Peter Steward's Web Site


Home Page Music Reviews Book Reviews Biography My Writing Sign Guestbook Contact Me

Main Links

My Biography

Who I am and details of  my life from birth to now.


Music Links

An index to all my music including CD and concert reviews and general writing



I have written a diary over the past 37 years. You can view entries by using  this link


General Writing

An index page to my writing. my novels and my poetry


University Work

My dissertation and other work for my MA degree.


My Travels

Places I have visited over 30 years of travelling


Site Index

Details and links to everything on my site


Peter on Twitter 
Peter on Facebook
View My Guestbook     
My Amazon Reviews
Free music - Best of 2009






Paul Auster

The Book of Illusions - 24

How do you come across new authors? Often it's through recommendations or word of mouth, often through reviews on the internet or in newspapers and magazines. Paul Auster came to my attention through a contestant on Mastermind who chose the author as her specialised subject which I found intriguing, So I dug a few books out from the public library and turned to this one first.

I found it highly readable and entertaining and it's one of those books that you just know is deeper than it appears. It is a novel that leaves you thinking long after you realise it is much more than a story of a desperate academic thrown into the gravest depths of despair by the death of his wife and sons in a plane crash.

David Zimmer finds solace in the work of a long overlooked silent movie star Hector Mann who went missing presumed dead many years before. Through Zimmer's research we learn about the films and the life of Mann - a life that in many ways mirrors Zimmers. Then suddenly Zimmer is provided with evidence that Mann isn't dead, but seriously ill. Also Mann is living with a number of secrets.

We learn about Mann's life through a series of flashbacks and Auster's portrayal of small town American life is excellent and possibly the highlight of the book for me. Gradually it unfolds that Mann has actually produced many additional films and Zimmer gets the chance to view them and possibly re-assess Mann's value. The question is will he get to see the films before it is too late.

This is a stylish novel that isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea but it is a thought provoking piece of work that certainly made me want to read more. It deals with numerous themes including loss, love, friendship, passion, exploitation and of course illusions.

Mr Vertigo  - 23

My second Paul Auster book and this one grew on me the further I read. It's a very unusual story about a young boy in the USA who is taught to levitate. I don't want to give too much of the plot away but it follows his successes and failures, high and low spots. In many ways it read like a surreal tale.

There is a typically gritty American feel to the story. At first I found myself having little sympathy with the characters but once I got to know them I began to empathise. It's a world of gin palaces, brothels, gangsters, hucksters, baseball players, but a place where love and compassion and friendship win through despite murders and killings. There is an underlying goodness about the story despite the inherent violence.

To Read

Squeeze Play 1982

The New York Trilogy - City of Glass 1985, Ghosts 1986, The Locked Room 1986

In the Country of Last Things 1987

Moon Palace 1989

The Music of Chance 1990

Leviathan 1992

Timbuktu 1999

Oracle Night 2004

The Brooklyn Follies 2005

Travels in the Scriptorium 2006

Man in the Dark 2008

Invisible 2009