OVERRIDE

Oracle Night

A Novel

Paul Auster

Picador

Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, thirty-four-year-old novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationary shop in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of the blank book, trapped inside a world of eerie premonitions and bewildering events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality.

Why does his wife suddenly break down in tears in the backseat of a taxi just hours after Sidney begins writing in the notebook? Why does M. R. Chang, the owner of the stationary shop, precipitously shut down his business the next day? What are the connections between a 1938 Warsaw telephone directory and a lost novel in which the hero can predict the future? At what point does animosity explode into violence? To what degree is forgiveness the ultimate expression of love?

Paul Auster's mesmerizing eleventh novel reads like an old-fashioned ghost story. But there are no ghosts in this book—only flesh-and-blood human beings, wandering through the haunted realms of everyday life. At once a meditation on the nature of time and a journey through the labyrinth of one man's imagination, Oracle Night is a narrative tour de force that confirms Auster's reputation as one of the boldest, most original writers at work in America today.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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I had been sick for a long time. When the day came for me to leave the hospital, I barely knew how to walk anymore, could barely remember who I was supposed to be. Make an effort, the doctor said, and in three or four months you'll be back in the swing of things. I didn't believe him, but I followed his advice anyway. They had given me up for dead, and now that I had confounded their predictions and mysteriously failed to die, what choice did I have but to live as though a future life were waiting for me?
I began with small outings, no more than a block or two from my apartment and then home
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REVIEWS

Praise for Oracle Night

"As Auster's many admirers know, his narrative voice is as hypnotic as that of the Ancient Mariner. Start one of his books and by page two you cannot choose but hear."--Michael Dirda, The New York Review of Books
"Compulsively readable yet wonderfully complex and unsettling. The book is both a babushka doll of stories within stories and a literary Rubik's Cube, the solution of which, if there is one, is the very nature of reality."--The Boston Globe
"Auster shines as a fabulist and tale-teller, putting a high-modernist gloss on noir."--The New Yorker
"A joy to read."--The Economist
"It's urban mysticism, a poetry of the hidden and the almost forgotten, with the supernatural power deriving equally from the city and the novelist's imagination. . . . A snow globe of a novel."--New York magazine
"Oracle Night is a triumph for novelist Auster. It cements his growing reputation as one of America's most inventive and original writers."--The Seattle Times
 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Paul Auster

  • PAUL AUSTER is the bestselling author of Travels in the Scriptorium, The Brooklyn Follies, and Man in the Dark. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was a national bestseller. His work has been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Paul Auster Lisbeth Salas Soto
    Paul Auster
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Available Formats and Book Details

Oracle Night

A Novel

Paul Auster

Book Sense Book of the Year Award - Nominee

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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