The old man sits on the edge of the narrow bed, palms spread out on his knees, head down, staring at the floor.
–Paul Auster - Travels in the Scriptorium - c. 2006 - pg.1
Carl was kind enough to send me this book; one of the prizes from his Once Upon A Time reading challenge draws. And while it was the cool cover design that first attracted my attention it was the writing that meant I finished it in less than 3 hours.
To be totally honest I’m still a little ambivalent over the storyline itself. It is a day in the life of our nameless protagonist. Well, he is given a name, Mr. Blank, but we know that isn’t his real name. At first he appears to just be a confused old man, possibly suffering from Alzheimer’s or some similar illness, but as we read on we discover that there is more than that to Mr. Blank and his past.
As I said, I’m ambivalent over this novel. On the one hand I really enjoyed the writing and the descriptions. On the other it was almost predictable in its ending. Well, predictable is overly harsh, but you know what I mean.
Writing this I think I’m going to come down on the “I liked it” side. It isn’t going to join my favourites list. But I think it makes for an interesting read; besides it is quite short so it doesn’t feel like an unrewarded waste of time. At times it is a little cold. But what else can you expect in a book that details only one day in the life of an unknown individual?