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The Music of Chance

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In a Pennsylvania meadow, a young fireman and an angry gambler are forced to build a wall of fifteenth-century stone. For Jim Nashe, it all started when he came into a small inheritance and left Boston in pusuit of "a life of freedom." Careening back and forth across the United States, waiting for the money to run out, Nashe met Jack Pozzi, a young man with a temper and a In a Pennsylvania meadow, a young fireman and an angry gambler are forced to build a wall of fifteenth-century stone. For Jim Nashe, it all started when he came into a small inheritance and left Boston in pusuit of "a life of freedom." Careening back and forth across the United States, waiting for the money to run out, Nashe met Jack Pozzi, a young man with a temper and a plan. With Nashe's last funds, they entered a poker game against two rich eccentrics, "risking everything on the single turn of a card." In Paul Auster's world of fiendish bargains and punitive whims, where chance is a shifting and powerful force, there is redemption, nonetheless, in Nashe's resolute quest for justice and his capacity for love.


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In a Pennsylvania meadow, a young fireman and an angry gambler are forced to build a wall of fifteenth-century stone. For Jim Nashe, it all started when he came into a small inheritance and left Boston in pusuit of "a life of freedom." Careening back and forth across the United States, waiting for the money to run out, Nashe met Jack Pozzi, a young man with a temper and a In a Pennsylvania meadow, a young fireman and an angry gambler are forced to build a wall of fifteenth-century stone. For Jim Nashe, it all started when he came into a small inheritance and left Boston in pusuit of "a life of freedom." Careening back and forth across the United States, waiting for the money to run out, Nashe met Jack Pozzi, a young man with a temper and a plan. With Nashe's last funds, they entered a poker game against two rich eccentrics, "risking everything on the single turn of a card." In Paul Auster's world of fiendish bargains and punitive whims, where chance is a shifting and powerful force, there is redemption, nonetheless, in Nashe's resolute quest for justice and his capacity for love.

30 review for The Music of Chance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Orsodimondo

