4 3 2 1: Book summary and reviews of 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

4 3 2 1

by Paul Auster

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster X
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
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Book Summary

Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel - a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece.

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Fusing the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics with the bildungsroman literary genre, Auster illuminates how the discrete moments in one's life form the plot points of a sprawling narrative, rife with possibility." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. A paean to youth, desire, books, creativity, and unpredictability, it is a four -faceted bildungsroman and an Ars Poetica, in which Auster elucidates his devotion to literature and art." - Booklist

"Auster adds a significant and immersive entry to a genre that stretches back centuries and includes Augie March and Tristram Shandy." - Publishers Weekly

This information about 4 3 2 1 was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Bev

A Masterpiece
This book is a masterpiece, but 3 lives would have been enough.

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Author Information

Paul Auster Author Biography

Paul Benjamin Auster was born on February 3, 1947 in Newark, New Jersey.  His father, Samuel Auster, was a landlord; his mother, Queenie was about 13 years younger than her husband; the marriage was not a happy one. When Auster was about 3, his mother gave birth to a daughter; sadly by the time she was five it was apparent that she was psychologically unstable, and later suffered mental breakdowns. 

Auster's passion for reading began when he was about 12 and his uncle, Allen Mandelbaum (a professor of Italian literature, a poet, and a prolific translator) left several boxes of books in storage in the Auster's house while he traveled to Europe.  Paul read the books avidly and developed an interest in writing and literature that further accentuated his ...

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Name Pronunciation
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