5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I don't know what it is about Auster's writing style, but I enjoy it very much. Having recently finished Leviathan, I confess that this was one book I had a hard time putting down. The book is party mystery novel part romance.
The plot focuses on the death of a man and the story of the dead man's life as told by his friend. His friend, coincidental enough,...
Published on Nov. 1 2008 by NorthVan Dave
1.0 out of 5 stars Where is my product???
I was wondering why the book has not been sent? Could you please get back to me on this.
Published 9 months ago by Carolina Martinez
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1.0 out of 5 stars Where is my product???,
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This review is from: Leviathon (Paperback)Hello there,
I was wondering why the book has not been sent? Could you please get back to me on this.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)I don't know what it is about Auster's writing style, but I enjoy it very much. Having recently finished Leviathan, I confess that this was one book I had a hard time putting down. The book is party mystery novel part romance.
The plot focuses on the death of a man and the story of the dead man's life as told by his friend. His friend, coincidental enough, is an author as well.
I realize that I'm not doing the book justice. And that's a shame because it really is a good book. Auster does a great job of weaving a story of one man's life and how his life becomes inter-connected to all those around him. At the heart of this novel though is the simple fact that it is a good story. Auster does a good job of weaving a story and keeping the reader interested. At no point in time did I want to put the book down and forget about it. I was drawn in to the characters, the location, and the plot.
If you've read other Auster novels, then it is likely you have either read this one already or are about to read it. And if you're new to Aster's books then do yourself a favour and pick this one up.
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally enjoyable.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)LEVIATHAN is an anti-establishment piece done without getting annoying, and without becoming too postmodern or preachy. Auster constructs an artsy but eminently readable intellectual conceit without getting so caught up in his ideas to prevent him from telling a good story. At a mere 272 pages, LEVIATHAN is a quick fun smart diversion. I purchased this book through Amazon.com right after another great purchase, THE LOSERS' CLUB by Richard Perez, about an unlucky writer/lost soul addicted to the personals. Both are fun, recommended books. Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Literature at its Best,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)Leviathan is the story of Benjamin Sachs, a writer and an ideologist, as told by his long time friend and fellow writer, Peter Aaron. As is revealed in the first few pages of the book, the story follows Sachs from the peak of his success, through a long decline and to his eventual untimely death. Like most of Paul Auster's other novels, "Leviathan" tells an intricate, convoluted and incredibly addictive story.
Paul Auster is a master writer. The book is both entertaining and thought provoking. The characters are deep, complex and well crafted. Auster is able to maintain a credible plot even while introducing some tenuous twists into it. Like many of Auster's other novels, "Leviathan" explores the impact of chance and of seemingly random events on the course of human life. Auster's recurring themes: doubt, desperation and the frailty of the human condition are a central topic of this book.
This is yet another masterpiece from one of the greatest writers of our time.
5.0 out of 5 stars German Reader,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)I have just finished reading "Leviathan" (translated german version). This is the first book of P. Auster that I read. I was completely enthusiastic. Werner Schmitz who is responsible for the german version uses a very nice kind of speach (Please accept the excuse as my english is not the very best). I will read more books of Mr. Auster in english as well as in German.
Coincidently after having finished reading "Leviathan" I switched on my TV and saw a film directed and written by Paul Auster: Lulu on the bridge.
I will give this book to friends as a birthday or Xmas present because I also received it on my birthday.
5.0 out of 5 stars More brilliance from Paul Auster,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)Paul Auster has to be one of the cleverest writers around, and one of the most rewarding. "Leviathan" tells the story of Peter Aaron's 15-year friendship with Benjamin Sachs - a wunderkind novelist and conscientious objector who, ultimately through violent protest, makes his political convictions a part of his everyday life. Running from the mid-seventies to 1990, this is a tour through Reagan's America and its somnambulistic abandonment of every value that makes America great. Once again, Auster usefully blurs the boundaries of autobiography and fiction, making his unlikely tale feel real. And his choice of a 'mystery story' setup and personal tone are perfect: with its largely undramatized sequences presented in the casual, reflective style of a memoir, it never gets preachy despite its political intent; and our desire to uncover the mystery of just how and why Ben died pulls us effortlessly through the labyrinth to the end. For me, the final scene was remarkably touching - made even more so because it fails to pull any of the metafictive tricks Auster dangles before us as prospects in the opening pages. Compulsively readable, perfectly pitched, and ultimately about something important - novels don't get much better than this.
