4 3 2 1: A Novel

Paul Auster
Paul Auster’s greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel―a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece.Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson’s pleasures and ache from each Ferguson’s pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-08-05

So self-indulgent, and NOT a fucking new concept, not even a new concept if we only pick books written in English, not to mention that TV and movies have been doing this for years. My biggest issue is the massive amount of sex we're "treated" to - and it's not good sex writing, it's just sex and sex and them some more sex. The various Fergusons all have shitty personalities and are not generous lovers. So why so much sex? I didn't mind the sports as much because that backs off after a bit, but the sex is endless and boring as hell. I have no idea how this landed on the booker longlist, but clearly it shouldn't have. It's a shame that his wife, to whom the book was dedicated, can't get the love that Auster got for this bloated mess. I dont mind a long book, and I loved the concept of this book, but it failed for me on almost every level except in the very final chapters. 

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@ellamc completed #0000000004000000... on 2019-08-04
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