I have to apologise to everyone who I complained to about this book. At the end of the school year I was given this to review – a brick of 860 pages. It’s the story of one life lived through four different possibilities – so the first couple of hundred pages were a bit repetitive until the storylines began to diverge more radically.
Despite my frustrations, I persevered and by page 400 I was hooked. This was brilliant. Auster explores what is at the core of each of our lives – the things that canot and will not change no matter which path we take. In the lives of Artie Ferguson these are his love for books and movies, and his commitment to the written word. He always becomes a writer in one way or another, although the type of writing varies greatly. Many of the same people populate each life – perhaps in slightly different roles, but they are always there. The woman he lives weaves her way throughout, and while he can never truly possess her, in one life he holds her for longer.
It’s a hard read – as each life takes its turn unveiling a section of years. You’ll have to keep looking back to the previous chapters not only to keep track, but also to check the connections between each possibility. If you have the time and energy to spend on it, this is a book well worth taking into your soul.