    SO DA DOVE VIENE QUESTA MUSICA Non il primo libro scritto da Auster, ma il suo primo che ho letto, quello che me l’ha fatto conoscere e frequentare (da lettore) per diversi anni. Mi mise dentro una voglia fortissima di continuare a leggerlo, e per questo inseguii a lungo la cosiddetta trilogia di New York (‘Città di vetro’, ‘Fantasmi’ e ‘La stanza chiusa’) che all’epoca era fuori catalogo (Rizzoli). Poi, fu finalmente ristampata da Einaudi. Mandy Patinkin nel ruolo di Nashe e James Spader in quello SO DA DOVE VIENE QUESTA MUSICA Non il primo libro scritto da Auster, ma il suo primo che ho letto, quello che me l’ha fatto conoscere e frequentare (da lettore) per diversi anni. Mi mise dentro una voglia fortissima di continuare a leggerlo, e per questo inseguii a lungo la cosiddetta trilogia di New York (‘Città di vetro’, ‘Fantasmi’ e ‘La stanza chiusa’) che all’epoca era fuori catalogo (Rizzoli). Poi, fu finalmente ristampata da Einaudi. Mandy Patinkin nel ruolo di Nashe e James Spader in quello di Pozzi, il giocatore di poker professionista. Credo sia proprio su questi primi titoli che Auster ha costruito da noi il suo culto, la sua schiera di fedelissimi affascinati da quella miscela inquietante di caso e destino che è il suo tema di fondo, nonché dalla chiara eleganza dello stile. I film probabilmente hanno incrementato il culto (almeno ‘Smoke’, ‘Blue in the Face, ‘Lulu on the Bridge’). A tutt’oggi, è il suo libro che preferisco e, forse, davvero il suo migliore. Sento ancora acuto il senso d'angoscia di Jim Nashe, intrappolato in un incredibile meccanismo assurdo molto più potente di lui, l’incubo che attraversa, le riflessioni sulla libertà, su come si possa perderla per un ‘caso’, il vicolo cieco da cui non si esce... Metafisico come sa essere Auster. La partita di poker con i due milionari interpretati da Charles Durning e Joel Grey. La storia vede protagonista Jim Nashe, un vigile del fuoco in crisi economica, motivo per cui la moglie lo lascia. Rimasto solo, eredita dal padre un’inaspettata cifra piuttosto consistente. Si licenzia, acquista una Saab 900 e inizia a viaggiare per gli Stati Uniti, senza meta e senza programmi, un vero vagabondo, come nella migliore tradizione a stelle-e-strisce. Viaggia per viaggiare, per fuggire, per superare la crisi matrimoniale, alla ricerca di cosa neppure lui sa bene. Durante il viaggio, incontra per ‘caso’ un giocatore professionista, Jack Pozzi, che lo convince a partecipare ad un torneo di poker organizzato da due milionari eccentrici e misantropi, Flower e Stone, nella loro tenuta in Pennsylvania. Sono ricchi e sembrano i classici polli da spennare (hanno vinto ventisette milioni di dollari alla lotteria), vivono completamente appartati e si dedicano a hobby molto particolari: uno fa collezione di oggetti storici e l’altro dedica tutto il suo tempo ad un plastico, la Città del Mondo. La costruzione del muro sotto gli occhi dell’implacabile sorvegliante e carceriere M. Emmet Walsh. La partita a poker si svolge quindi in questa casa dall'atmosfera cupa e surreale. Ben presto i due milionari si dimostrano meno tonti di quanto Nashe e Pozzi credessero, e la posta in gioco diventa la libertà (!). I due giovani perdono la partita e per saldare il loro debito dovranno costruire un muro con le pietre di un vecchio castello irlandese che i due ricconi hanno comprato, fatto smantellare e trasportato. Ben presto l'impresa si dimostra metafisica e terrificante, e segnerà per sempre l'esistenza di Nashe e Pozzi, fino all'inquietante epilogo. Un tentativo di fuga di Nashe. Il film ha lo stesso titolo del romanzo, è diretto da Philip Haas, e uscì nel 1993. Lo scopo finale di molti personaggi di Paul Auster sembra essere l’annullamento di sé, la circoscrizione del proprio io in uno spazio sociale sempre più ristretto fino al limite estremo della sparizione, della dissoluzione. È una strategia del suicidio, della morte civile: come se il none ssere , che non è necessariamente la morte, sia sempre preferibile all’essere. Come ci insegna bene tanta narrativa americana, da ‘Bartleby lo scrivano’ di Herman Melville a ‘Wakefiel’ di Nathaniel Hawthorne. Guido Almansi. Mi misi a cercare anche il film che ne era stato tratto, con la stessa passione che mi fece inseguire la trilogia. Mi procurai una cassetta VHS. Ma il film si rivelò deludente. Però Paul Auster faceva un'apparizione, un passante lungo la strada, la classica comparsata. Sufficiente per rafforzare il culto che all’epoca anch’io avevo per lui.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shovelmonkey1

