The Book of Illusions

The Book of Illusions Kindle ✓ The Book  PDF or
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  • 288 pages
  • The Book of Illusions
  • Paul Auster
  • English
  • 08 August 2019
  • 0312990960

About the Author: Paul Auster

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Report from the Interior, Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works He has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix M dicis tranger, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Premio Napoli He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Commandeur de l Ordre des Arts et des Lettres He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


The Book of Illusions☁ [PDF / Epub] ☀ The Book of Illusions By Paul Auster ✎ – Johndore.co.uk Six months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self pity Then one night, he stumbles upon a clip fro Six months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self pity Then one night, he stumbles upon a clip from a lost film by silent comedian Hector Mann His interest is piqued, and he soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to research a book on this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight back in When the book is published the following year, a letter turns up in Zimmer s mailbox bearing a return address from a The Book PDF or small town in New Mexico inviting him to meet Hector Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever.

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10 thoughts on “The Book of Illusions

  1. Richard Derus says:

    Rating one furious, disgusted star of however many stars there are in a galaxyI ve never been fond of pompous writing, the kind that checks its look in the mirror of acclaim and piles on the self satisfied smirking smugness that makes me want to torch all the MFA schools I can reach.My review, which I ve moved to my blog, says that andApparently the hoi polloi slithering in from the Internet ssanctimonious quarters don t agree with me, therefore I must be wrong Rating one furious, disgusted star of however many stars there are in a galaxyI ve never been fond of pompous writing, the kind that checks its look in the mirror of acclaim and piles on the self satisfied smirking smugness that makes me want to torch all the MFA schools I can reach.My review, which I ve moved to my blog, says that andApparently the hoi polloi slithering in from the Internet ssanctimonious quarters don t agree with me, therefore I must be wrong

  2. Annet says:

    I have changed my mind about this book The first pages were tough to read and I wasn t sure if I could make it to the end But the story grew on me This book has been on my shelves for a long time, the first Auster I bought I just love Brooklyn Follies, was intrigued by Man in the Dark and Auggie Wren s Xmas story is great as well The story line is intriguing A man looses his wife and two children in a plane crash In sorrow, he is fascinated by a silent movie actor, who disappeared from th I have changed my mind about this book The first pages were tough to read and I wasn t sure if I could make it to the end But the story grew on me This book has been on my shelves for a long time, the first Auster I bought I just love Brooklyn Follies, was intrigued by Man in the Dark and Auggie Wren s Xmas story is great as well The story line is intriguing A man looses his wife and two children in a plane crash In sorrow, he is fascinated by a silent movie actor, who disappeared from the face of the earth a long time ago, and writes a book about him Then he receives a letter that the actor wants to see him I guess you either like Auster or you don t Paul Auster is not an easy read,always troubling in a way, but his style is beautiful, poetic and his stories always fascinating 3.6 stars Need to reread

  3. Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    The Book of Illusions, Paul Auster The Book of Illusions is a novel by American writer Paul Auster, published in 2002 It was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2004.Set in the late 1980s, the story is written from the perspective of David Zimmer, a university professor who, after losing his wife and children in a plane crash, falls into a routine of depression and isolation After seeing one of the silent comedies of Hector Mann, an actor missing since the 1920s, he The Book of Illusions, Paul Auster The Book of Illusions is a novel by American writer Paul Auster, published in 2002 It was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2004.Set in the late 1980s, the story is written from the perspective of David Zimmer, a university professor who, after losing his wife and children in a plane crash, falls into a routine of depression and isolation After seeing one of the silent comedies of Hector Mann, an actor missing since the 1920s, he decides to occupy himself by watching all of Mann s films and writing a book about them 2009 1386 340 9789648838268 1391 1395 20 1988 1928

