Book Review: The Brooklyn Follies

Paul Auster has recently been my author of choice, as I have recently uploaded The New York Trilogy onto my Kindle and just finished his 2005 novel The Brooklyn Follies. His writing is simple yet absolutely astounding, and despite the slow pace of this novel, its characters had me hooked from page one.

The book tells the story of Nathan, a retired life insurance salesman who moves out of Manhattan and into Brooklyn and decides to finish out his life by eating lunch at the same diner every day and recording every fault he’s ever made in his book The Book of Human Folly. Instead, he finds a life full of more love and adventure than he could have ever imagined.

I adored this novel more for its characters than anything else: Auster expertly shows how people both abandon and save others, and his skilled prose made me fall in love with Nathan’s life and everything that affected it. The world in which Nathan and his friends and family lived was a comfortable home for me, and when I put the book down, I felt like I had just taken a course in human interaction, failure, and success. In my opinion, an author succeeds when his characters are real and relatable, and when the reader cares more about them than they do about plotline.

Paul Auster’s work is much and widespread, and if you’d like to learn more about this skilled writer, check out his interview in the Paris Review. I’m already excited to get my hands on everything he’s written.


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