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Sunset Park by Paul Auster

Sunset Park (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Paul Auster

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909559,684 (3.63)20
Title:Sunset Park
Authors:Paul Auster
Info:Faber and Faber (2011), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Sunset Park by Paul Auster (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Quite an interesting book, set in contemporary North America. Auster is not an author I've read before, and this book, while not making me hungry for more, did not kill my appetite altogether. He seems to be quite good at relationships and can put a reasonably interesting plot together. ( )
  oldblack | Aug 25, 2014 |
Another solid effort by Paul Auster, Sunset Park follows Miles Heller, in a straightforward look at a man who comes of age amid personal tragedy and the 2008 housing crisis. He trades one jail for another, one after the other after the other. Baseball fans will enjoy Auster's allegorical look at the lives of Herb Score, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych and John "Lucky" Lohrke, who all died within six months of each other, between 2008 and 2009, during which this story is set. Not Auster's best, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. ( )
  Bradley_Kramer | May 15, 2014 |
It's stuffed with too many characters to reach a satisfactory conclusion. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
I was a bit disappointed with this, my first Paul Auster book. I found myself really understanding and empathizing with the characters in all their complex issues, especially the guilt and loss experienced by Miles and Morris. But with all that was invested in the residents of the house at Sunset Park, the ending seemed anticlimactic, with no resolution to any of the interpersonal dynamics among the characters. It also took me some time to get used to his style, specifically the frequent use of present tense and mostly third, but sometimes second person, and the frequent multi-page diversions from the narrative where Auster uses repetitive phrases to describe a character's traits. There's some beautiful phrasings and poetic descriptions in these diversions, but they're perhaps too overdone and used too often. Maybe the absence of a resolution or satisfying ending is true to life, making this book better than I realize. But it seems Auster was more focused on how he guides the reader through the story, rather than the story itself. ( )
  NordicT | Nov 2, 2013 |
I'm a big fan of Paul Auster but I was somewhat disappointed by this one, especially by the ending which seemed implausible but not in a typical Auster way..I mean, this wasn't written with the same postmodern tinges but more with the notion of my generation's sense of floating by with a slightly more meaningful main character trying to overcome a major incident in his life that caused him to separate himself from his family for a period of years.

The strengths of this novel is that it delved into some interesting characters and intricacies of their personalities. (Most of these characters are squatters in their 20s and 30s in Sunset Park, Brooklyn but some are part of the older generation and are mainly writers). It's a portrait of a generation overall, too...our hopes, our goals, our despairing moments too even when we happen to be at a sort of standstill in some ways. There are certainly some interesting things that these characters feel and think and that is something Auster seems to always bring to the table. The major deficit is that it just doesn't live up to his other works overall. The style isn't doing anything new or innovative and the topic isn't altogether adventurous for him. At the end, you just sort of feel like, "That's it? Really?"

A bit of a let down to me, I'm afraid. Much more recommended by him is The Brooklyn Follies or City of Glass.

Memorable Quotes:

pg. 68 "He closes his eyes...in the darkness behind his lids, he sees himself as a black speck in a world made of snow."

pg. 145 "He remembers Renzo as a young, young writer just out of college, living in a forty-nine-dollar-a-month apartment on the Lower East Side, one of those tenement railroad flats with a tub in the kitchen and six thousand cockroaches holding political conventions in every cupboard..."

pg. 190 "If all the sixty-year-old broads come across as bizarre looking thirty-year-olds, who's going to be left to play the mothers and the grandmothers?"

pg 216 "The human body is strange and flawed and unpredictable. The human body has many secrets, and it does not divulge them to anyone, except those who have learned to wait...the human body can be apprehended but it cannot be comprehended..."

pg. 266-267 "We do not grow stronger as the years advance. The accumulation of sufferings and sorrows weakens our capacity to endure more sufferings and sorrows, and since sufferings and sorrows are inevitable, even a small setback in life can resound with the same force as a major tragedy when we are young." ( )
  kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Though Paul Auster's metafictional narratives have often veered toward the sort of literary gamesmanship that owes little to the conventions of realism, this is a very different novel for him, rooted in the realities of contemporary America--most specifically an ongoing war in Iraq and an economic recession that threatens employment in general and the publishing business in particular.

(Best Books 2010)
added by sduff222 | editKirkus Reviews (Dec 15, 2010)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805092862, Hardcover)

Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force

Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.

An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.

A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.

William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives.

A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway.

An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.

These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After falling in love with an underage girl and stirring the wrath of her older sister, New York native Miles Heller flees to Brooklyn and shacks up with a group of artists squatting in the borough's Sunset Park neighborhood.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.63)
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1.5 2
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3 50
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