Oracle Night by Paul Auster
A Novel (Auster, Paul)

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Synopsis

Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, thirty-four-year-old novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationery shop in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of this blank book, trapped inside a world of eerie premonitions and puzzling events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality.

Why does his wife suddenly break down in tears in the backseat of a taxi just hours after Sidney begins writing in the notebook? Why does M. R. Chang, the owner of the stationery shop, precipitously close his business the next day? What are the connections between a 1938 Warsaw telephone directory and a lost novel in which the hero can predict the future? At what point does animosity explode into violence? To what degree is forgiveness the ultimate expression of love?

Paul Auster’s mesmerizing eleventh novel reads like an old-fashioned ghost story. But there are no ghosts in this book—only flesh-and-blood human beings, wandering through the haunted realms of everyday life. At once a meditation on the nature of time and a journey through the labyrinth of one man’s imagination, Oracle Night is a narrative tour de force that confirms Auster’s reputation as one of the boldest, most original writers at work in America today.

 

About Paul Auster

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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 April 28, 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.. 260 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Oracle Night

The New York Times

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he's not sure if he's writing a book that's already been written about a book that's already been written, he writes for hire, he stops writing, he writes too much or too little, he must write, he despairs of writing.

Nov 30 2003 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

The Guardian

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John and Grace had an affair before she met me, which was rekindled while I was in hospital.

Feb 09 2004 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

The Guardian

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Oracle Night by Paul Auster 243pp, Faber, £15.99 Collected Prose by Paul Auster 450pp, Faber, £25 Milton, in Comus, speaks of the "power that erring men call Chance", and it's a power that Paul Auster has explored, with unerring fascination, since he began to publish in the 1970s.

Feb 07 2004 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

The Guardian

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Oracle Night by Paul Auster Faber & Faber £15.99, pp304 George Eliot described her novels as 'experiments in life'.

Feb 08 2004 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

Publishers Weekly

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One morning in September 1982, a struggling novelist recovering from a near-fatal illness purchases, on impulse, a blue notebook from a new store in his Brooklyn neighborhood. So begins Auster'

Nov 10 2003 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

Star Tribune

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Auster uses them to give the impression that the book we are holding has been written and edited by Sidney himself.

Dec 06 2003 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

Book Reporter

Read the first sentence of ORACLE NIGHT and you'll be caught in the vortex of this intricate, well-crafted story.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

Entertainment Weekly

''Oracle Night'' is the title of a novel within a pointedly abandoned novel within this wholly self-parodic novel.

Nov 28 2003 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

About.com

Paul Auster is one author who likes to write novels about novelists, and continues to be consistently entertaining and provocative in doing so.

Jun 19 2004 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

London Review of Books

Furthermore, in roundabout imitation of his greatest single influence – Thoreau’s Walden – Auster writes crisply and sensuously about self-reliance, austerity and solitude.

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New York Magazine

A blue notebook holds the key to the overintricate plot of Paul Auster’s new novel about a blocked writer from—how did you guess?—Brooklyn.

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ReadySteadyBook

Notwithstanding the dubious reputation of being a "writer's writer" the philosophical Auster has written a comparatively simple, very moving, quite brilliant novel.

Apr 06 2004 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

The Blurb

The book we are reading is made up as much of Sidney's writing as his own tale and that's before we even go in to the plot of Maxwell's Oracle Night in which Bowen 'begins o see a connection between himself and the story in the novel, as if in some oblique, hig...

| Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

Vivid Scribe

The novel also goes into a lot of details about the stories Orr writes, so Oracle Night is almost several stories within one novel.

Aug 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Oracle Night: A Novel (Auster...

Reader Rating for Oracle Night
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