By Troy Patterson
Updated March 17, 2020 at 03:02 AM EDT
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The Book of Illusions

B-
type
  • Book
genre

Hector Mann was a silent-film star billed as ”Senor Slapstick” and distinguished by a mischievous mustache. In 1929, he disappeared. In 1986, David Zimmer, a professor immersed in self-pity since his family died in a plane crash, happens across a clip of a Mann film, laughs, and decides to publish a study of Mann’s work. Then he gets a letter asking if he’d like to meet the Mann himself. The novel is a sterile variation on Auster’s familiar theme of erased existences, and the writing is slack. Must Mann live in a town called Tierra del Sueno — Land of Dreams? Why do characters know things ”beyond any shadow of a doubt”? Is there any coincidence in this book Auster doesn’t inflate into an Act of Fate?

The Book of Illusions

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Paul Auster
publisher
  • Henry Holt and Company

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