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4321 by Paul Auster
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4321 (edition 2017)

by Paul Auster, Ronald Vlek

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3435710,508 (3.84)58
"Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel -- a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece. Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force. "--"A sweeping family saga (with a bit of a twist) about the life and loves of Archie Ferguson, a Jewish boy born to second-generation immigrants in the United States just after World War II"--… (more)
Member:WXC77
Title:4321
Authors:Paul Auster
Other authors:Ronald Vlek
Info:Amsterdam De Bezige Bij 2017
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

  1. 00
    Freedomland by Richard Price (charlie68, charlie68)
    charlie68: Takes place in the same era and setting.
    charlie68: Takes place during the same era and place.
  2. 00
    Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart (Sandwich76)
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» See also 58 mentions

English (44)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  Arabic (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
So, yes, epic... but could have been trimmed in a lot of places (disclaimer: I like concision). ( )
  SocProf9740 | Jul 11, 2021 |
I had to ask Bob today, "Is it ok to think that every very long book is self-indulgent?" Of course he said yes. They are.

The structure of this book reminded me of "The Versions of Us" which I read last year. I really do appreciate an unusual writing structure, but it's such an emotional drag for me to change gears and remember everything that's going on in the previous stories over and over again.

And while the writing was first rate, there were HUGE swathes of sports and politics that completely left me cold. This book could have easily been half as long and all the better for it. And yet, I persisted. ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
An extraordinary book, really delves into the turbulent sixties from a New Yorker perspective or perspectives. ( )
  charlie68 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Whatever I may say will not be equal to Auster's prose so I will leave it alone. However, I think it could have been shorter and I'm not sure of the ending. The book consistently surprised me. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
** : Lu en partie.
  Eliseur | Jan 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Tot ongeveer pagina 850 kon ik geen genoeg krijgen van dit boek. Het is het verhaal van Ferguson’s leven, maar dan vier keer opgeschreven, met kleine variaties. Door toevalligheden worden de verschillen groter naarmate hij ouder wordt. In alle versies is hij verliefd op Amy. Hij scheelt maar drie maanden met Amy en zij zit daardoor een klas hoger. In het ene verhaal is het zijn stiefzus en in de andere versie een nichtje. Hij gaat naar verschillende universiteiten of hij gaat naar Parijs. Aan het eind wordt het verhaal erg gedetailleerd met lijsten van films over zelfmoord. Maar ook over de top 100 van boeken om te lezen, die zijn stiefvader Gil hem meegeeft naar Parijs. Of de redenen waarom Celia Federman hem zal verlaten...lees verder >
 

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According to family legend, Ferguson's grandfather departed on foot from his native city of Minsk with one hundred rubles sewn into the lining of his jacket, traveled west to Hamburg through Warsaw and Berlin, and then booked passage on a ship called the Empress of china, which crossed the Atlantic in rough winter storms and sailed into New York harbour on the first day of the twentieth century.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
E così nacque Ferguson, e per diversi secondi, una volta uscito dal corpo di sua madre, fu l'essere umano più giovane sulla faccia della terra.
… capì che la musica era il cuore, l'espressione più piena del cuore umano, e ora che aveva udito ciò che aveva udito, cominciava a udire meglio, e meglio udiva, più profondamente sentiva – a volte così profondamente che il suo corpo tremava.
… il nonno di Ferguson andò da Didi sulla Sessantatreesima Est, si infilò a letto con lei e subì l'immenso infarto coronarico che lo uccise proprio mentre eiaculava per l'ultima volta nella sua vita movimentata, pasticciona e in gran parte piacevole. "La petite mort" e "la grande mort" a dieci secondi di distanza una dall'altra – venire e andare nell'arco di tre brevi respiri.
… lo stesso "spazio vuoto" di cui aveva parlato Vivian quando aveva descritto come si era sentita dopo aver finito il suo libro. Non vuoto nel senso di trovarsi sola in una stanza senza mobili, ma nel senso di sentirsi svuotata. Sì, esatto, svuotata come può esserlo una donna dopo aver partorito. Ma in questo caso era un bambino senza vita, un neonato che non sarebbe mai cambiato né cresciuto e non avrebbe imparato a camminare, perché i libri vivevano dentro di te solo finché li scrivevi, ma una volta usciti, erano consumati e morti.
… il telegramma azzurro con la notizia nera che sua madre era inciampata e caduta per le scale di casa a Montréal ed era morta a sessant'anni.
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"Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel -- a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece. Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force. "--"A sweeping family saga (with a bit of a twist) about the life and loves of Archie Ferguson, a Jewish boy born to second-generation immigrants in the United States just after World War II"--

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Book description
Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson’s pleasures and ache from each Ferguson’s pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.
Haiku summary
Four lives in one man/ History lurks behind him/ Chance builds character {Helen Gress}

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