  4. Will Byrnes says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here After having lost his wife and children in a plane crash, writer and teacher David Zimmer is on a path of self destruction, drinking, behaving badly around people, rejecting any and all understanding and sympathy But seeing a bit of silent film comedy on TV, he takes up the task of examining and writing a book about the work of one comedic genius from the 20 s Soon after the book is published the wife of the supposedly dead film maker contacts Zimmer to ask if he might like to meet the man him After having lost his wife and children in a plane crash, writer and teacher David Zimmer is on a path of self destruction, drinking, behaving badly around people, rejecting any and all understanding and sympathy But seeing a bit of silent film comedy on TV, he takes up the task of examining and writing a book about the work of one comedic genius from the 20 s Soon after the book is published the wife of the supposedly dead film maker contacts Zimmer to ask if he might like to meet the man himself There is much parallelism here, Zimmer with both Hector Mann, the ancient film maker and Chateaubriand, the author of a lengthy autobiography that Zimmer is translating In a way all three are dead Zimmer and Mann had both attempted suicide And a character in the book ultimately succeeds in such an attempt.What is real and what is illusion Hector had been in the business of illusion, then had to present an illusion of himself for most of his life His film The Life of Martin Frost echoes the book s theme of illusion Sometimes an illusion can be a helpful thing, as when Zimmer is comforted by Alma on the plane see below.There is a passage in which Mann spots what he believes to be a blue stone on the street He has a detailed plan of what he will do with it, alive with human connection, only to find that it is a gob of spit Yet the imagining was enough to alter his life course Maybe illusions are what we tell ourselves, what we need, in order to survive I enjoyed the book very much It was a fast read, engaging, with interesting characters and enough suspense to sustain a level of tension There was, perhaps, too little told of Hector s wife and why she does what she does Well, Auster does explain, but I found it unconvincing I wish that I had kept better track of characters No, there are not hordes of them I just wish that I had tracked the braiding of the stories There is much interweaving here, much that occurs for some that also occur for others I was too tired while reading this to devote adequate attention to that C est la vie I was encouraged, however, to readof Auster

  5. BlackOxford says:

    Born Again and Longing for It All to EndI m guessing, but I don t think this book was ever seriously edited It appears to have been written in a continuous stream, not of consciousness but of wherever Austen s characters wanted to take him at the moment to extricate themselves from frequent literary culs de sac And this includes an immense amount of random detail of relevance to neither the plot nor the characters The result is a fair short story imitating a rather bad middling size novel.One Born Again and Longing for It All to EndI m guessing, but I don t think this book was ever seriously edited It appears to have been written in a continuous stream, not of consciousness but of wherever Austen s characters wanted to take him at the moment to extricate themselves from frequent literary culs de sac And this includes an immense amount of random detail of relevance to neither the plot nor the characters The result is a fair short story imitating a rather bad middling size novel.One important thing happens in the entire book the accidental death of a young woman The plot revolves around this death but on threads which seem to be thrown aimlessly into narrative space The narrator, a widowed academic whose main aim is to distract himself from his loss, claims knowledge he couldn t possibly have about events occurring a half century prior and told to him second and third hand He informs the reader at great length about his perceptions but nothing about their meaning for him Eventually he discovers love and redemption sweet and then carelessly loses that.The protagonist, whose voice we hear only belatedly and briefly and only in indirect speech it is the constant indirect speech of he said, she said that is a source of tediousness throughout , is a minor Hollywood celebrity of silent films The academic has written a book about him and believes him dead He is not but he is dying The academic is ambivalent but agrees to meet the ex actor for reasons that are as unclear as all the other motivations in the story.All the characters seem to exist in a fog like drift of haplessness among the unlikely course of their lives They wander into and out of relationships without reason They do strange things insult colleagues needlessly and maliciously, threaten others half heartedly at gunpoint, attempt suicide both inadvertently and with intent , stop and start careers casually from sports goods retailing to the sex trade for example which punctuate otherwise pointless lives The protagonist spends a great deal of his inherited wealth making films that no one else is intended to see.The flatness of the prose is deadening There is little relief from the endless dump of uninspired description Dramatic structure is entirely absent Events follow each other with no cumulative effect There is a vague tension that something significant is about to happen But it never does What does happen is yet another episode leading nowhere, literary coitus interruptus.Perhaps Auster s point is that art only exists on the verge of extinction extinction of the reader if not the artist I blame myself Given Auster s prolificness and enormous following, it is clearly my unsympathetic inattention which is at fault Nonetheless, I am left with the feeling of having spentthan several long hours listening to a drunk uncle at a wedding party My only ambition is to get away before he starts another chapter of family history about people I care nothing about

