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The Music of Chance by Paul Auster
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The Music of Chance (original 1990; edition 1991)

by Paul Auster

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2,059386,321 (3.8)96
An "exceptional" (Los Angeles Times) tale of fate, loyalty, responsibility, and the real meaning of freedom, from the author of the forthcoming 4 3 2 1:  A Novel A finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award This "rich and dazzling" (Wall Street Journal) novel follows Jim Nashe who, after squandering an unexpected inheritance, picks up a young gambler named Jack Pozzi hoping to con two millionaires. But when their plans backfire, Jim and Jack are indentured by their elusive marks and are forced to build a meaningless wall with bricks gathered from ruins of an Irish castle. Time passes, their debts mount, and anger builds as the two struggle to dig themselves out of their Kafkaesque serfdom. New York Times-bestselling author Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy) brings us back into his strange, shape-shifting world of fiendish bargains and punitive whims, where chance is a powerful yet unpredictable force.… (more)
Member:eibhy
Title:The Music of Chance
Authors:Paul Auster
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1991), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Music of Chance by Paul Auster (1990)

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» See also 96 mentions

English (25)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Este libro es el equivalente más cercano que encuentro en la literatura al WTF clamoroso que todos los frikis sufrimos durante varias temporadas con Perdidos: ¿por qué hay un oso polar en esta isla? ¿Qué es el humo negro? ¿Por qué la explicación a casi todo lo que pasa es un kebab de cordero dentro de una cueva? Pues aquí lo mismo: aunque la extensión es bastante corta y el libro se lee rápidamente, perfecto para una lluviosa tarde de domingo, las cosas que van pasando son menos deprimentes que en otras obras del autor pero tan fuera de lugar por sí mismas y entre sí que uno no puede dejar de pensar que todo esto conduce a un desenlace increíble, maravilloso, apabullante...

Pues no, por desgracia conduce a uno de los peores finales que recuerdo en mucho tiempo por flojo, descafeinado y sin sentido; mi sensación ha sido la misma que la de aquella mañana viendo el último episodio de la serie, cuando pensaba que todo iba a tener una buena explicación y terminó siendo algo decepcionante y luego todos nos creímos aquello de que no era la meta sino el camino.

Y es una pena, porque por el resto del desarrollo me estaba gustando muchísimo, casi estaba dispuesto a admitir que iba a ser mi libro preferido de Auster, mucho más misterioso y menos demoledor que otras obras suyas que he leído en el pasado, pero un final tan malo, digno del que escribirías tras recibir la llamada de tu representante diciendo que te van a pagar solo la mitad de lo prometido, hace que le tenga que restar una estrella. Auster, me han gustado 8 capítulos de 9, pero ese noveno me ha matado; creo que lo mejor sería leer hasta el final del octavo y luego que cada uno escribiera su propio final, saldríamos ganando. ( )
  tecniferio | May 12, 2022 |
This is why rereads are important. I gave this 2 stars last year, reread it and now this is a 5. ( )
  jaydenmccomiskie | Sep 27, 2021 |
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.
  CarolBurrows | Mar 9, 2021 |
This turned out to be an engagingly offbeat novel about the pleasures of going with the flow of random events, which manages to convey a counterintuitively positive, upbeat message, even as we see the main character engaged in behaviour that any sensible outside observer would call self-destructive.

Nashe is a bookish, musical, college dropout who took up a career as a firefighter on a whim, worked at it for seven years, then gave it up when his family fell apart and an inheritance dropped into his lap. Since then he's been driving around randomly, using up his money; as the book opens he finds himself taking a crazy chance by investing the last chunk of it in a promising young poker player, Jack. By all the logic of the Great American Narrative, the young man should turn out to be Robert Redford and make Nashe's fortune for him, but apparently it doesn't work like that in Austerland, and instead Jack and Nashe find themselves trapped in a Pinteresque situation, living in a caravan in a field cut off from the rest of the world and building a useless wall for a couple of millionaires.

This obviously isn't a book that's meant to be taken too literally - Auster doesn't seem to have thought much about what it would actually be like to work for seven years as a fireman, and what that would do to your tastes and social attitudes, for instance, nor would it be very wise to follow his advice on the building of stone walls. But that sort of thing obviously isn't the point - this is a kind of anti-fable, a complete inversion of the social and economic rules of life in American society. And maybe a little dig at Robert Frost's elevation of the stone wall to mythical status at the same time? ( )
  thorold | Mar 14, 2019 |
There is a rhythm to The Music of Chance that suits its title. I saw the movie before I realized the book existed and both excel in their own right. It is by no means the feel good book of the year, but it is a great read none-the-less. For the most part, Paul Auster's works depend on twists, surprises, and coincidences, but despite this, they hold up for multiple reads. I feel very close to Jim and Jack and will certainly read this again. ( )
  eclecticheart | Dec 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Austerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eulen, AnneliesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Grote ABC (791)
rororo (13373)
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For one whole year he did nothing but drive, traveling back and forth across America as he waited for the money to run out.
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An "exceptional" (Los Angeles Times) tale of fate, loyalty, responsibility, and the real meaning of freedom, from the author of the forthcoming 4 3 2 1:  A Novel A finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award This "rich and dazzling" (Wall Street Journal) novel follows Jim Nashe who, after squandering an unexpected inheritance, picks up a young gambler named Jack Pozzi hoping to con two millionaires. But when their plans backfire, Jim and Jack are indentured by their elusive marks and are forced to build a meaningless wall with bricks gathered from ruins of an Irish castle. Time passes, their debts mount, and anger builds as the two struggle to dig themselves out of their Kafkaesque serfdom. New York Times-bestselling author Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy) brings us back into his strange, shape-shifting world of fiendish bargains and punitive whims, where chance is a powerful yet unpredictable force.

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