Winter Journal by Paul Auster

64%

22 Critic Reviews

...in common with his later novels, it feels as though it has been pulled from the oven too soon.
-Wall Street Journal

Synopsis

“That is where the story begins, in your body and everything will end in the body as well.”

On January 3, 2011, exactly one month before his sixty-fourth birthday, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster sat down and wrote the first entry of Winter Journal, his unorthodox, beautifully wrought examination of his own life, as seen through the history of his body. Auster takes us from childhood to the brink of old age as he summons forth a universe of physical sensation, of pleasures and pains, moving from the awakening of sexual desire as an adolescent to the ever deepening bonds of married love, from meditations on eating and sleeping to the “scalding, epiphanic moment of clarity” in 1978 that set him on a new course as a writer.

 

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 August 21, 2012 by Henry Holt and Co.. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 09 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Winter Journal
All: 22 | Positive: 13 | Negative: 9

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by J Robert Lennon on Aug 15 2012

Joyce, Moliére and Keats would never have employed the clichéd and imprecise language Auster seems satisfied with here

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by MEGHAN O’ROURKE on Sep 07 2012

In the best moments in “Winter Journal,” he conveys with easy intimacy the way a mind moves over its life as it ages.

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Wall Street Journal

Below average
Reviewed by JAMES CAMPBELL on Aug 23 2012

...in common with his later novels, it feels as though it has been pulled from the oven too soon.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Jack Goodstein on Jul 29 2012

He takes the reader on a trip through a maze of scattered moments of his life, the people, places and events that played some part in turning him into the man he has become now that he has reached the winter of his content.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on Aug 21 2012

...a more relaxed and meanderingly anecdotal read, forms a sort of bookend to that earlier memoir, returning to many of its concerns and offering parallel, though warmer, portraits of his mother...

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LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by David Ulin on Aug 26 2012

Auster cannot quite maintain his focus, falling instead into a pattern of meandering recollections about his life...moving and self-indulgent but never coalesce behind a larger point of view.

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Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Kevin Canfield on Aug 17 2012

...Auster's story is also suffused with reverence for moments of transcendent, poetic beauty, and these chapters are just about perfect.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael LaPointe on Aug 17 2012

Some of these episodes will remain with the reader, like memories of one’s own.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Phil Dyess-Nugent on Sep 10 2012

...he doesn’t have the tools to bring his own memories to life in words. And he’s been doing what he does best for so long that he doesn’t seem to know how to stop.

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The Telegraph

Below average
Reviewed by Lilian Pizzichini on Sep 18 2012

Unfortunately, there are too many passages in this meditation on ageing that divulge an embarrassing narcissism.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
Reviewed by Kenneth Baker on Sep 03 2012

The book presents a paradoxical case of grandiose modesty, which makes a reader wonder why Auster took the trouble to write it.

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Dallas News

Excellent
Reviewed by Alex Lemon on Aug 24 2012

...Auster has given us a remarkable mosaic of his mother and his second wife... while, at the same time, allowing readers to catch glimpses of themselves in the expansive life that’s woven together in this stirring memoir.

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The Boston Globe

Excellent
Reviewed by Suzanne Koven on Aug 20 2012

In lesser hands, this device could become tedious. But Auster’s are not lesser hands. “Winter Journal” is a mesmerizing meditation.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Marie Arana on Aug 17 2012

This is, by story’s end, a profoundly beautiful book.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Excellent
Reviewed by Cody Corliss on Aug 26 2012

Winter Journal might contemplate the past, but it reinforces Paul Auster's status as a writer at the peak of his talents.

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Chicago Sun Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Ann Levin on Aug 23 2012

He has a good eye, a long memory and an elegant way with words, and these skills, without all the gimmicks, often combine to produce memorable results.

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Time Out New York

Excellent
Reviewed by Monika Fabian on Sep 07 2012

Auster hands the reader 63 years of life and history; it’s a dance that’s still in motion, and he guides us through every step.

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Digital Journal.

Below average
Reviewed by Steve Hayes on Sep 06 2012

Winter Journal is a book overflowing with potential, written by a writer of undoubted talent, but the brief passages of brilliance never coalesce into something more than Auster's self regarding indulgence.

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The L Magazine

Below average
Reviewed by Sally Franson on Sep 26 2012

...this is a frailer Auster, more timid, weighted down by his fame.

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Edmonton Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Jose Teodoro on Sep 13 2012

...it’s lovely and vivid, lyrical and funny, capricious and frank, and very personal.

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The Literateur

Below average
Reviewed by Jonathan Catherall on Sep 04 2012

The toxin of Winter Journal is its lack of luminosity.

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The Daily Free Press

Good
Reviewed by Gina Curreri on Sep 20 2012

...the anecdotes are both moving and funny, and the 64-year-old is passing judgement and sharing memories, not reveling and bragging, about his earlier years.

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Reader Rating for Winter Journal
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 116 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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