  6. Steven Godin says:

    Being drawn into Paul Auster s fiction was one of the reasons my reading becamewidespread This story grabbed me from the off, and was indeed difficult to put down Ok so he is an acquired taste, but there is just something about his writing that hooks you in and doesn t let go so easily The story here is both captivating and strangely mysterious It s all about digging into the past in quite an obsessive manner, just who was Hector Mann , what happened to him , is he still alive , grippe Being drawn into Paul Auster s fiction was one of the reasons my reading becamewidespread This story grabbed me from the off, and was indeed difficult to put down Ok so he is an acquired taste, but there is just something about his writing that hooks you in and doesn t let go so easily The story here is both captivating and strangely mysterious It s all about digging into the past in quite an obsessive manner, just who was Hector Mann , what happened to him , is he still alive , gripped by intrigue, professor David Zimmer makes it his life s goal to discover the truth, and step by step he pulls back the blanket on an enigmatic life that no body else would even bother about Could the great silent film star have been pulling the wool over everyone s eyes all this time , as we enter deeper and deeper into a cocktail of deceit and dissimulation, his quest for answers starts growing like a cancer Traversing through the American mid west and finally New Mexico, nothing could prepare Zimmer for just what is about to followThis could be viewed as the brother to The New York Trilogy , covering roughly the same sort of ground in places here, but whereas TNYT had cold complexities that either sucked you in, or drove you away, this although complex, has a warmer feel to it and by far is easier to read Hardcore Auster fans may view this as not his best, but I was totally immersed from start to finish, even if it wasn t the ending I was crying out for A dazzling masterpiece of fiction

  7. Jill says:

    By reading this book I have become a die hard Auster fan The man is amazing So clever, so imaginitive, so poetic and almost profound This book rambles, and in doing so touches on so many intertwined narratives that one almost gives up on what was assumed to be the original plot and assumes the opening catch phrase was just another Paul Auster smoke screen story line But this one, even in creating such an intricatedly woven network of a character experiences, never looses sight of its ultimat By reading this book I have become a die hard Auster fan The man is amazing So clever, so imaginitive, so poetic and almost profound This book rambles, and in doing so touches on so many intertwined narratives that one almost gives up on what was assumed to be the original plot and assumes the opening catch phrase was just another Paul Auster smoke screen story line But this one, even in creating such an intricatedly woven network of a character experiences, never looses sight of its ultimate goal to explain how the supposed disapearance of a silent film actor affected the life of a professor and widower from Detroit The world created in this book is done with such care and is so full of unexpected and tangential details that I found myself wondering if I wasn t perhaps reading a work of historical fiction rather than just a plain old novel It s an amazingly well crafted narrative, heartwrenching and hopeful at the same time A man s life is an illusion to all except those who share in it

  8. Erik says:

    Paul Auster, you bastard The man writes such depressing stuff As with the other Auster I ve read I know I ve only read 2 Austers, I am such a failure at being pretentious , I finished this and I was like what, why did I read this To explain myself I should say that I follow the Roger Ebert school of criticism Roger Ebert caresabout how a movie makes him feel than on its technical merits Granted, this is rather less valid in the medium of words on a page than the sound and fury of fi Paul Auster, you bastard The man writes such depressing stuff As with the other Auster I ve read I know I ve only read 2 Austers, I am such a failure at being pretentious , I finished this and I was like what, why did I read this To explain myself I should say that I follow the Roger Ebert school of criticism Roger Ebert caresabout how a movie makes him feel than on its technical merits Granted, this is rather less valid in the medium of words on a page than the sound and fury of film, but I still stick to it I have no problem trashing Plath s Bell jar, regardless of its supposed literary merit or historical significance, because it bored and annoyed me.But getting to the point of this book, let me break it down for you literary thugs there is a man whose family dies in an accident He is depressed, but then he sees a silent comedy on TV and laughs for the first time in long while He then decides to write about the star of this silent comedy, a man named Hector Mann In the course of this, he finds out that Hector Mann disappeared, but he may actually still be alive Stuff ensues, there are some themes brought up, there s some angst, there s some sex, you know the drill And don t worry none of that s spoiler material, all on the first page basically.Worth reading for a few pieces of stellar writing I was particularly impressed by how Auster writes about a film that doesn t actually exist I bought into it, I was convinced It s a story within a story within a story within a story ad nauseam , and it s true that the inner stories are better told than the outer ones I m cool with that.In summary, though Paul Auster, you bastard is my review If you likewise enjoy calling famous authors bastards, then I recommend this book to you highly.As a side note, a result of this novel, I had to add a new shelf called bepretentious Just read some of the other, actually useful reviews and you ll see what I mean