    This book is essentially about some men building a wall. Admittedly it is portrayed as the most sinister episode of landscape gardening that there ever was, but nonetheless it is still, inherently about two men building a wall. How do you make landscape gardening sinister? Here is the recipe: Take one sticky situation. Add two desperate chancers Mix in two mendacious and sinister old men (soft on the outside but hard as nails on the inside for the desired texture) Sprinkle on some money Shake things This book is essentially about some men building a wall. Admittedly it is portrayed as the most sinister episode of landscape gardening that there ever was, but nonetheless it is still, inherently about two men building a wall. How do you make landscape gardening sinister? Here is the recipe: Take one sticky situation. Add two desperate chancers Mix in two mendacious and sinister old men (soft on the outside but hard as nails on the inside for the desired texture) Sprinkle on some money Shake things up thoroughly Pound with one large but outwardly amiable henchman until tender and bloody Leave overnight to absorb the consequences and stew in own juices Pop into a metal vessel then turn up the heat. I’m not going to say anymore aside from the fact that this absurdist novel by Paul Auster is, of all the novels he has written, my very own favourite.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    Jim Nashe is a frivolous Boston fireman who needs music as a life crutch. His wife abandons him just before his father dies, leaving him money that he squanders aimlessly while driving around America. Near desperation, he meets a bitter young itinerant gambler, Jack ("Jackpot") Pozzi, who lures him into a losing poker game with two shady recluses, Flower and Stone, on their Pennsylvania estate. Nashe and Pozzi must retire their debt by building a stone wall on the premises: what this Herculean l Jim Nashe is a frivolous Boston fireman who needs music as a life crutch. His wife abandons him just before his father dies, leaving him money that he squanders aimlessly while driving around America. Near desperation, he meets a bitter young itinerant gambler, Jack ("Jackpot") Pozzi, who lures him into a losing poker game with two shady recluses, Flower and Stone, on their Pennsylvania estate. Nashe and Pozzi must retire their debt by building a stone wall on the premises: what this Herculean labor does to them is the novel's leitmotif. An interesting story, but some may object that the journalistic prose merely tells the story instead of showing it. I don't know if I necessarily enjoyed this book (or any Paul Auster book at the moment, for that matter). The enjoyment comes from the questions I ask myself after I've put the book down. It is not an enjoyable reading experience, but rather a contemplative one. In that regard, it is a highly successful piece of art. The story appears to be relatively simple. One man goes driving. He meets another man on the road. The two of them meet some eccentric millionaires. The four men play poker. Then two men build a wall. It is almost non-sensical now that I look back on it. But the story's not really the thing (it never is in an Auster-book). So don't go looking for closure, and don't expect easy answers. It's all just an excuse for some finely written meditations on the nature of fate and the restrictions of freedom. Auster's writing style is enigmatic. There is a faux-coldness to it, appearing at first glance distant and reserved. Closer inspection, however, reveals much humanity and passion in his prose. I've always had suspicions that his surname is really an ingeniously calculated pseudonym, for any austerity in the writing is both sincere and ironic. That's a neat trick to pull off, and, to my mind, his greatest strength as a writer. In this example from his oeuvre, he gets the balance just right.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Patrick

