Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Biittner's Book Review: The New York Trilogy by Paul Aster

Our September book club selection was from our 501 Must Read Books list: The New York Trilogy by Paul Aster. It is a collection of three short stories - "City of Glass", "Ghosts", and "The Locked Room". I did not know much about these stories other than they loosely fell into the detective genre. I'm not sure how exactly to describe them - a post-modern blend of science fiction and detective with a twist of satire/black comedy/the absurd - but I can say that I really enjoyed them. Because they are short stories I do not want to go too much into the plots of each one to avoid spoilers, so will instead describe them fairly broadly and vaguely. "City of Glass" is the closest to a detective story but has a strange bent to it with a really neat connection to Don Quixote. "Ghosts" was my favourite by far. It has a really neat premise and quickly takes a dark turn. "The Locked Room" is really "meta" as it almost has a story within the story. I'd highly recommend reading all three stories back-to-back as it is the best way to see why the three stories have been published as a trilogy. The Trilogy was an excellent read. I really enjoyed the quirky, dark themes in all three stories and how they fit together. It is easy to read and I think most readers would appreciate it. I highly and readily recommend it.

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