The Resource 4 3 2 1 : a novel, Paul Auster

4 3 2 1 : a novel, Paul Auster

Label
4 3 2 1 : a novel
Title
4 3 2 1
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Paul Auster
Title variation
Four, three, two, one
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel -- a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece. 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."--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2017.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2017
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Auster has been turning readers’ heads for three decades, bending the conventions of storytelling, blurring the line between fiction and autobiography, infusing novels with literary and cinematic allusions, and calling attention to the art of storytelling itself, not with cool, intellectual remove, but rather with wonder, gratitude, daring, and sly humor. Strands of his own experiences run throughout his novels, as do recurring tropes, characters, and themes. Beginning with his cherished mid-1980s New York Trilogy and on to his sixteenth novel, Sunset Park (2010), Auster’s fiction is rife with cosmic riddles and rich in emotional complexity. He now presents his most capacious, demanding, eventful, suspenseful, erotic, structurally audacious, funny, and soulful novel to date. Auster’s hero and narrator is Archibald Ferguson, born to Rose and Stanley, children of Jewish immigrants, in 1947 Newark. His father and uncles run an appliance-store empire. His father owns a small repair shop. His father dies. His parents divorce and remarry. His loving mother is a small-town portrait photographer; she is a famous, museum-grade photographer. Ferguson attends public school. He attends private school. He plays baseball and basketball. He struggles with unbridled lust and loneliness. He is enthralled by Laurel and Hardy; he “publishes” a handwritten newspaper in grade school. He’s a stellar student; he’s a delinquent. At 14, he writes a precociously knowing story titled “Sole Mates” (presented here in full) about a pair of shoes owned by a cop. He freaks out his English teacher. He loves summer camp; summer camp is catastrophic. He has many brilliant mentors. He attends Princeton; he attends Columbia; he refuses to go to college and moves to Paris. He becomes a sportswriter, a film critic, a fiction writer. He is sexually involved with men and women. He is obsessed with Amy Schneiderman, his friend, cousin, stepsister, lover, and polestar. Confusing? That’s because there are actually four Archie Fergusons.Each Ferguson is precisely the same at the genetic level and, to a large degree, in temperament and passions. His narrative voice is consistent, as is his fierce attention to life, from sensuous nuance to the spinning roulette wheel of city life to war and profound social upheavals. But the particulars—circumstances, events, accomplishments, and losses—vary in ways great and small. Told in alternating chapters, these four variations on a character’s life are disorienting until the novel establishes a quadraphonic rhythm, and it becomes clear that Auster is conducting a grand experiment, not only in storytelling, but also in the endless nature-versus-nurture debate, the perpetual dance between inheritance and free will, intention and chance, dreams and fate. This elaborate investigation into the big “what if” is also a mesmerizing dramatization of the multitude of clashing selves we each harbor within. Two other prominent Jewish American male writers—together, with Auster, they form a nearly three-generational spread—have lately written loosely autobiographical, socially and historically conscious family sagas narrated by a boy becoming a man: Michael Chabon’s Moonglow (2016) and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am (2016). For Auster, 4 3 2 1 is his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, his The Adventures of Augie March. A paean to youth, desire, books, creativity, and unpredictability, it is a four-faceted bildungsroman and an Ars Poetica, in which Auster elucidates his devotion to literature and art. He writes, “To combine the strange with the familiar: that was what Ferguson aspired to, to observe the world as closely as the most dedicated realist and yet to create a way of seeing the world through a different, slighting distorting lens.” Auster achieves this and much more in his virtuoso, magnanimous, and ravishing opus. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 11/15/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 6, p21)
  • Almost everything about Auster’s new novel is big. The sentences are long and sinuous; the paragraphs are huge, often running more than a page; and the book comes in at nearly 900 pages. In its telling, however, the book is far from epic, though it is satisfyingly rich in detail. It’s a bildungsroman spanning protagonist Archie Ferguson’s birth in 1947 to a consequential U.S. presidential election in 1974. Some warm opening pages are dedicated to the romance of the parents of Ferguson (as the third-person narrator refers to him throughout), Rose and Stanley. In its depiction of the everyday life of its hero, the book also gives a full history of America during this period through the eyes of Ferguson who, not coincidentally, is roughly the same age as Auster. He roots for the nascent Kennedy administration, sees Martin Luther King’s peaceful resistance, and recognizes both the greatness and the iniquity in L.B.J.’s actions as president. These national events are juxtaposed against Ferguson’s coming-of-age: he goes to summer camp, has a sad first love with a girl named Anne-Marie, and gets an education via his beloved aunt Mildred. One of the many pleasures of the book is Ferguson’s vibrant recounting of his reading experiences, such as Emma Goldman’s Living My Life, Voltaire’s Candide, and Theodore White’s The Making of the President, 1960. Auster adds a significant and immersive entry to a genre that stretches back centuries and includes Augie March and Tristram Shandy. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed 09/26/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 39, p)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10547847
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1947-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Auster, Paul
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Jewish families
  • FICTION
  • FICTION
  • FICTION
  • Jewish families
  • Man-woman relationships
Label
4 3 2 1 : a novel, Paul Auster
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1716001
Edition
First edition.
Extent
pages
Isbn
9781627794466
Lccn
2016020041
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781627794466
  • (OCoLC)950448698
Label
4 3 2 1 : a novel, Paul Auster
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1716001
Edition
First edition.
Extent
pages
Isbn
9781627794466
Lccn
2016020041
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781627794466
  • (OCoLC)950448698

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