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, but not Auster's best,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)Leviathan is a fascinating book, and it clips along at a very quick pace - I read it over the course of a couple of study halls. It cannot, however, hold a candle to a book such as The New York Trilogy (my favorite Auster novel, and the standard to which all others are compared). Leviathan is complex, but ends up feeling rushed, particularly the second half. The characters are well crafted, but are too frequently cast aside as the plot rushes forward. Auster needed to trim the book down, or expand upon it.
Despite the hurried feeling, Levithan is nonetheless a very interesting novel, and does a wonderful job of bringing up questions about America and the American citizen's identity within America. It is fitting that the book is dedicated to Don DeLillo, a writer who frequently confronts this sort of question in his work.
All in all, an excellent read. Despite the adrenaline rush, Leviathan is steeped in a sense of philosophical melancholy. Whether or not there is hope for America, Paul Auster proves there is hope for American literature.
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, thought provoking and erotic,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)A Leviathan is a "sea monster" or whale or "whopper" and, by extension, an euphemism for "lie" or "liar". It is not the title of this book but the title of a novel by a character in the book. Leviathan is also the title of Thomas Hobbes famous tome which examines what is meant by "freedom", power, the nature of human thought, and the exercise of power of humans in constant motion. As an artifact, Paul Auster's work has been polished until it sparkles and, like a dream, perhaps surreal, seems more real than waking life. Accordingly, I found it memorable with the writer, Auster, the power to make this work resonate. I thought his characterisation was vivid, even the least of them, such as little Maria who, at five years of age, exercised her power in destroying a relationship between her mother, Lillian, and novelist and serial bomber Benjamin Sachs. Sachs is on a journey of redemption and forgiveness and charity after killing Lillian's husband, and Maria's father, Reed Dimaggio, teacher and environmental activist.
There are a number of stories within the novel and the characters themselves have stories of their own. Beautiful Lillian had, for example, "made three different stories" of her break up with husband Reed, " one of the stories might have been real. It was even possible that all of them were real - but there again, it was just possible that all of them were false" (p. 185).
The mosaic of the various yarns do contribute to the overall pattern and do come to a satisfying conclusion.
Nevertheless, the concerns with co-incidence, chance, truth, reality, and the capacity for self deception by humans are abiding themes. There is a special thanks at the front of the book to Sophie Calle for permission to mingle fact with fiction(!!!???).
All right already, I may be a bit peculiar but I did also enjoy the erotic element of this work. Maybe it is my appreciation of film noir heroines.
An engrossing and entertaining read. Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars An austere and enormous entertainment,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)Paul Auster is a blatantly theoretical novelist. He dissects and deconstructs literary genres and trends with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. But some accuse him of abandoning the delight of a story for a view from the ivory tower. I tend to disagree, for the most part, but offer up "Leviathan" as an example of an Auster book that's both a page-turner and a think-piece.
For po-mo lit-lovers, Auster is in fine form. His modus operandi of casting himself as the literary quasi-detective is in full effect here. Narrator Peter Aaron (check those initials) is married to lovely Iris (Auster is married to novelist *Siri* Hustvedt). He is a writer by trade. "My books are published... people read them, and I don't have any idea who they are... as long as they have my book in their hands, my words are the only reality that exists for them," he says, defensively.
