Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
A Novel

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Synopsis

A man pieces together clues to his past--and the identity of his captors--in this fantastic, labyrinthine novel
An old man awakens, disoriented, in an unfamiliar chamber. With no memory of who he is or how he has arrived there, he pores over the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching his own hazy mind for clues.
Determining that he is locked in, the man--identified only as Mr. Blank--begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an alternate world the man doesn't recognize. Nevertheless, the pages seem to have been left for him, along with a haunting set of photographs. As the day passes, various characters call on the man in his cell--vaguely familiar people, some who seem to resent him for crimes he can't remember--and each brings frustrating hints of his identity and his past. All the while an overhead camera clicks and clicks, recording his movements, and a microphone records every sound in the room. Someone is watching.
Both chilling and poignant, Travels in the Scriptorium is vintage Auster: mysterious texts, fluid identities, a hidden past, and, somewhere, an obscure tormentor. And yet, as we discover during one day in the life of Mr. Blank, his world is not so different from our own.
 

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 January 1, 2006 by Faber & Faber. 120 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Business & Economics. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Travels in the Scriptorium

The New York Times

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Mr. Blank has it bad: as if the annotated furniture and the typescript-strewn desk weren’t enough, soon, with terrible inevitability, even the ceiling begins to resemble “a sheet of blank paper.” All the world’s a page!

Feb 18 2007 | Read Full Review of Travels in the Scriptorium: A...

The Guardian

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Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster 132pp, Faber, £12.99 An old man sits alone in an empty room.

Oct 14 2006 | Read Full Review of Travels in the Scriptorium: A...

Book Reporter

Graf's story --- about an ill-fated mission to find a man named Ernesto Land --- remains maddeningly unfinished, requiring Mr. Blank to come to his own conclusions about Graf's narrative and its future directions.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Travels in the Scriptorium: A...

Entertainment Weekly

If you're new to the slinky pleasures of Paul Auster's fiction, don't start with his new novella Travels in the Scriptorium, as it derives all of its slow-burning, strange brilliance from at least a passing familiarity with some of the author's previous titles.

Jan 31 2007 | Read Full Review of Travels in the Scriptorium: A...

San Francisco Chronicle

In the opening scene of Paul Auster's slim new novel, "Travels in the Scriptorium," his 13th novel since the publication of "City of Glass" (1985), an old man sits alone in a room.

Feb 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Travels in the Scriptorium: A...

The Sydney Morning Herald

Getting metaphysical about the process of writing is Auster's bag and after several excursions away from familiar turf (last year's uncharac- teristically sentimental The Brooklyn Follies, for example), it appears at first that Auster has simply come home to what he does best.

Dec 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Travels in the Scriptorium: A...

The Millions

Every time there’s a new Auster novel out, I think it may be different, and I give him a chance, and soon find I’m back in the usual territory: identity puzzles, murky timelines, ominous danger.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Daniel Dyer Providence Journal 2.5 of 5 Stars "For the Auster fan, this short novel supplies some delight, as we recognize his characters and look upon the incarcerated fellow as yet another creature racked with guilt and eager to do the only thing he can.

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Travels in the Scriptorium: A...

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