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City of Glass (1985)

by Paul Auster

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The New York Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3673711,707 (3.73)30
"It was a wrong number that started it." When reclusive crime writer Daniel Quinn receives a mysterious phone call from a man seeking a private detective in the middle of the night, he quickly and unwittingly becomes the protagonist in a real-life thriller of his own. He falls under the spell of a strange and seductive woman, who engages him to protect her young husband from his sociopathic father. As the familiar territory of the noir detective genre gives way to something altogether more disturbing and unpredictable, Quinn becomesconsumed by his mission, and begins to lose his grip on reality. Will he be drawn deeper into the abyss, or could the quest provide the purpose and meaning he needs to rebuild his shattered life?… (more)
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» See also 30 mentions

English (33)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Astounding. Read it in one sitting (or rather standing. I found it's easier to concentrate reading when I'm leaning on the door frame and occasionally gazing outside to look at the plants and the sky.) It's exhilarating to finally finish reading something after being in a reading slump these past few months.

The theme that is immediately apparent is that of the double. Doppelgangers, aliases, that whole thing. The discussions about the words are interesting. The Paul Stillman character was interesting. One of the main character's discussions with Peter Stillman reminded me of that episode in Garcia Marquez's 'Cien Anos ...' (R.I.P.) where the people were stricken by the sickness of forgetting. The episode about the child suffering for the greater good reminds me of the story 'Those Who Walk Away from Omelas' by Le Guin. The episode where the character tried to minimize his eating to focus more on the job, reminded me of Kafka's 'A Hunger Artist.' Keeping up with the theme of the double is the structure of the book itself. Paul Auster writes a book about an author (Daniel Quinn) who writes detective stories under an alias, who somehow gets hired by a woman, who assumed he was a detective named Paul Auster (again the whole double thing). And it gets crazier from there.

Overall the story very much lived up to the hype I've been reading about. This is the second story of his I've read after Moon Palace.

( )
  rufus666 | Aug 14, 2022 |
8433914766
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
This was recommended to me by a friend. He's introducing me to ontology and told me a great place to start would be this book. I liked it a lot - thank you very much - and thought it made for a terrific introduction.

For one thing, this carries a lot of layers. My reading experience with reading this was: initially feeling a bit confused, pondering it over a couple of days, then reading it again to find it making a little more sense. It's a very intricate system of names, language, and people's communication with God, and I thought that was really interesting.

But, while I greatly admire this adaptation, I can't help but think that it feels abridged, like I could've had a fuller, more natural experience with the original book. Then again, I'm a comic-holic and I know I've definitely wouldn't have committed myself to this extent if it weren't in graphic-novel format.

It made for a great introduction, and I would recommend it to anyone who's in my position (not knowing a thing about ontology). Just know that this is a book that requires a lot of thought, and one that will take time for you to love. ( )
  AvANvN | Apr 19, 2022 |
This was recommended to me by a friend. He's introducing me to ontology and told me a great place to start would be this book. I liked it a lot - thank you very much - and thought it made for a terrific introduction.

For one thing, this carries a lot of layers. My reading experience with reading this was: initially feeling a bit confused, pondering it over a couple of days, then reading it again to find it making a little more sense. It's a very intricate system of names, language, and people's communication with God, and I thought that was really interesting.

But, while I greatly admire this adaptation, I can't help but think that it feels abridged, like I could've had a fuller, more natural experience with the original book. Then again, I'm a comic-holic and I know I've definitely wouldn't have committed myself to this extent if it weren't in graphic-novel format.

It made for a great introduction, and I would recommend it to anyone who's in my position (not knowing a thing about ontology). Just know that this is a book that requires a lot of thought, and one that will take time for you to love. ( )
  AvANvN | Apr 19, 2022 |
This made me want to reread the original novels. I felt the story interacted beautifully with the visual medium, and I found it more moving than the original sparse and ethereal book. What a well executed idea for this particular book. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Auster, Paulprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frank, Joachim A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geisen, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jääskeläinen, JukkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Dedication
First words
It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.
Quotations
"For our words no longer correspond to the world. When things were whole, we felt confident that our words could express them. But little by little these things have broken apart, shattered, collapsed into chaos. And yet our words have remained the same. They have not adapted themselves to the new reality. Hence, every time we try to speak of what we see, we speak falsely, distorting the very thing we are trying to represent."
Last words
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is the original prose novel City of Glass by Paul Auster. Please do not combine it with the comic adaptation.
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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"It was a wrong number that started it." When reclusive crime writer Daniel Quinn receives a mysterious phone call from a man seeking a private detective in the middle of the night, he quickly and unwittingly becomes the protagonist in a real-life thriller of his own. He falls under the spell of a strange and seductive woman, who engages him to protect her young husband from his sociopathic father. As the familiar territory of the noir detective genre gives way to something altogether more disturbing and unpredictable, Quinn becomesconsumed by his mission, and begins to lose his grip on reality. Will he be drawn deeper into the abyss, or could the quest provide the purpose and meaning he needs to rebuild his shattered life?

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Average: (3.73)
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