Paul Auster is one of my favorite writers; he paints his characters with taut, finely detailed, yet propulsive brush strokes. And in SUNSET PARK, he does not disappoint.
This novel is less postmodern than his recent book INVISIBLE. It focuses on debris: physical debris from trashed-out foreclosed homes in Florida that Miles Heller, a Brown University dropout, rescues through his camera lens. And mental debris that Miles wrestles with after a spontaneous action on his part results in an accidental death, causing him to flee from his New York family and live in self-imposed exile down south.
INVISIBLE is my first Auster novel. Itâ€™s odd that I never got around to reading him before, but his name came up a few months ago–in praiseworthy terms–from someone whose literary opinions I respect, and so when Austerâ€™s latest book appeared, it didnâ€™t take much to convince me to grab a copy. While the novel is ostensibly the story of what happens to a promising young student named Adam Walker, Austerâ€™s cleverly-constructed tale examines much larger issues, such as the impenetrable nature of truth, the long-lasting affects of grief, the savage tentacles of colonialism and fascism, and the passivity and futility of “good” in the presence of determined evil.