0034 | The Music of Chance – Paul Auster

If you enjoyed this book, you’re going to love the map.

REVIEW
Remeniscent of Steinbeck and Kerouac, Auster has captured something of the remnant of the beat generation in this captivating portrayal of two unlikely companions who face an even more unlikely destiny.

There’s a huge amount of tension stretched right across the covers of this small novel. Nashe, the main character was a bit of a puzzle to me. He seemed to go through extreme moments of compulsion while only pages later, he was calm as a dead elephant. I noticed before Nashe himself did in the book that his periods of calm seemed to coincide with Pozzi’s periods of complete mayhem.

Most of all, for me, this was a novel about freedom: very Kafka-esque, especially when Nashe starts dreaming of freedom he cannot attain. Throughout, there’s a great juxtaposition. Right from the start of the book, Nashe is blown away by the freedom to travel anywhere and pursuing that, less than a page further on, he “realized that he was no longer in control of himself, that he had fallen into the grip of some baffling, overpowering force.” In a day and age where freedom is almost a sacred word to many USAnians, I admired Auster for this clear message about the irony of how too much freedom results in bondage.

So, pleased with my first Auster novel. Will be reading him again.

OPENING LINE
For one whole year he did nothing but drive, traveling back and forth across America as he waited for the money to run out.

WORDS
jag | simulacrum

CULTURE ~ NEW!
U.S.A. » Jitterbug Waltz | General McClellan

GEOGRAPHY ~ NEW!
A couple of key locations in this book seem to be fictitious. At least, I can’t find Billings, New Jersey or Ockham, Pennsylvania. Can you?
If you’ve got Google Earth installed on your pc, you can actually see the locations mentioned in this book by downloading Arukiyomi’s Google Earth – Music of Chance file.

CLOSING LINE
And then the light was upon him, and Nashe shut his eyes, unable to look at it any more.

RATING:
terrible > poor > mediocre > okay > good > very good> excellent > superb

  • Kelly June 11, 2007, 10:25 pm

    That sounds neat

    Reply
  • Dewey June 12, 2007, 3:40 am

    It sounds great! I’ll see if I can get it from bookmooch.

    Reply
  • bybee June 21, 2007, 7:17 pm

    Thanks for the review. I’ll be on the lookout for this one.

    Reply

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