the new york trilogy

June 8, 2009

mother, aware of my hunger for history and literature of local color, brought me a book called ‘the new york trilogy’ by paul auster. the three books, ‘city of glass’ ‘ghosts’ and ‘locked room’ were published sequentially and eventually became this perfect trilogy. prior to reading this, detective fiction was a complete alien concept to me. i’d never been interested, never given it a second thought, and only skimmed over the surface of its implications by reading children’s mystery series as a wee lass. boxcar children, anyone? whatever other endless paperback series i’d devoured in my first few years of school/obsessive reading phase?
to be frank, my closest association with the term detective/private eye only conjures an image of dick tracy, spencer tracy and his hat, which quickly breaks down into the following: spencer tracy. katharine hepburn. we share a birthday. the character spencer carlin, of a not-to-be-named-here teen tv series that ran recently, who was played by an actress, gabrielle christian, who was actually related to spencer tracy. gabrielle and i in love. (that freefall would’ve been cooler in video form, maybe i’ll update this blog with other media)

i digress as usual!

has anyone read this trilogy? it surprised me, and not in that goofy private eye caricature way. the writing was superb, so deliberately laid out. the words in these stories and layers conjured an image of an artist at a giant handspun web, carefully adorning the silk strands with painstakingly precise faux-water-droplets. this web is viewable from afar as perfectly composed, and more impressively (to me) retains this perfection with the eye literally a millimeter away from its mass. you may safely rub your cheek against the web, stretch your arm lengths along the composition and become part of it, and it holds and holds and holds from every angle.

i am hungry for trilogy discussion, but i think this is a book i will keep (i only keep 2 anymore) for a little. if you want to be surprised by what writing can achieve, pick this book up!

(i should add that i had about 9 false starts on this book, so don’t turn away before you give it a chance.)

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