4 3 2 1

4 3 2 1

Downloadable Audiobook - 2017 | Unabridged
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Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.
Publisher: New York : Macmillan Audio, 2017
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781427282804
Characteristics: 1 online resource (36 audio files) : digital
audio file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
Alternative Title: Four three two one

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Oct 31, 2017

There was some trepidation as thirty-six files of this book were being downloaded to the iPad. Many years ago, I started reading Paul Auster with Moon Palace, which captured my imagination. Over the years, I would read other Auster books, sometimes in delight, at other times feeling like they were a bit too rote. It has been a while since reading any of Auster's book, and I was curious to read this one.

Auster's voice is familiar and there is a specific determinism when he reads. This book is dense with descriptions of all kind, sometimes long lists of names, books, etc. which are meant to demonstrate the knowledge and inventiveness of the characters (and the author). Depending on one's mood and interest, they can be captivating or boring.

The story is four iterations of one character in a specific time of his life. I realized that there was no sense in trying to keep track of which Archie was which, and abandon logic to the stories being told. There is a dense sense of history throughout. The sixties was a decade when a lot of things happened and in Auster loads as many incidents and historical facts into the characters' lives, even if they are only bystanders. It feels like nothing is left out.

Sometimes the book felt overwrought. Maybe it was the trope of four lives happening simultaneously. You knew it was fiction (although some felt autobiographical, as Archie translated French poetry). In the end I don't quite know what to make of the book.

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