    A macabre fable about fate and chance and randomness and destiny.Plenty of philosophical reference and dilemmas sprinkled throughout the tale.Throw in some Greek mythology also.Lots of the classical Auster themes and characterisations are here.Enjoyed the reference to Rousseaus target practice in a forest,I can relate to that. Not for everybody but I really enjoyed it. Discovered afterwards that it was made into a movie.Apart from his most recent novel I think I have now completed the entire Auste A macabre fable about fate and chance and randomness and destiny.Plenty of philosophical reference and dilemmas sprinkled throughout the tale.Throw in some Greek mythology also.Lots of the classical Auster themes and characterisations are here.Enjoyed the reference to Rousseaus target practice in a forest,I can relate to that. Not for everybody but I really enjoyed it. Discovered afterwards that it was made into a movie.Apart from his most recent novel I think I have now completed the entire Auster canon.One of the best living American writers in my view.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    What is a human fate? Is it a preset pattern decided by some divine providence from above? Or is it just a hellish roulette? “It was one of those random, accidental encounters that seem to materialize out of thin air – a twig that breaks off in the wind and suddenly lands at your feet. Had it occurred at any other moment, it is doubtful that Nashe would have opened his mouth. But because he had already given up, because he figured there was nothing to lose anymore, he saw the stranger as a reprie What is a human fate? Is it a preset pattern decided by some divine providence from above? Or is it just a hellish roulette? “It was one of those random, accidental encounters that seem to materialize out of thin air – a twig that breaks off in the wind and suddenly lands at your feet. Had it occurred at any other moment, it is doubtful that Nashe would have opened his mouth. But because he had already given up, because he figured there was nothing to lose anymore, he saw the stranger as a reprieve, as a last chance to do something for himself before it was too late.” A chance… There is always a chance. And the wheel of fortune keep turning… “His money was gone, his car was gone, his life was in a shambles. If nothing else, perhaps those fifty days would give him a chance to take stock, to sit still for the first time in over a year and ponder his next move. It was almost a relief to have the decision taken out of his hands, to know that he had finally stopped running.” The gamblers had put on their lucky card too much and lost. Desolation, hopelessness and the infernal toil – those were their award and they literally found themselves in one of the circles of hell with only a chance of redemption… We gamble with chance and chance plays with our fates.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    In the early zeros, when I worked at the village IGA, Georges, one of the older baggers, came back from lunch with a stricken look on his face. He held up a receipt he found crumpled up by the bank machine across the street. "Hey. Check!" he said, holding it too close to my face. "Balance $200,000 tabarnak! My life is fucking garbage and always will be fucking garbage." An unhappy bagger can make for a long afternoon, so I examined the paper, clapped a chapped hand on his shoulder and said, "O In the early zeros, when I worked at the village IGA, Georges, one of the older baggers, came back from lunch with a stricken look on his face. He held up a receipt he found crumpled up by the bank machine across the street. "Hey. Check!" he said, holding it too close to my face. "Balance $200,000 tabarnak! My life is fucking garbage and always will be fucking garbage." An unhappy bagger can make for a long afternoon, so I examined the paper, clapped a chapped hand on his shoulder and said, "Only an idiot would leave $200,000 in a savings account." This seemed to cheer him up a bit, and it gave us a good discussion topic for the rest of the day. When Nashe, in Paul Auster's 'The Music of Chance' plops his $200,000 inheritance into a bank account, I know I'm in for a nervous read about a man will run out of money somewhere awful. Will it be fast? Will it be painful? Even when he's just driving the roads to nowhere in the beginning of the book, there's a lot of suspense over that money in the bank, and later, the glove box; sort of a fiscal musical chairs where I know from the start, Nashe is going to be 'out' in a big way. This is my first Paul Auster book, and I thought it was damn clever the way he wove suspense out of something sitting somewhere and running out. Once the money is gone, he continues to build a good story from other things running out on Nashe; strength, energy, clarity of mind, liberty, companionship, until the end where he finds out what he is made of. And the verdict isn't bad. He's lost everything, but Nashe is made of adequate stuff. He also appreciates how: "All of a sudden, the stones were turning into a wall, and in spite of the pain it had cost him, he could not help admiring it. Whenever he stopped and looked at it now, he felt awed by what he had done." I've never understood gambling, but the stones turning into a wall is a familiar state of mind, and I like how Auster let it sneak up on me, his lovely voice pulling me along. Does he, perhaps, feel this every time he writes a book? And how about this: "As Nashe and Pozzi discovered, it was one thing to lift a sixty-pound stone, but once that stone had been lifted, it was quite another thing to lift a second sixty-pound stone, and still another thing to take on the third stone after lifting the second. No matter how strong they felt while lifting the first, much of that strength would be gone by the time they came to the second... Every time they worked on the wall, Nashe and Pozzi came up against the same bewitching conundrum: all the stones were identical, and yet each stone was heavier than the one before it." This is the best book I have ever read about art, that's not about art. For what are great works of art, especially novels, made of? Heavy-lifting and geologic patience.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Szplug

    Another enmeshing, enticing, and enigmatic novel from Paul Auster, and one that features yet again a gent infected with the peregrine spirit, unconcerned about such typically weighty matters as steady employment, pursuing a family life, establishing communal roots, etc. This time the narrator, one Jim Nashe—a man who, upon receiving an unexpected inheritance, opts to abandon his young family in order to aimlessly meander about the young country in the purpose of blowing the entirety of his stack Another enmeshing, enticing, and enigmatic novel from Paul Auster, and one that features yet again a gent infected with the peregrine spirit, unconcerned about such typically weighty matters as steady employment, pursuing a family life, establishing communal roots, etc. This time the narrator, one Jim Nashe—a man who, upon receiving an unexpected inheritance, opts to abandon his young family in order to aimlessly meander about the young country in the purpose of blowing the entirety of his stack—hooks up with an inveterate gambler, Jack Pozzi, and is persuaded to back him with the remains of his windfall in a poker play against a pair of old duffers whose didactic skills are held to be no match for this Hustler et ami. Alas, fate has played cruelly with these chumps who have dared to test her moods, and Jack and Jim shortly find themselves paying off their sizable gambling loss by means of labouring to build a stone wall across the breadth of the estate of the triumphant, and modestly triumphal, geezers. This is not merely a debt of money, but one of human honour, and there are strict observances and reparations that are expected ere it will be satisfactorily discharged. The loser duo aren't long in discovering the backbreaking requirements of the wall's construction, one that, paired with their room and board expenses, have stretched the debt's termination point unto a despairingly distant horizon. Pozzi chafes under the bonds of indenturement, while Nashe finds himself seeing deep channels carved in this lesson in fiduciary and existential mindfulness. When the tensions mount to the breaking point, not the least observant of readers will be surprised to discover that bad things are going to happen. An absorbing and thoughtful read, if a touch elliptic whenever Auster slips too sartorially into the seamed passions of his postmodern graces. This microcosmic morality play examines the macrocosm that is the capitalist system—one whose constructs have so often been compared to that of a thinly-veiled slavery, and whose memes of debt, with all of the numerical explosiveness of compounded interest and back-burnered principal, chew-up temporally-alloted life in massive, grinding bites—as well as the costs and obligations that are paid-out and amassed in the pursuit of a freedom that can so often prove anything but; not least in the moral morass one can founder within when the question concerns the shirking of one's duties, the breaking of one's word, the strict observance of the law with no recourse to human feeling, pity, or generosity—whether one does indeed spoil the child when the rod has been spared—and how victories won and freedoms gained can pale in the chanced stopwatch measuring of an unmoved world. It was many years ago that I read this, and after I had seen the movie with James Spader and Mandy Patinkin, and I'm not certain that I could honestly state which one I preferred more. It was also my second Auster, In the Country of Last Things having been the gateway for me into his own sparse and abstracted and, post The Book of Illusions , overplayed and underperforming literary theatre.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Lynne King

