Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Paul Auster, SUNSET PARK
Very good. A group of four troubled people, squatting in a Brooklyn house. As is usual with Auster, the characters are round, flawed, psychologically coherent. Miles, one of the four, and the figure at the center of the novel, has run away from his life for seven years, after he shoved his brother into the street, in the middle of a fight, and a car came around the corner, just at the wrong moment. Interesting that Jennifer Donnelly uses the same trope--accidental responsibility for a younger sibling's death--to pitch her heroine into the same trajectory of loss and recovery. Except with Auster's novel, the ending is bizarrely without closure. Just as Miles seems to get it together, he loses it again. And maybe that's the point.