October 03, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

Hand to Mouth

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Linda Tirado
publisher
Putnam
genre
Memoir
We gave it a B

Only the most thoroughly besotted Paul Auster fans, who tend to dwell in Brooklyn or Paris, will feel happy forking over for this stingy sliver of a memoir, which regards the now (we are gently reminded) very successful writer’s early impoverishment from a long, hard, admittedly charming distance. In Hand to Mouth, there’s the expected Austere cast of sordid yet instructive characters, plus the odd prophetic brush up against his current lord and master, Fame. (John Lennon to the young Auster: ”Hi, I’m John.” Auster: ”Hi, I’m Paul.”) Bonus: more uninteresting early work than you ever wanted, much from a period when he seemed to be channeling Jean-Paul Sartre. A beguiling gyp. B

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