    I think that I had an absolute brainstorm in reading this book. Do I love it? Do I hate it? I really don't know but frustration kept me continuing my reading marathon and this to me is sheer insanity. Imagine a man, Jim Nashe, who has inherited a small fortune. He wasn't unhappy working in the Fire Department but he was separated from his wife and this is where the insanity begins. With this serendipitous money, Nashe buys a new car and goes on a mad driving trip through the States. He is a man d I think that I had an absolute brainstorm in reading this book. Do I love it? Do I hate it? I really don't know but frustration kept me continuing my reading marathon and this to me is sheer insanity. Imagine a man, Jim Nashe, who has inherited a small fortune. He wasn't unhappy working in the Fire Department but he was separated from his wife and this is where the insanity begins. With this serendipitous money, Nashe buys a new car and goes on a mad driving trip through the States. He is a man demented and driven but what to say and then he meets Jack Pozzi. Well I suddenly stopped reading and looked around and thought why on earth am I reading this very unusual book (I've actually never come across this writing style before which is somewhat hypnotic like a drug) and well I abandoned it, surprisingly enough rather regrettably...But I keep on thinking about it nevertheless... What to do? My alter ego says finish it but...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Another strange but absorbing read from one of America's finest, its a little on the short side but is instantly recognisable as Auster. Featuring oddball eccentric characters and elements of The Brothers Grimm and Samuel Beckett, its quite a straight forward story basically about a couple of guys losing a game of poker then building a wall as a way to clear the debt, its told in a way that makes it feel like a surreal fable. There is also a shocking ending I didn't see coming. For fans it's a w Another strange but absorbing read from one of America's finest, its a little on the short side but is instantly recognisable as Auster. Featuring oddball eccentric characters and elements of The Brothers Grimm and Samuel Beckett, its quite a straight forward story basically about a couple of guys losing a game of poker then building a wall as a way to clear the debt, its told in a way that makes it feel like a surreal fable. There is also a shocking ending I didn't see coming. For fans it's a worthy read, although not his best.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Craven

    This book left with so much thinking to do and had so many philosophical metaphors that I ended up pushing it on my friends, fully thinking that I had their best interest in mind. But when I actually, thought about it I realized that what I really wanted was someone to discuss the book with. I wanted to talk about the characters and the metaphor and what it was all really trying to say. Yeah, this is a fabulous book. It deals with existentialism, freedom and captivity, chance and coincidence and This book left with so much thinking to do and had so many philosophical metaphors that I ended up pushing it on my friends, fully thinking that I had their best interest in mind. But when I actually, thought about it I realized that what I really wanted was someone to discuss the book with. I wanted to talk about the characters and the metaphor and what it was all really trying to say. Yeah, this is a fabulous book. It deals with existentialism, freedom and captivity, chance and coincidence and obsession. Most of all I feel this book deals with how one should live one's life. Whether to except things as they come or to struggle for what you want. Man, there's so much to this book. I'm just going to stop here, but don't miss this one.

