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Leviathan (1992)

by Paul Auster

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,491444,343 (3.82)42
Leviathan begins when a woman finds an address book and steals a new identity. Or it begins with a sudden, violent death. Or it begins as Peter Aaron sits down to tell the story of his best friend, Benjamin Sachs - to take us, through a life, to the road in rural Wisconsin where Sachs has accidentally blown himself up. Aaron's sole aim is to tell the truth and preserve it, before those who are investigating the case invent a story of their own. Aaron's clues are the small mysteries of any lifetime. Sachs had a marriage Aaron envied, an intelligence he admired, a circle of friends he shared. And then suddenly, after a near-fatal fall that might or might not have been intentional, Sachs disappears. For a while, Aaron's only link to him is through Maria Turner, an artist, and the one witness to Sachs's balcony plunge. Periodically, Sachs reappears, talks manically, and vanishes again - in pursuit of mercy or salvation, in thrall to an idea. Since the first book in his brilliant and acclaimed "New York Trilogy," Paul Auster's "rare combination of talent, scope, and audacity" (The New Republic) has given us worlds in which chance and destiny collide, in which solitary protagonists take us on mysterious, soul-wrenching journeys unparalleled in contemporary fiction. His seventh novel is about friendship and betrayal, sexual desire and estrangement, and the unpredictable intrusions of violence in the everyday. Rooted in American mythology and archetype, Leviathan is both timeless and resolutely about this moment. It is a daring and immensely moving story by "one of America's most spectacularly inventive writers" (The Times Literary Supplement).… (more)
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» See also 42 mentions

English (28)  Spanish (4)  French (4)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (2)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Der Schriftsteller Peter Aaron will die Todesumstände und die Lebensgeschichte von Ben Sachs ermitteln. Einst waren sie Freunde. Bis Reagan kam und mit ihm der literarische Erfolg für Aaron und die politische Verbitterung für Sachs. Paul Austers Roman ist ein politisches Gleichnis, aber zuallererst handelt er von der Freundschaft zweier Männer und vom Verrat des einen, von sexueller Begierde und davon wie schnell Schicksal, Zufall;und Gewalt ein geordnetes Leben zerstören können.
  Fredo68 | May 18, 2020 |
Disappointing read. It began pretty promising, but that impression was ruined by an immense focus on creating a 10-15-pages long backstory for every single character, which did not help to develop the plot whatsoever. It was a prequel within the novel. Not what I was looking for. ( )
  AutorSvenHensel | Dec 5, 2019 |
This is my favorite book ever (this was probably the eighth or ninth time I've read it). The details are fantastic. The whole story depends largely on coincidence, but it never feels contrived. ( )
  eclecticheart | Dec 10, 2018 |
Explaining a man who had blown himself up.
  brendanus | Oct 11, 2018 |
Ho molto amato Leviatano, un romanzo estremamente ben costruito che gira come un orologio e che ripropone tutti i temi cari all'autore: l’isolamento delle persone, l’incomunicabilità, l’impossibilità di conoscere davvero gli altri, il legame tra libere scelte e casualità, con queste ultime che tendono sempre a governare il vissuto dell’uomo. E se l’autore da un lato sembra convinto che il caso e le coincidenze determinino le esperienze, dall'altro egli è in grado di costruire l’architettura del romanzo in maniera straordinaria, con una precisione quasi maniacale: i cinque capitoli della stessa lunghezza, la struttura stessa dei capitoli, che si aprono con digressioni che anticipano quello che viene dopo spezzando la continuità del racconto, lo stile e il ritmo della narrazione che tengono il lettore avvinto alle pagine. Ho amato tutti i personaggi di questa storia incredibile, il loro modo di pensare, di parlare, di comportarsi: una caratterizzazione minuziosa, grazie alla quale tutto si incastra perfettamente e anche le circostanze più inverosimili prendono corpo e appaiono credibili nell'economia generale del romanzo. Dopo molti mesi in cui ho letto altro, Leviatano è stato un bellissimo ritorno a questo autore, che più di altri è in grado di toccare le mie corde.

Ho passato tutta la mia vita da adulto a scrivere storie, a mettere persone immaginarie in situazioni inaspettate e spesso inverosimili, ma nessuno dei miei personaggi ha mai vissuto un’esperienza così improbabile come Sachs quella notte a casa di Maria Turner. Se mi turba ancora raccontare quello che accadde è perché la realtà supera sempre ciò che riusciamo a immaginare. Per quanto sfrenati pensiamo che possano essere, i frutti della nostra fantasia non potranno mai tener testa all’imprevedibilità delle cose che il mondo reale erutta in continuazione. Adesso questa lezione mi sembra inevitabile. Tutto può succedere. E in un modo o nell’altro, succede sempre. ( )
  lonelypepper | Feb 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Every actual state is corrupt.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dedication
for Don DeLillo
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Six days ago, a man blew himself up by the side of a road in northern Wisconsin.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Leviathan begins when a woman finds an address book and steals a new identity. Or it begins with a sudden, violent death. Or it begins as Peter Aaron sits down to tell the story of his best friend, Benjamin Sachs - to take us, through a life, to the road in rural Wisconsin where Sachs has accidentally blown himself up. Aaron's sole aim is to tell the truth and preserve it, before those who are investigating the case invent a story of their own. Aaron's clues are the small mysteries of any lifetime. Sachs had a marriage Aaron envied, an intelligence he admired, a circle of friends he shared. And then suddenly, after a near-fatal fall that might or might not have been intentional, Sachs disappears. For a while, Aaron's only link to him is through Maria Turner, an artist, and the one witness to Sachs's balcony plunge. Periodically, Sachs reappears, talks manically, and vanishes again - in pursuit of mercy or salvation, in thrall to an idea. Since the first book in his brilliant and acclaimed "New York Trilogy," Paul Auster's "rare combination of talent, scope, and audacity" (The New Republic) has given us worlds in which chance and destiny collide, in which solitary protagonists take us on mysterious, soul-wrenching journeys unparalleled in contemporary fiction. His seventh novel is about friendship and betrayal, sexual desire and estrangement, and the unpredictable intrusions of violence in the everyday. Rooted in American mythology and archetype, Leviathan is both timeless and resolutely about this moment. It is a daring and immensely moving story by "one of America's most spectacularly inventive writers" (The Times Literary Supplement).

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