Man in the Dark: A Novel by Paul Auster
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I have a list of books that I pick from at random, partially based on what is available at my library. Why this was on my list, I don't know. I think the review probably said something about "alternate realities" and I bit. I always bite hard on that stuff, but this time I got a mouth full of paper. Half-way through the book, I thought, are you serious? Someone got this published? Then I read the book jacket and found out Auster is an award-winning author. Go figure.
The book is about a man with insomnia who dreams up an alterate universe where America is at war with itself instead of Iraq and Owen Brick (the main character in this fantasy) must kill the man dreaming up this alternate America in order to end the war. Which could be an exciting premise but it's poorly developed, goes nowhere, and ends in the middle of the book. What this book really is is a stream of conscience book where an author makes up stories to divert himself from thinking of the horrible things he, his daughter, and his grand-daughter are suffering through. His conversation with his grand-daughter at the end, about how he and his wife fell in love, fell out of love, fell back in love is mildly interesting, like reading someone's diary would be. But in the end that's all this book was to me, mildly interesting. Here are the main themes: War is awful. Love can be war. Life goes on.
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