Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.
An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.
A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.
William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives.
A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway.
An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.
These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.
Paul Auster is one of those writers who is always multitasking. His stories are never about just one thing, and you can never be sure what's going on behind the scenes until you turn the last page. This is why I hate him, not to mention envy him. And also why I love him... The point here, as with every Auster novel I've read, is that the story of our lives is not the same thing as life itself. The story is just how we make sense of it all. (Reviewed by Beverly Melven).
[A] gratifying departure from the postmodern trickery he's known for, one full of crisp turns of phrase and keen insights.
Starred Review. In a time of daunting crises and change, Auster reminds us of lasting things, of love, art, and 'the miraculous strangeness of being alive.'
Starred Review. The author deftly balances minute details that evoke New York City, post-financial meltdown, with marvelously drawn characters bruised but unbowed by life's vicissitudes; think Richard Russo or Anne Tyler.
Starred Review. Sure to please Auster fans and likely to attract new readers as well.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Edwin Compelling Like many of his previous books, this is about people who have lost their way and are trying to get their lives back on track. Sunset park doesn't deliver any large departures or surprises which makes it all the more probable. And this 'restrain'... Read More
Rated of 5
by Cheryl Winter All over the place I had such a hard time following where this story was going. I kept waiting for the story to tie together. Never happened and the book ended. I found nothing interesting about this book.
Alice Bergstrom, one of the characters in Sunset Park, is writing her dissertation on the film The Best Years of Our Lives. Almost everyone in the book has either seen it already or watches it with her so she can add their reactions to her observations. Auster draws many parallels between the story in the film and the story of his contemporary characters.
The film follows the lives of three WWII veterans who meet on their way home from the war. They become friends, and we watch them and their families as they try to return to their regular lives. Each comes home with different wounds - some physical, some emotional - and each has difficulty adjusting. Jobs are lost, marriages dissolve, but there is hope.
In his review of the film, Roger Ebert notes that it "doesn't use verbal or technical pyrotechnics. It trusts entirely in the strength of its story." He believes that the film feels modern, not dated like most films...
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