  9. Chris_P says:

    Paul Auster obviously has a thing for men who linger between reality and nothingness Men whose realities take a turn towards the vague, so much so, that they seem to dress themselves in the vagueness that surrounds them Men who lose everything or men who never really had anything to begin with Men who seem to be caught for good inside an illusion along with everyone that surrounds them Now they re here, now they re not There are two of those men in The Book of Illusions the narrator and He Paul Auster obviously has a thing for men who linger between reality and nothingness Men whose realities take a turn towards the vague, so much so, that they seem to dress themselves in the vagueness that surrounds them Men who lose everything or men who never really had anything to begin with Men who seem to be caught for good inside an illusion along with everyone that surrounds them Now they re here, now they re not There are two of those men in The Book of Illusions the narrator and Hector Man Bound to each other, they meet only for an hour toward the end but the echo of their meeting is present after as much as before the event.What strange time for me to read this particular book By the end of the first chapter it had grabbed me by the neck What s weird is that my present state has something of the book s essence As a result, book and reality mixed in an almost hurtful way I regret, however, that my own illusions take up much of my mental capacity nowadays, which proved unable to fully embrace this haunting novel Not that I regret the illusions themselves Where would the point in that be, after all It s haunting, intense, and filled with a melancholy that sticks on your fingers with every page that you turn There s a kind of sadness in the very idea of illusions, and Auster sure took great advantage of that It s the idea that everything you have can disappear in the blink eye Something precious falls into our arms and we call it a miracle One day, we open our eyes and it s gone Then, it s a tragedy The worst is that, once it s gone, one can never be sure if it was ever even there.Don t be fooled, The Book of Illusions is so muchthan my clouded mind can produce right now A story of lightnings that strike the same place twice against all odds As for me, I m becoming a fan

