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Ratings and Reviews (5 39 star ratings
5 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
39
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    Needed an honest edit

    The author seemed reluctant to let go of any of his words. I often enjoy long, complex novels, but this one needed some editing. Neither my husband nor I finished it - though he lasted for 3/4 of the book. Eventually, I stopped caring about the main character. Having lived through the same era, I could have done with a bit less detail.
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    4321

    Great idea, poor execution. The author goes into way, way too much detail. Yes, he is trying to give the reader a sense of the era, but less would have been more. A simple outline of the political and student unrest would have sufficed.
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    Loved it.

    I loved this book. I am so disappointed that it ended. The style of writing was great. It was the way you think about things. This book was written with thoughts, flowing, perfect thoughts. You just want to be in the author's head space. It was awesome. This book also gave me insight. I know I know nothing. This taught me things I wanted to know. History, politics. Views. Loved it.
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    Fabulous Book!!

    There is much to think about in this book; so many partially-recalled events that were courageously brought to life in these stories. Some of the events made me feel the situations so deeply I had tears in my eyes. All that was ghastly and horrific and monstrous from those decades was explored and brought to the fore. I thought of those times (the 1960’s and early 1970’s) as ones that were swept under the rug and/or buried under heaps of jasmine-scented manure. No-one who wasn’t there can even comprehend the full impact (because the reality and the facts were completely distorted and aborted by the press, government agencies, and university administrations), but it is all here, and it is undiluted. But why do it in this particular way? Why not write four separate books instead of four parallel books in one? Maybe Auster could have been writing about himself when he wrote Archie’s thoughts: <i>Why attempt to do such a thing? Why not simply invent another story and tell it as any other writer would? Because Ferguson wanted to do something different. Because Ferguson was no longer interested in telling mere stories. Because Ferguson wanted to test himself against the unknown and see if he could survive the struggle.</i> I think it is obvious that Mr. Auster did test himself and he survived this particular struggle with wit, grace, humour, and exceptionally splendid writing. Now we, as readers, are invited to enjoy the fruits of those labours. And, to be honest, there was too much overlap, too many incidents, and too much information in this book for individual stories. This book simply had to be written the way it was, and I am impressed with the results and marvel at the talent and skill that brought this creation into being. At about the 90% mark I felt sad because I only had a few hours of reading left.
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    4321 rates a 0

    Horrible. Confusing at first as there is no explanation that each story represents a parrell universe of sorts. The main character is pretentious to the extreme! The story is told from every possible angle. The author also writes a history lesson from the 1960's as well. Poor editing this is a very long repetative read! P
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