Tuesday, February 12, 2008

50BC08: #3 The Music of Chance

50 BOOK CHALLENGE 2008 #3
TITLE: The Music of Chance
AUTHOR: Paul Auster
(Penguin, 1990, 217 pages)
GENRE: Fiction

Rating 3.5 out of 5

I appreciated what this novel was trying to do, but was bothered by my complete and utter lack of attachment to the characters. The premise (lives colliding by chance) is intriguing and the narrative is beautifully executed. What was missing for me was the answer to "why?." The main character seems to be a passive observer to his own life, with a few moments of real passion interspersed.

Auster does have a gift for metaphor, using Pozzi and Nashe's wall as a symbol of perseverance and incarceration at the same time. There is a tenderness that while left largely unexplored, runs like a tiny stream throughout the story. It is this stream that saves the book. We learn how quickly solitude loses its freedom-like quality when faced with personal loss.

(cross-posted)

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