Report from the Interior

We rated this book:


Maybe if I hadn’t already read, and enjoyed, Auster’s Winter Journal, and maybe if I hadn’t already read, and tolerated, Rushdie’s Joseph Anton, maybe then I would have liked Auster’s newest memoir more. While much of it is superficial and scattered, Report From the Interior also has satisfying, enjoyable stretches. This is Paul Auster, after all.

But, alas, there were longer stretches where this memoir was lazy and self-indulgent. The first section, in which Auster picks up from Winter Journal and explores the interior self of his childhood, is memoir-Auster at his best – fun to read and bursting with linguistic tricks and vivid, nostalgic images. The remaining sections, though, feel like a data-dump: rambling passages about movies that Meant A Lot To Him; letters he wrote to his (eventual) first wife; an “Album” section that illuminates the previous parts of the book.

Paul Auster has written better books, certainly, and second-person writing is an acquired taste, most certainly. Auster fans will enjoy this book. If you’ve never read Auster, start with his fiction or one of his earlier memoirs. And if you’ve never read a second-person memoir, there is only one to read: Mark Richard’s House of Prayer No. 2.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Holt
Publish Date 2013-Nov-19
ISBN 9780805098570 Buy this Book
Issue March 2014
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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