The New York Trilogy Paul Auster or the profession of book reviewer

I was standing in a bookshop today thinking I hate book reviews. I mean, really. Hate.

Let me give you an example.

‘A dazzling achievement.’ Time Out
‘Marks as a new departure for the American novel.’ Observer
Seductive metaphysical….’ Literary Review
‘Written with an acid sharpness’ Sunday Telegraph

So, please let me give you an example of the dazzling metaphysical sharpness of this new departure for the American novel:

As it happened, he was sitting on the toilet, in the act of expelling a turd, when the telephone rang….The ringing of the telephone came as a distinct irritation. To answer it promptly would mean getting up without wiping himself, and he was loath to walk across the apartment in that state. On the other hand, if he finished what he was doing at his normal speed, he would not make it to the phone in time. In spite of this, Quinn found himself reluctant to move. The telephone was not his favourite object, and more than one he had considered getting rid of his. What he disliked most of all was its tyranny. Not only did it have the power to interrupt him against his will, but inevitably he would give in to its command. This time, he decided to resist. By the third ring, his bowels were empty. By the fourth ring, he had succeeded in wiping himself. By the fifth ring, he had pulled up his pants, left the bathroom, and was walking calmly across the apartment. He answered the phone on the sixth ring, but there was no one at the other end. The caller had hung up.

Can’t say as I blame him, I hung up around there too.

Well, take me out and shoot me. I’m not saying this isn’t a new departure for the American novel. But it’s unfuckingbelievable to consider it is.

And, more to the point, what is the point of a book review???? Crap written about crap.

I really don’t have anything else to say on the matter. I feel a metaphysical coming on, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m just taking my book to the…you know…toot, if you don’t mind my describing it with a dazzling acidic sharpness.

3 thoughts on “The New York Trilogy Paul Auster or the profession of book reviewer

  1. Hello, David! Yes, I’m sorry, it’s sad in some of these cases that it is missing. Worse is my Harry Potter review, the point of which turns out in the end to be the enormously long and bizarre comment thread! Maybe I should cut and paste them in somehow.

  2. Dear Cathy, aka “Notgettingenough,”

    While I’m only on p. 124 at this point, I’m inclined to agree. This famous “Trilogy” is the third book of Auster’s I’ve read, and I just don’t get all the hype.

    Thanks for your honesty — whatEVER it may’ve cost you.


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