“It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.” From City of Glass
The novels of Paul Auster have been described as Hitchcock-like in their capacity to elicit within a reader, feelings of haunting dread and suspense. Auster’s mysterious and deeply philosophical books work toward rupturing the notion that a reader can faithfully know both the author’s creative intent or that of his enigmatic characters' search for meaning. Auster’s characters tend to be persons caught up within a conflicted situation (some of whom have the name of Paul Auster) where no one is who they say they are and where even the objectives or motivating factors of the main character are often as insecurely known. Terms like ‘postmodernist noir’ have been called upon to describe many of his works and while each book takes on a special life of its own (a dog as narrator), there does exist an Auster-like quality or tone found only in his dark and highly stylized vision. For those looking to delve into his work for the first time, may I suggest trying the New York Trilogy, composed of three unrelated novellas that can be read as individual works but which were later published in a single volume.
But don't just stop with his novels. The Art of Hunger is a wonderful collection of essays (on Knut Hamsun, William Bronk, Samuel Beckett, and more), interviews and prefaces.
Man in the Dark