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Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Chapel Hill, Boston, Istanbul, Calgary, Washington DC, Austin, Tunis, Warszawa and counting

Monday, July 03, 2006

Matchbox Blues

Blind Lemon Jefferson - Matchbox Blues

Newest book finished is Paul Auster's Timbuktu. Am I recommending this book to you? No.

I really like Paul Auster, I believe his New York trilogy was pure genius (most girls seem to disagree with this, most guys side with me, interesting sub plot, will not be followed up upon here though), but this book was a disappointment. It is the story of a dog whose master is slowly dying of a life on the road yet wants to achieve one last thing before he leaves for Timbuktu (which is used as a synonym for heaven). While these events unfold the dog recapitulates his life with that master, followed by his thoughts on and during his search for a new life after he is gone. So far, so good. Or better, so far, so boring. Maybe a really talented author could manage to twist this into a captivating story. Even though I did have Auster down for a really talented author, he definitly does not get it done here.

What struck me the weirdest was his constant desire to let the third-person narrator exclaim that Mr Bones (catchy name, huh?) is obviously only a dog, making it impossible for him to certain kind of thought processes. Why would one want to write a story out of that point of view? I mean, don't get me wrong, I can see instances where this child-like, half-wit perspective works really well (The Sound and The Fury , Huckleberry Finn) and furthers the story. But Auster does not take advantage of this at all, he simply lets that dog tell a kind of pointless story out of a very limited point of view. I really don't see no good in that at all.

My dad probably summed it up best: "Maybe he just writes too much"

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