March 16th, 2013


sadly, just a book

the other day i wasn't certain i wanted to continue reading auster's book. i like the subject matter, and though he occasionally delivers an interesting passage (like the one i quoted), they're far too rare. in some respects he resembles bellow, without telling a compelling tale. (this all just based on the one book -- he may have improved.) when it came to the subject of narrative and the conceit of author as character, i found his handling hamhanded. anyway, i decided to keep going and on the very page i'd last left off i read this passage:

he must have been looking too hard, for a moment later she turned to him with an irritated expression on her face and said, “you got a problem, mister?”

quinn smiled weakly. “no problem,” he said. “i was just wondering if you liked the book.”

the girl shrugged. “i've read better and i've read worse.”

quinn wanted to drop the conversation right there, but something in him persisted. before he could get up and leave, the words were already out of his mouth. “do you find it exciting?”

the girl shrugged again and cracked her gum loudly. “sort of. there's a part where the detective gets lost that's kind of scary.”

“is he a smart detective?”

“yeah, he's smart. but he talks too much.”

“you'd like more action?”

“i guess so.”

“if you don't like it, why do you go on reading?”

“i don't know.” the girl shrugged once again. “it passes the time, i guess. anyway, it's no big deal. it's just a book.”