The Brooklyn Follies

The Brooklyn Follies

by Paul Auster
3.9 60

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The Brooklyn Follies 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A delight to read, a heart-warming page-turner, wise and beautifully written.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
New Jersey born Brooklyn based Paul Auster has given us memorable poetry, golden short stories, and bestselling novels, including Oracle Night, The Book of Illusions and Timbuktu. He sets his latest novel in his chosen home, Brooklyn, and introduces Nathan Glass, a very ordinary man who helps us to see the extraordinariness of life. Nathan is 59 years old, once a life insurance salesman, and he has returned to Brooklyn to die. He's divorced, and has no contact with his only child. All Nathan wants is to be left alone he doesn't want to be bothered and he won't bother anyone. However, it's not long before he meets his nephew, Tom Wood, whom he hasn't seen in years. Tom now works in a bookstore owned by Harry Brightman. It is through Tom and Harry that Nathan is drawn into the world and meets new people in the Park Slope neighborhood. At times, it doesn't sound as if Nathan or his friends think much of life in fact, they say the world stinks. We hear Harry saying that they try to avoid the world. To this Tom replies, 'We're right in the thick of it, whether we like it or not. It's all around us, and every time I lift my head and take a good look at it, I'm filled with disgust. Sadness and disgust. You'd think World War Two would have settled things, at least for a couple of hundred years. But we're still hacking each other to pieces, aren't we? We still hate each other as much as we ever did.' However, listen as the story evolves as does Nathan. From the stuff of everyday life Auster has fashioned a hopeful, uplifting story. Hearing it read in his voice is a joy as he segues between the voices of Nathan, Tom and Harry during their dinner table conversations. Auster's voice is deep, his accent Eastern - a perfect fit. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Auster slips out of his chameleon skin once again to prove he cannot be pigeonholed as a one-theme creative writer. THE BROOKLYN FOLLIES is an unabashedly romantic novel but romantic in only the dark method of tale-weaving Auster can muster. It is the Yin and Yang of lives intertwining, families fragmented for well-motivated reasons, but then families reconstructed for equally well-motivated reasons. The result is a prolonged narrative on the vicissitudes of life and how one extended family not only copes but makes destinies better. Our narrator is Nathan, a 59-year-old victim of cancer who moves to Brooklyn to anonymously die. His family is nowhere to support him, his life has crumbled and he simply seeks a place to await his end. But his end is nowhere in sight as he encounters peripheral family members gone equally astray, dancing their own disappointments, responding to their own failings. Yet through a series of incidents and turns of events - some so bizarre as to test credibility yet populated with some of the most interesting cast of characters yet assembled - Nathan's grip on the edge of life becomes more the center of a changing life that winds in and out of family quirks to land on terra firma. To be more specific about the plot would take pages and would also deprive the reader of the joys of discovery as the pages turn in this addictive novel. Paul Auster writes beautifully, never wasting a word or a moment or a development or a beat. The tales he weaves bond strange bedfellows and surprise tilts of the story windmill, but he always lands on his feet in making it all come together. Some readers have complained that the ending is too sugarcoated, but the getting there certainly isn't. If Auster is electing to create a story that pleads for screen adaptation he has succeeded exceptionally well. These characters will live on whether on eventual celluloid or simply as creations of a very fertile mind. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of Paul Auster, and his 'Moon Palace' is one of my favorite books. But this latest novel was disappointing. The narrator, Nathan Glass, writes in a kind of self-important, self-conscious manner that grows tiresome. After a few chapters it seemed a bit like reading a clumsy holiday letter filled with gossip. You follow a recounting of the strange experiences of a number of people whose lives eventually converge in Brooklyn, but what's the point? Any one of the characters' lives might have made for an interesting novel, but throwing in a glimpse of each just felt like a mish-mash. The momentous event tossed in on the very last page appeared contrived and wholly expected. Is every contemporary New York novelist going to find a way to work that event into a book? Perhaps I am missing something, but on finishing the book, I just shrugged my shoulders and thought, 'huh'?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
T-RadSR More than 1 year ago
This is an enjoyable story of a man who re-connects with his family and finds the value of life in the simple things. The dialogue is excellent and the characters are well drawn. Over all this is a light story with humor and pathos. I thought, due to the title, Brooklyn would be descibed and would be key to the story, but this story is about people and not places. The fact that it takes place in Brooklyn is a non factor. I plan on reading more by Paul Auster.
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Beautifully written - strong character development
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