The Book of Illusions

The Book of Illusions

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Having lost his family in a devastating plane crash, Vermont professor David Zimmer journeys around the world to research the life of a presumed-dead silent film actor, and he finds his life changed forever when his subsequent writings get unexpected attention. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE BOOK

Six months after losing his wife and two young sons, Vermont Professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. One night, he stumbles upon a clip from a lost film by silent comedian Hector Mann. His interest is piqued, and he soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to research a book on this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929.

When the book is published the following year, a letter turns up in Zimmer's mailbox bearing a return address from a small town in New Mexico inviting him to meet Hector. Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever.



Publisher: New York : Picador/Henry Holt, 2009
Edition: 2nd Picador ed
ISBN: 9780312429010
0312429010
Branch Call Number: FICTION AUSTER
Characteristics: 321 p. ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Literary Fiction
alaude Jul 24, 2017

Having lost his family in a devastating plane crash, Vermont professor David Zimmer journeys around the world to research the life of a presumed-dead silent film actor, and he finds his life changed forever when his subsequent writings get unexpected attention.


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f
Filthy_Doves
Apr 26, 2016

This book had my attention the entire time I was reading it, probably my favorite Auster novel.

c
Cecilturtle
Dec 15, 2013

I must say that this novel didn't hook me as much as some of Auster's other books. While the concept was intriguing, art for art's sake, traveling through time to reconstruct art and art as salvation, none of these themes are particularly novel and I didn't find their treatment very original either. I think it was the excess that bothered me, not in Frieda's actions, but in Alma's, starting with her threat with a gun.
The read itself is enjoyable: I liked Hector's adventures, the descriptions of the desert, the makeshift studio and the movies, but I found they were an excuse for a story rather than a story in itself. For me, Hector's choices and life would have had much more impact recounted through him, rather than through two characters, who although well delineated, stayed rather mysterious.

m
macierules
Dec 05, 2009

Parts of this book were 10*, they just ate me up and totally consumed me. But, certain sections just rambled on. I have come across a new pet peeve: people making notes and highlighting sentences in a library book. I'd much rather make these discoveries on my own!

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