The book he is currently writing -- and the book "you" are currently holding -- is an examination of his recently deceased friend, Benjamin Sachs ("Six days ago, a man blew himself up by the side of the road in Northern Wisconsin," reads the novel's enticing opening line). Sachs has enough vaguely roguish qualities to make "Leviathan" a fascinating picaresque. But he's also an idealist, and fiercely intelligent. He's a writer manque, whose first novel blew the critics away but was a failure with readers. Sachs is a character who exists mostly in absentia, periodically jumping back into Aaron's life to offer up enough details to tantalize his friend, and keep the reader off-balance. "Even though Sachs confided a great deal to me over the years of our friendship," Aaron says. "I don't claim to have more than a partial understanding of who he was. I can't dismiss the possibility that... the truth is quite different from what I imagine it to be." This is Auster playing with the concept of the unreliable narrator, only here the narrator is aware that he's unreliable. An interesting concept, that.
But "Leviathan" is not just conceptual. It's loaded with intriguing personalities, and a lot of implicit suspense. And Auster's habit of digressing from the story to discuss an interesting tangent yields at least one fascinating sequence. Sachs' novel, entitled "The New Colossus", is summarized by Aaron. Auster spares no expense, creating an appealing advertisement for a historical page-turner that doesn't exist. But within that summary he also explicates some of his own novel's grander themes.
The main one, and it's all over the place here, is America as a place of infinite possibilities for freedom but a failure in terms of realizing those possibilities. "America has lost its way," Aaron writes, when talking about the message of Sachs' book. "Thoreau was the one man who could read the compass for us, and now that he is gone, we have no hope of finding ourselves again." Further examination reveals that the Statue of Liberty, as an icon or just a concept, is "Leviathan's" dominant motif. It appears in Sachs' book and in a poignant memory from his childhood. The occasion of her hundredth birthday forms the background for the novel's great turning point. And if not for the Lady's presence, the climax of the book would be hokey and overwrought. As it is, she lends it dignity and class, amplifying its intensity and greatness.
Using spare but consequential prose, Auster has written another novel that straddles the line between pulp and intricate fiction. It never panders to the unintellectual audience, but also never dumbs itself down. And it reaches that fine balance with seemingly relative ease, a trademark of Auster's other works. Try this one first before jumping to "The New York Trilogy" or "The Music of Chance". I dare say you won't be disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but Not as Successfull as The New York Trilogy,
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it initially seemed like a rehash of themes Auster developed more fully, and I would say more succesfully, in _The New York Trilogy_. The characters in this book are woefully underdeveloped. I agreed with another individual who spoke about the book when she said that the women, in particular, only fitted traditionally sexist stereotypes that all too often plague contemporary fiction. Perhaps Auster wants to make the women in his book the spitting image of what most of us consider film noir women. Rather than force the reader to encounter those stereotypes, though, Auster simply uses them within his prose.
I truly love the amount of introspection in this book and its almost brilliant consideration of the part fiction inevitably plays in our lives and in the reconstruction of memory. Benjamin Sach's almost pathological need to create meaning around situations that may or may not have any meaning tied to them is especially interesting. The ambiguity of causation within the novel creates many far reaching consequences. It seems that Auster is attempting to show us that no matter whether something caused something else, our belief in particular explanations have very real consequences.
Auster fans should, by all means, read this book. It reconsiders important themes developed by Auster in other books, and reincorporates them into a discussion of terrorism. We find an author who leaves his practice to become a terrorist. We find a friend who, in his own way, practices a sort of literary terrorism meant to divert the attention of the investigators. What if this book, written by the main character in the novel to the FBI, was intended to divert their attention away from finding one singular explanation? What if, the narrator isn't completely reliable? What has Auster left out? These questions make reading _Leviathan_ a very enjoyable experience. I would suggest, though, that people who want to start reading Auster read this book first. Then, go on to _The New York Trilogy_. I must confess that after reading NYT, I was somewhat dissapointed with this book.
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Leviathan by Paul Auster (Paperback - Aug. 26 1993)
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