Oracle Night by Paul Auster

I personally think that Paul Auster writes like a dream. And Oracle Night is no exception. The writing is really good. And for the first 100 pages (the book is less than 200 pages in total) or more, I also enjoyed the story and was looking forward to see where it would lead. But I can’t say that I feel much about the ending, which, unfortunately, ruined the whole book for me. So while I am a big Auster-fan, in my book Oracle Night is no match for some of his other works.

Oracle Night takes place in New York as so many of Auster’s books. The main character in the inital story is Sid Orr, a recovering author, who just got back to life after month’s of severe illness. His story is the frame. Within this frame there are at least two other stories, where the second story acts as a frame for the third. I did have to keep very concentrated because of all those different stories, and it was not as elegantly executed as I have seen before. There are other layers inside the other frames as well, making this read a bit too convoluted for my likings.

Sid Orr’s story is about him recovering and trying to get back into the swing of writing. He thinks about his wife, Grace, they go visiting their friend, the well-known write John Trause and he walks around Brooklyn, visiting paper-stores and other places he accidentially fall into during his walks.

The other “main” story is the story Sid begins writing. That is a story about a man who, with no real reason, leaves his wife and goes hiding in Kansas City. And the third story is inside this second story. The man leaving his wife has gotten hold of a book about a blind mand surviving World War II.

All the way through the book Sid leaves footnotes explaining things about his life, about his work, his wife etc. I found the writing good, but it felt too silly with the footnotes which often read over 3-4 pages, and you had to go back and forth.

After all those stories has been put out there, the ending fell very flat in my opinion. I don’t expect every book to have a nice and clean cut ending, and specially not in books and stories of this nature, but it still annoyed me pretty much that the ending was so lame.

This book is read as part of the RYOB-challenge and the Read and Review-challenge.