  11. 3 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    Pennsylvania in the 80's. 33-y/o Jim Nashe is a bum newly divorced dad who inherited almost US$200,000 from his dead dad who he did not see for almost 30 years. He resigned from his work as a fireman, bought an expensive Saab (car), threw a couple of parties, left his 4-y/o daughter Juliette to his sister Donna and drove around aimlessly across the USA. He likes music (he plays the piano) so he has lots of cassette tapes (this is in the 80s) in the car. The long drives while the music is on seem Pennsylvania in the 80's. 33-y/o Jim Nashe is a bum newly divorced dad who inherited almost US$200,000 from his dead dad who he did not see for almost 30 years. He resigned from his work as a fireman, bought an expensive Saab (car), threw a couple of parties, left his 4-y/o daughter Juliette to his sister Donna and drove around aimlessly across the USA. He likes music (he plays the piano) so he has lots of cassette tapes (this is in the 80s) in the car. The long drives while the music is on seem to bring him to another world. See the cover: it captures everything a child - because that really what he seems to be being a bum and aimless - driving a red sports car. Read the title: The Music of Chance. Music forms the integral mood in this novel. Auster made use of classical music and sounds to heighten emotions to important scenes in this book. We know that books, unless they are audiobooks, cannot have songs or music. The way Mr. Auster does this is he mentions a song, tune or artist in a particular scene with the character probably listening to it. As I reader, if you are familiar with the song, tune or artist you recall it and as you read, it is as if you are with the character (or maybe you become that character) experiencing the sight and sound of the scene. It is what I then call the magic of literature: being transported straight to a literary fictional world while in reality you are just sitting on the armchair or lying in bed. With music, it is like being in the movie. It is just wonderful. This is my 3rd book by Paul Auster. Early last year, I read his The New York Trilogy a.k.a. NYT and I was struck by his brilliance in interrelating his characters and plots in those three well-written stories. It was my first time to read a book like that so I gave it a 5-star rating and promised myself to re-read it in the future. A couple of months back, I read his Invisible as it is a newly added book in the 2010 edition of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The distinctive Auster style is still there: straightforward, no-frills, no-pretentions, no-philosophical agenda writing is still there but the plot is different from NYT as it deals with incest. So, I have to give it another 5-star rating. Using "3-novel rule": you can tell a writer if he is formulaic by reading 3 of his works. For Auster, he is definitely not formulaic. Music does not have the mistaken identity plot in NYT, no incest plot in Invisible. The same distinctive writing style is there. But the theme, plot and characters are totally different. His work does not have any of those stream-of-consciousness, roman-a-clef or other literary terminologies. His characters cannot talk to cats, cannot fly, cannot smell all the odors in his surroundings. He does not use big words that will prompt you to open a nearby dictionary in the middle of the night. He does not surprise you with big quotation that will prompt you to fold the corner of the page. He does not make you cry. He does not make you laugh. Auster is just straightforward storyteller. His characters can be you or me. Easy read but his vivid imagination and believable plot do the trick. You will cry or laugh but you will perhaps dream. No wonder that this 1001 book is also in the 100 Must Read Book for Men. If there is a new author whose work you may want to sample soon, try Auster. Chances are, you will love him.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Reza

    نمیدونم چرا تا آخرش خوندم:(..کتابی ضعیف از پل آستر..انتظار این همه بد بودن رو نداشتم..هیچ چیز نداشت این کتاب جز مکالمه های بی سر وته که چیزی برای یادگرفتن نداشت...البته دوسه تا جمله بود که خوب بودن ولی در کل کتاب خوبی نبود..به امید کتاب بهتری از آستر:)