  10. Krenzel says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here WARNING FOR SPOILERS If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound or not This famous question is closely examined in The Book of Illusions, by author Paul Auster, as he tells the story of literature professor David Zimmer, who copes with the death of his wife and two sons by shutting out the real world so that he can inhabit the silent world of Hector Mann, an obscure actor from the 1920s After leaving a dozen movies behind that nobody seems to know about, Hecto WARNING FOR SPOILERS If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound or not This famous question is closely examined in The Book of Illusions, by author Paul Auster, as he tells the story of literature professor David Zimmer, who copes with the death of his wife and two sons by shutting out the real world so that he can inhabit the silent world of Hector Mann, an obscure actor from the 1920s After leaving a dozen movies behind that nobody seems to know about, Hector disappeared in 1929, presumed dead However, it turns out he is actually alive in New Mexico, paying penance for the role he played in the accidental death of his girlfriend vowing never to make another movie and eventually only agreeing to make movies if they will be destroyed immediately upon his death and never be seen by an audience According to Hector s rationale, if he makes a movie and nobody sees it, then his movie does not exist But is this true Does an idea have to be shared and experienced by others to exist and take on meaning Although he provides confusing answers throughout the work, first suggesting that Hector s greatness can be achieved on his own, ultimately Auster seems to conclude that Hector s works only become important when they are shared and experienced by others.At first, Auster suggests Hector can attain greatness on his own, even without an audience When Hector Mann disappears, his film career is pretty much over due to the invention of sound in movies and his heavy accent His last major film, Mr Nobody, is a response to the frustration he feels about his career, as, in the film, his character takes a magic potion that makes him invisible Eventually, he is reborn as a new person, and, facing himself in the mirror, he confronts the fact of his own annihilation with an exuberant smile the last image of Hector Mann that will be seen by audiences, seemingly content with the idea he is no longer the Hector Mann who has amused us and entertained us Similarly, in his own life, Hector is forced to disappear after his girlfriend is killed, and, to disguise himself, he loses his trademark mustache, so that he is the spitting image of Mr Nothing himself In his new life, Hector no longer makes movies, but instead works odd jobs and focuses on reading, writing, learning English, and planting trees In his journals, Hector writes, I talk only to the dead now They are the only ones I trust, the only ones who understand me Hector no longer shares himself with an audience Hector Mann has been annihilated but, according to his biographer and friend Alma, he is closer to greatness than ever before T he further he traveled from his point of origin, she said, the closer he came to achieving greatness Even now, he still talks about the trees as his greatest accomplishment Better than his films, she says, better than anything else he s ever done In this reading of Hector s life, based on the interpretation of Mr Nobody, Hector is the only voice that matters even without an audience, he can still attain greatness.However, a later film, The Inner Life of Martin Frost, questions this notion that artists can attain greatness without sharing their work with others In this movie, which Hector made after his disappearance with the promise it would never be released to an audience, is different from his earlier work it is serious, not a comedy, and Hector does not act in it In the movie, Martin Frost, a writer, must destroy his work to save the life of his girlfriend Claire After she is brought back to life and realizes what has happened, she erupts in tears, asking Martin if he realizes what s he done and desperately wondering what they are going to do now The movie ends ambiguously with her questions and no answers from Martin Similarly, after Hector s death, his wife Frieda destroys everything his movies, his journals, and even the manuscript of a biography his friend Alma had been working on for seven years in a precise reenactment of the final scene of Martin Frost Pondering Frieda s actions, David thinks about Hector s sacrifice of the one thing that would have given his work meaning the pleasure of sharing it with others, but then realizes that, in Frieda s mind, It was about making something in order to destroy it That was the work, and until all evidence of the work had been destroyed, the work would not exist It would come into being only at the moment of its annihilation In Frieda s interpretation, work was not created for others in fact, sharing Hector s work with others would cause it to lose its meaning However, ultimately, both of Auster s protagonists David Zimmer and Hector Mann seem to repudiate Frieda and believe that Hector s work does not lose meaning if it is shared with others When Alma had first told David about her biography of Hector, he was initially skeptical It s one thing to unburden himself to you, but a book is for the world, and as soon as he tells his story to the world, his life becomes meaningless In other words, a book exists not for the author or subject but for readers, and by sharing himself with them, Hector could lose himself He would exist as they saw him, and not as he really was their illusions of him would become reality When David questions Hector about why he would want to give himself away like that, Hector answers, Why should it bother me to turn myself into an example for others You laughed, Zimmer Perhaps others will begin to laugh with you These words the last Hector speaks in the book show his realization of the positive impact his work can have on others, as he comes to the conclusion that his earlier films, if they made David laugh, were perhaps the greatest good he had done David ultimately seems to embrace Hector s viewpoint, hoping that others will laugh with him, as he takes pleasure when Hector s silent comedies are put out on video and becomes an honorary member of a fan club, the International Brotherhood of Hector Manniacs Most of all, he hopes that someday the lost films of Hector Mann the ones that Frieda destroyed will be found somehow so others can enjoy them like he did, and the story will start all over again I live with that hope In order to have meaning, Hector s films must be shared with others Unlike Frieda, David believes that Hector s films should be shared with the world Although he provides confusing answers throughout The Book of Illusions, first suggesting that Hector s greatness can be achieved on his own, ultimately Auster seems to conclude that Hector s works only become important when they are shared and experienced by others Like the confusing answers to the question of the movie that nobody sees, The Book of Illusions is full of other confusing themes and contradictions For example, one major theme of the book is the effect of chance and how small circumstances can have a significant impact on our lives However, while there are some small circumstances which impact the action in the book, for the most part, the major events arelike contrived and implausible plot devices an ex girlfriend killed by a current girlfriend, a wife and two sons lost in a plane crash, David held at gunpoint so that he will watch a movie, a tough fall resulting in another death, a suicide, a possible murder Are these really small circumstances of chance Moreover, while this issue of fate is explored in depth like the meaning of one s work, the two themes are never tied together In Auster s telling, both Hector and David cope with loss by turning to art but they are not reborn again except through accidents of fate, so that the one seemingly resolved idea in the book the issue of the movie nobody hears becomes irrelevant compared to the greater themes of fate and rebirth The interplay between the various themes is never explored, and it is easy to get confused as all of these ideas are presented, but are often contradicted and never fully resolved, leading a reader to ponder the 2001 Atlantic Monthly article s criticism of Paul Auster He knows the prime rule of pseudo intellectual writing the harder it is to be pinned down on any idea, the easier it is to conceal that one has no ideas at all In light of the questions asked in The Book of Illusions, it is easy to wonder if an author throws out a lot of different ideas but never resolves them, so that readers can t understand what those ideas are, do the ideas actually exist