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4 3 2 1 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 878 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $4.49 after you buy the Kindle book.
"[Paul] Auster's deep understanding of his characters, soothing baritone, and skillful pacing...deliver an immensely satisfying experience overall for listeners"
"[Paul] Auster's compelling, mesmerizing voice so embodies all the Fergusons that "4321" is ...worth an entire week's worth of listening." -Winston-Salem Journal
"[L]istening to "4 3 2 1" in audio is worth the commitment, thanks to the author's easy-on-the-ears baritone." -Newsday
", [I]nnovative, captivating and brilliantly crafted...Auster's compelling baritone voice." -Inside Jersey
"An epic bildungsroman . . . . Original and complex . . . . It's impossible not to be impressed - and even a little awed - by what Auster has accomplished. . . . A work of outsize ambition and remarkable craft, a monumental assemblage of competing and complementary fictions, a novel that contains multitudes."--Tom Perrotta, The New York Times Book Review
"A stunningly ambitious novel, and a pleasure to read. Auster's writing is joyful even in the book'sdarkest moments, and never ponderous or showy. . . . An incredibly moving, true journey."--NPR
"Ingenious . . . . Structurally inventive and surprisingly moving. . . . 4 3 2 1 reads like [a] big social drama . . . while also offering the philosophical exploration of oneman's fate."--Esquire
"Mesmerizing . . . Continues to push the narrative envelope. . . . Four distinct characters whose lives diverge and intersect in devious, rollicking ways, reminiscent of Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. . . . Prismatic and rich in period detail, 4 3 2 1 reflects the high spirits of postwar America as well as the despair coiled, asplike, in its shadows."--O, the Oprah Magazine
"Sharply observed . . . . Reads like a sprawling, 19th-century novel."--The Wall Street Journal
"Ambitious and sprawling . . . . Immersive . . . . Auster has a startling ability to report the world in novel ways."--USA Today
"The power of [Auster's] best work is . . . his faithful pursuit of the mission proposed in The Invention of Solitude, to explore the 'infinite possibilities of a limited space' . . . . The effect [of 4 3 2 1] is almost cubist in its multidimensionality--that of a single, exceptionally variegated life displayed in the round. . . . [An] impressively ambitious novel."--Harper's Magazine
"Auster's magnificent new novel is reminiscent ofInvisible in that it deals with the impossibility of containing a lifein a single story . . . . Undeniably intriguing . . . . A mesmerizing chronicle of one character's four lives . . . The finest--though one hopes, farfrom final--act in one of the mightiest writing careers of the last half century."--Paste Magazine
"Wonderfully clever . . . . 4 3 2 1 is much more than a pieceof literary gamesmanship . . . . It is a heartfeltand engaging piece of storytelling that unflinchingly explores the 20thcentury American experience in all its honor and ignominy. This is, withoutdoubt, Auster's magnum opus. . . . A true revelation . . . One can't help but admit they are in the presence of a genius."--Toronto Star
"A multitiered examination of the implications of fate . . . in which the structure of the book reminds us of its own conditionality. . . . A signifier of both possibility and its limitations."--The Washington Post
"At the heart of this novel is a provocative question: What would have happened if your life hadtaken a different turn at a critical moment? . . . Ingenious."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Auster presents four lovingly detailed portrayals ofthe intensity of youth - of awkwardness and frustration, but also of passion forbooks, films, sport, politics and sex. . . . [Trying] to think of comparisons [to the novel] . . . [nothing] is exactly right . . . . What he is driving at is not only the role of contingency and the unexpected, but the 'what-ifs' that haunt us, the imaginary lives we hold in our minds that run parallel to our actual existence."--The Guardian
"Draws the reader in from the very first sentence and does not let go until the very end. . . . An absorbing, detailed account - four accounts! - of growing up in the decades following World War II. . . . Auster's prose is never less than arresting . . . "--San Francisco Chronicle
"Leaves readers feeling they know every minute detail of [Ferguson's] inner life, as if they were lifelong companions and daily confidants. . . . It's like an epic game of MASH: Will Ferguson grow up in Montclair or Manhattan? Excel in baseball or basketball? Date girls or love boys too? Live or die? . . . A detailed landscape . . . for readers who like taking the scenic route."--TIME Magazine
"Auster pays tribute to what Rose Ferguson thinks of as a 'dear, dirty, devouring New York, the capital of human faces, the horizontal Babel of human tongues.'. . . Sprawling . . . occasionally splendid."--The New Yorker
"A bona fide epic . . . both accessible and formally daring."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Inventive, engrossing."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Arresting .. . . A hugely accomplished work, a novel unlike any other."--The National (UAE)
"Brilliantly rendered, intricately plotted . . . a magnum opus."--Columbia Magazine
"Auster's first novel inseven years is . . . . an ingenious move . . . . Auster's sense of possibility, his understanding of what all his Fergusons have in common, with us and one another, is a kind of quiet intensity, a striving to discover who they are. . . . [He] reminds us that not just life, but also narrative is always conditional, that it only appears inevitable after the fact."--Kirkus (starred review)
"Auster has been turning readers' heads for three decades, bending the conventions of storytelling . . . . He now presents his most capacious, demanding, eventful, suspenseful, erotic, structurally audacious, funny, and soulful novel to date . . . [a] ravishing opus."--Booklist (starred review)
"Rich and detailed. It's about accidents of fate, and the people and works of art and experiences that shape our lives even before our birth--what reader doesn't vibrate at that frequency?"--Lydia Kiesling, Slate
"Auster illuminates how the discrete moments in one's life form the plot points of a sprawling narrative, rife with possibility."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Mesmerizing . . . . A wonderful work of realist fiction and well worth the time."--Read it Forward
"Frisky and sinuous . . . energetic. . . . A portrait of a cultural era coming into being . . . the era that is our own."--Tablet magazine
"Almost everything about Auster's new novel is big. . . Satisfyingly rich in detail . . . . A significant and immersive entry to a genre that stretches back centuriesand includes Augie March and Tristram Shandy."--Publishers Weekly--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of 4 3 2 1, Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. He has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix Médicis Étranger, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Premio Napoli. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"Auster has an enormous talent for creating worlds that are both fantastic and believable. . . . His novels are uniformly difficult to put down, a testament to his storytelling gifts."--Timothy Peters, San Francisco Chronicle--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B01LZPLGUS
- Publisher : Faber & Faber; Main edition (31 January 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 1393 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 878 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 101,260 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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An interesting concept but the book was far too long..