  13. 3 out of 5

    bir garip su

    Paul’da bir şey var. Öyle bir şey var ki, beni hapsediyor. Tesadüflerin Adamı diye isim takmıştım bir aralar. Sıkılmadığım, dikkatimi dağıtmadan okuduğum o nadir yazarların başında geliyor.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ste Pic

    giudizi in un haiku e ti porta via il caso se ti prende inaspettato

  15. 4 out of 5

    Frabe

    Per calcare la mano sul suo tema più caro, "il potere sconfinato del Caso", Paul Auster propone in questo romanzo una sequela di situazioni e di eventi più che mai strani, strampalati, gratuiti. Non solo il Caso, in effetti, anche la fantasia ha un potere sconfinato, se lasciata libera, e sa produrre di tutto: con grande facilità, per dire, una brutta storia, un brutto libro. Il fatto è che, mentre il Caso ha un potere sconfinato che ci domina, la fantasia, quando si scrive, deve (dovrebbe) esser Per calcare la mano sul suo tema più caro, "il potere sconfinato del Caso", Paul Auster propone in questo romanzo una sequela di situazioni e di eventi più che mai strani, strampalati, gratuiti. Non solo il Caso, in effetti, anche la fantasia ha un potere sconfinato, se lasciata libera, e sa produrre di tutto: con grande facilità, per dire, una brutta storia, un brutto libro. Il fatto è che, mentre il Caso ha un potere sconfinato che ci domina, la fantasia, quando si scrive, deve (dovrebbe) essere tenuta assolutamente a bada.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Shane

    By far the best book I have read of Auster. The characters are brought deeper and deeper into a prison made up of their own careless acts of chance. The ending reminded me of Kafka's "The Trial" - just as one sees light at the end of the tunnel, a random event changes everything - just like the game of poker in the begining

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vasko Genev

    4.5 Супер написана. Чете се все едно шофираш с удоволствие. ПП. След като я прочетете не бързайте да си мислите, че сте я прочели. Изчакайте малко и си върнете някои сцени. (view spoiler)[Цялата книга е едно пътуване, чрез което Джим търси изкупление, спасение..., себе си ... Загубен и прецакан от случайността на съдбата след като получава огромна сума пари, но твърде късно, за да може това да повлияе на някои събития. Решава да отиде докрай, да заложи всичко и играта започва ... След като я прочет 4.5 Супер написана. Чете се все едно шофираш с удоволствие. ПП. След като я прочетете не бързайте да си мислите, че сте я прочели. Изчакайте малко и си върнете някои сцени. (view spoiler)[Цялата книга е едно пътуване, чрез което Джим търси изкупление, спасение..., себе си ... Загубен и прецакан от случайността на съдбата след като получава огромна сума пари, но твърде късно, за да може това да повлияе на някои събития. Решава да отиде докрай, да заложи всичко и играта започва ... След като я прочетох в първия момент си казах "Ъ" или пък беше "Хм" ... , помислих си, че това наистина е краят. Миг по-късно ми се откри следната картина: - двамата мултимилионера, чиито милиони са ги довели до там, че могат да изпитат удоволствие само в изварщението, че могат всичко да купят, могат да местят замъци, могат да създадат умалено копие - макет на свой собствен град (Световният град), в който всичко се контролира и който всъщност е изключително копие на реалността. Включително могат да си позволят да уловят истински хора и да ги ситуират в този макет, да се забавляват с тях, да ги поставят в положение на опитни мишки. - Джим е пределно наясно, че от подобно извращение няма да има изход. След случая с Джак със сигурност всички съмнения са изчезнали. Попаднал е в път без изход. - Колата се превърна в светилище от неуязвимост, убежище, в което нищо не можеше да го накърни, нито да го засегне. ... Наш беше видял няколко смъртни случая по време на обиколките си, а на два-три пъти се беше отървал на косъм от сблъсък. Но всъщност приветстваше тези напомняния, защото те внасяха елемент на риск в това, което вършеше, а той именно това търсеше: да почувства, че държи юздите на собствения си живот. - A Saab will surrender its own life to save yours. - рекламен слоган на Saab от 1990г. http://blog.thesaabsite.com/wp-conten... - В кръчмата "При Оли" Наш си издейства той да шофира ... (hide spoiler)]

