This Auster’s book is a modern Buildungsroman which develops itself throughout a hundred years and takes place across the whole Northern American Continent. It’s a story of a man who doesn’t have anyone to love and none to rely on, and who loses everything he owns, his future and his hopes. He scrapes the bottom of the barrel and he resurrects; he knows a gruff old man that leads him through his stories in the world of the legendary and wild far West. Those stories which at the beginning seem to lie in a remote universe turn out, after a serie of coincidences, to represent part of the main character’s past and, most important, future.
Quality of Content
The book deals with the American concept of fronteerand the Manifest Destiny theory. It represents a deep analysys, even if made through the format of the novel, of some features of American society.
On the other hand the story itself seems to tell us about the power of randomness and coincidences in life, which in both good and bad luck create a path in our future
Auster’s writing is very easy and quick. Short sentences and essential language marry sensitive descriptions. A few words very often are enough to create a tangible idea in your mind of a given situation, object, feeling.