Book 8 – Travels in the scriptorium by Paul Auster

travels-in-the-scriptorium-paul-austerUsually once a year – the first weekend of November – there is a book fair in the city that I live in. It’s a great place to find new books especially since most books are cheaper there than they are in the regular stores, especially the English paperbacks. I always go there but I try however to stay on a certain budget, I don’t want to spend too much money at one time.

This year, much to my surprise there was an extra edition, I have no idea why but I couldn’t really stay away. So I went there for a little while and looked for something interesting. I had an idea of books which I wanted to purchase, but I couldn’t find those. Not in English anyway, so I continued my search to see if I could find something else which got my attention. And I did. I bought four books, by sheer coincidence I have two books by Paul Auster ‘Travels in the Scriptorium’ and ‘Man in the Dark’. The other two books are ‘Labyrinth’ by Kate Mosse and ‘New Moan’ by Stephfordy Mayo.

The last book is a parody on ‘Twilight’ and like I have stated before I am not a fan of those books or the movies. Yet, when I saw this book I really couldn’t pass it over, it sounded hilarious to me, just the sheer fact that someone would go out of there way and write a parody. I just had to see what they did with it.

This book caught my eye, the cover especially but also the tittle. And when I read the back I was sold;

An old man awakens, disoriented, in an unfamiliar chamber. With no memory of who he is or how he has arrived there, he pores over the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching his own hazy mind for clues.

Determining that he is locked in, the man–identified only as Mr. Blank–begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an unfamiliar, alternate world. As the day passes, various characters call on Mr. Blank in his cell, and each brings frustrating hints of his forgotten identity and his past.

From what I gathered Paul Auster is an author who uses his characters in more than one book. Apparently, according to some of the reviews I have read it is hard to understand his stories without ever having read the other stories. Or at least that seems to be the case with this book ‘Travels in the scriptorium’.

Of course since I haven’t read any of the other books yet, I can’t really say whether or not that’s true. What I do know is that this book really intrigued me. I wanted to read and It was really interesting experience. The story was good, yet there are a lot of unanswered questions. And a lot of things which never really became clear. As stated previously the old man doesn’t know who he is and in the end of the story you still not really sure who he is. Or why he’s in that room and that is kind of annoying. And it seems like there is no real closure to the story and I really hate that. At the same time I find it really difficult to determine what I actually think of this story.

Maybe it’s an writing style which I need to get used to because it certainly is different that anything I’ve ever read before. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that I just can’t get used to these short stories. I have no idea to be honest, so I’m just going to leave it as this for now. Maybe I will reconsider this review once I read the other book by Paul Auster.

In short; interesting story but too many questions and not nearly enough answers.

I started writing this review somewhere last month but I didn’t really find the time to finish it. In fact I’m three books behind in my reviews, so I better get my groove on and get some writing done.


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