When you pick up a Paul Auster novel, a spell descends over you. As if you are in a funhouse car, you are hooked onto the tracks of the story and pulled into its depths. Invisible begins, "I shook his hand for the first time in the spring of 1967." You learn many things from that sentence. The story will be told in an intimate, first-person address, as if the narrator is leaning over a dinner table toward you. The story happened in the past, so what you will hear is the narrator's reflection on those long-ago events. And it will be the story of an encounter with an extraordinary man. In just one sentence, Auster has created incredible suspense. It is the spell of a master storyteller.
The narrator is Adam Walker, a bookish but otherwise undistinguished college student, and the hand he shakes belongs to Rudolf Born, an older Parisian man who singles Walker out and pulls him into his ...
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