Indeed, much of Auster’s dramatis personae is made up of character actors playing various stock eccentrics and oddballs, while his male protagonists usually resemble one another, being clones of Paul Auster.
So many strange things have happened to me in my life, so many unexpected and improbable events, I’m no longer certain that I know what reality is anymore. All I can do is talk about the mechanics of reality, to gather evidence about what goes on in the world and try to record it as faithfully as I can.
Mr. Auster’s prose shifts its essence in the same ways that the accumulation of significant events shifts the reader’s focus. At times the prose is transparent, at others it humorously calls attention to the mystery novel genre with light parody.
The New York Trilogy reads as a set of curious meta-detective stories. The self-conscious form sometimes grates but fails to diminish Auster’s talent for ambitious and engrossing prose.— Lily Power