Top reviews from other countries
The book follows the exploits of a boy called Ferguson as he grows up in New Jersey, then through college and to the edge of adulthood. Without spoiling the plot, Ferguson’s life has several moments of divergence of varying severity. So far, so good.
The problem I have with this book has been the same across a few of the titles I’ve read on the Booker shortlist: they are just formulaic. Got some baseball/basketball nostalgia? Check. Got both race and gender issues clumsily wedged in? Check. Got references to as many books and films as you can, just to show the reader how clever you are? Check. Got references to some Manhattan eateries? Check.
A couple of times now, but especially with this book, the author has a character wanting to become something different or outgrow his or her hometown, yet I’ve been left with the feeling the book has been written and appraised by the same group of people within spitting distance of The New Yorker’s office.
And when they travel, God, it’s always Paris. Prepare for a name check of obscure directors, eateries and ‘insights’ into French life (yes, we know Gitanes are strong). Finally, England is eternally described as if it were the set of Brief Encounters. Ferguson visits London in the 60s - swinging London, fashionable, musical London. It’s described as if it’s some dank Middle Earth, with no hint of irony, even though the main character lives in the cosmopolitan Mecca that is New Jersey.
If you’ve read anything from the Booker list in the past few years that is anything close to a coming of age story of a kid from the east coast, you’ve already read this book.
Reading this is a little like running a marathon, it is not pleasant, at times not enjoyable and it is a hard slog. There are times mid way through this when I could have happily gave it one star or even stopped reading completely. However now finished I find the experience rewarding and I am happy that I have read it. I think it is the thought provoking nature of how a life can unwind in different directions that give the biggest payoff, The affect the book has more than the story itself.
Certainly it could have done with a heavy edit. It is a monster and the time spent meandering and (I would argue) at times lost is a disappointment. However it is still a thought provoking tale set in a vivid telling of 20th century US history.
My one piece of advice (I really wish I had this) is to take notes / reminders on the different strands of the story. To jump back to version 1 three chapters after reading versions 2,3 & 4 can be a little confusing trying to remember all the people / situations in the chapter you now start.
It made me laugh when the first young Ferguson has every intention of marrying his mother! What Auster does is bring home how each different decision and event changes the life of Ferguson through an intense and tumultuous period of American social and political history of the 1960s up until the early 1970s. So we get the awareness of the fate of the Rosenbergs, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the protests in which Ferguson takes part.
I found it difficult to remember which Ferguson is which at times, partly my fault but partly because whilst Ferguson has different lives, he is essentially the same person. He is a writer in every version of his life, his politics are progressive, and Amy is the girl he gets involved with albeit with differing results. He dwells on the nature of money and whether it should necessarily dictate that the family should, therefore, move into a bigger house just because they could. Auster captures the raw energy, vitality and intensity with which the young live their lives and the central role of an obsession with sex. I loved the cultural references such as the books and movies that marked the period. Different events in the family mark each Ferguson, such as the death of his father in an arson attack on the store. One Ferguson experiences an early death as a result of a lightning storm.
This is a very long and ambitious novel which might not be to everyone's taste and there are some extremely long sentences in it. I loved it, although it is not perfect and there are parts which tended to ramble a little too much. The prose is beautiful and I found the narrative a gripping read most of the time. Near the end, Auster informs us why the novel was structured as it is. Elements of the novel have been informed by the autobiographical details of the author's life. Characters from his previous novels make an appearance in this book. Auster is connecting his life's work and life brilliantly in this novel. This is essentially the story of the life and times of Paul Auster. A highly recommended read.