when their plans backfire, Jim and Jack are indentured by their elusive marks and are forced to build a meaningless wall with bricks gathered from ruins of an Irish castle. Time passes, their debts mount, and anger builds as the two struggle to dig themselves out of their Kafkaesque serfdom.

New York Times-bestselling author Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy) brings us back into his strange, shape-shifting world of fiendish bargains and punitive whims, where chance is a powerful yet unpredictable force.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Music of Chance:

“A tour de force about freedom and imprisonment, motion and stasis, order and randomness. . .its story beautifully paced and shaped, its tone powerfully ominous.” 
–The Wall Street Journal
 
“You won’t read much better writing anywhere on the lure of the open road – and it catches the reader in a surprisingly strong spell.  It’s further evidence that Auster is one of the few contemporary American novelists whose work is both original and interesting."
– The Washington Post
 
“Entertaining, provocative, and resonant. . .Auster can write with the speed and skill of a self-assured pool player, sending one bizarre event ricocheting neatly and unexpectedly into the next.”
– The New York Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Auster's ( Moon Palace ; the New York Trilogy) offbeat and strangely compelling black comedy invites speculation about the counterpointing of choice and chance, and carries resonances of Samuel Beckett. With a windfall of nearly $200,000, Jim Nashe abandons his stalled life, leaves his small daughter Juliette with Minnesota relatives and compulsively drives around the country for a year. He meets a frail, spunky, badly beaten youngster, self-advertised jackpot winner Jack Pozzi, and agrees to finance Pozzi in an epic poker match against an apparently childlike but actually malign pair named Flower and Stone in their remote mansion. Ruined in the game, Nashe and Pozzi try to work off their huge debt by building a wall out of 10,000 stones from an imported Irish castle, under the baleful overseer Murks, who gets Nashe's prized car. Affection springs up between Nashe and ``the kid,'' Pozzi, but optimism erodes as their plight becomes clear, disaster befalls Pozzi and numbing toil stretches endlessly. In his lucid, captivating yarn, Auster quietly raises disturbing questions of servants and masters, of loyalty, freedom and the inexplicable urge to kill.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140154078
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/25/1991
Series:
Contemporary American Fiction Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
309,539
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Brooklyn, New York
Date of Birth:
February 3, 1947
Place of Birth:
Newark, New Jersey
Education:
B.A., M.A., Columbia University, 1970

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The Music of Chance 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.