4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
A Novel

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While reading, you’re immersed. But it’s hard to suppress a sense of missed opportunity. If Auster was going to invent four different lives, why make them so similar? Why the recurrent obsession with sport (baseball and basketball), movies and Paris?
-Guardian

Synopsis

* * * Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize * * *

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review,
NPR, The Globe and Mail, Kirkus Reviews, Huffington Post, and The Spectator UK

“An epic bildungsroman . . . . Original and complex . . . . 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. . . . An incredibly moving, true journey.”NPR

New York Times Bestseller, Los Angeles Times Bestseller, Boston Globe Bestseller, National Indiebound Bestseller

Paul Auster’s greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel—a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself.

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.

 

About Paul Auster

See more books from this Author
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Invisible, Man in the Dark, Travels in the Scriptorium, The Brooklyn Follies, and Oracle Night. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was a national bestseller. His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. 
 
Published January 31, 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.. 878 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for 4 3 2 1
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Tom Perrotta on Jan 31 2017

...despite these flaws, it’s impossible not to be impressed — and even a little awed — by what Auster has accomplished. “4 3 2 1” is a work of outsize ambition and remarkable craft, a monumental assemblage of competing and complementary fictions, a novel that contains multitudes.

Read Full Review of 4 3 2 1: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by Michelle Dean on Feb 02 2017

What is Auster up to here? After slogging through “4 3 2 1” it’s still difficult to say. There isn’t enough ambition in the narrative message to justify the page length, and all along I thought to myself: Auster is smarter than this.

Read Full Review of 4 3 2 1: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Feb 08 2017

In “4321,” [Paul] Auster has created a symphony in four movements, one life that becomes four. It sprawls, yet manages to feel lean; despite its considerable length, it never once feels the least bit overwritten...Filled with beauty and ugliness, with love and fear, with humor and hubris and history, “4321” is unforgettable.

Read Full Review of 4 3 2 1: A Novel

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Blake Morrison on Jan 27 2017

While reading, you’re immersed. But it’s hard to suppress a sense of missed opportunity. If Auster was going to invent four different lives, why make them so similar? Why the recurrent obsession with sport (baseball and basketball), movies and Paris?

Read Full Review of 4 3 2 1: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
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