  18. 3 out of 5

    Michael Bohli

    "Die Musik des Zufalls" ist ebenso kurz wie merkwürdig. Paul Auster, meisterlicher Autor in schwermütigen Charaktergeschichten und surrealen Wendungen, nutzt hier die missliche Position zweier Männer zu einem sehr andersartigen Stück über Werte, Schulden und Vergeltung. Mehrfach wird die Geschichte komplett auf den Kopf gestellt, das eigentlich langsame Tempo an einigen Stellen extrem beschleunigt. Und wenn am Ende das Buch so abrupt endet wie es begann, dann hat sicher weder ein Kreis geschloss "Die Musik des Zufalls" ist ebenso kurz wie merkwürdig. Paul Auster, meisterlicher Autor in schwermütigen Charaktergeschichten und surrealen Wendungen, nutzt hier die missliche Position zweier Männer zu einem sehr andersartigen Stück über Werte, Schulden und Vergeltung. Mehrfach wird die Geschichte komplett auf den Kopf gestellt, das eigentlich langsame Tempo an einigen Stellen extrem beschleunigt. Und wenn am Ende das Buch so abrupt endet wie es begann, dann hat sicher weder ein Kreis geschlossen noch sind die Rätsel gelöst. Aber genau diese Umstände machen diese Geschichte auch so faszinierend. Ich mag es sehr, wenn Auster sich in solche Konstrukte stürzt und diese ohne Vorwarnungen auseinanderreisst. Und seiner Sprache ist es schliesslich auch hier zu verdanken, dass man bei jeder Beschreibung und jedem Dialog mehr als nur gut unterhalten wird und schnell mitfiebert.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Bennett

    Cuando era muy chico y en la televisión me dedicaba principalmente a ver el cartoon network, un día en la tarde puse HBO mientas comía pan con palta y empecé a ver una pelicula muy extraña. Habia dos tipos que viajaban hasta una mansión my tétrica para jugar poker con otros dos tipos mas tétricos aún que (por alguna razón) tenían una ciudad en miniatura construida dentro de su casa, y que entre otras extrencidades habían importado un castillo desde Europa (piedra por piedra: en el cesped enorme Cuando era muy chico y en la televisión me dedicaba principalmente a ver el cartoon network, un día en la tarde puse HBO mientas comía pan con palta y empecé a ver una pelicula muy extraña. Habia dos tipos que viajaban hasta una mansión my tétrica para jugar poker con otros dos tipos mas tétricos aún que (por alguna razón) tenían una ciudad en miniatura construida dentro de su casa, y que entre otras extrencidades habían importado un castillo desde Europa (piedra por piedra: en el cesped enorme de su mansión estaban amontonadas las piedras). Los dos tipos (los protagonistas) pierden la apuesta en el poker, y como no tienen tanto dinero para pagar tienen que quedarse trabajando como casi-esclavos, construyendo con las piedras del castillo una pared que cruzara el enorme campo de pasto verde en las afueras de la mansión. Creo que fue la primera pelicula que vi con escenas de sexo implicito (era HBO a las 14:00 hrs no mas), con algo de violencia moderada pero sobre todo con un trasfondo super fuerte. La pelicula era rara. Me quedo pegadisima para siempre la escena en que Pozzi (el protagonista mas joven), después de que hubieran terminado parte del muro, caminaba por sobre él, feliz. Tiempo después, cuando ya me gustaba mucho Auster y me había leído casi todos sus libros, uno de los últimos que agarré fue este, y ahi recién me di cuenta de que estaba leyendo esa película (Doh). Este para mi es el mejor Auster. No soy un fanático de la primera época, la de la trilogia de Nueva York, cuando esta demasiado precocupado por existencialismos (a mi parecer) un poco baratos, con muchos artefactos literarios que parecen sacados de un libro de castellano. Tampoco me gusta la ultima época, desde Oracle Night (y sobre todo "Travels in the scriptorium"), en que lo unico que hace es mirarse el ombligo, escribir sobre-escritores-que-escriben-sobre-escribir y usar lugares comunes. Pero para mi tiene un periodo dorado, principalmente: La Musica del Azar, Leviathan y El palacio de la luna (este ultimo, ocasionalmente lo considero como mi libro favorito. En la historia). Y podriamos colocar a lo mejor Mr vertigo. Estos son los libros en que pareciera que deja que las imagenes que tiene dentro fluyan, sin ponerse a interferir él. Imagenes como la ciudad miniatura de la pareja bizarra en La Musica del Azar, o Pozzi feliz corriendo sobre el muro. O el viaje de M.S. Fogg a pie a través de l desierto americano en el Palacio de la Luna. O las estatuas explotando en Leviatán. O las 36 pruebas a las que es sometido el protagonista de Mr Vertigo por el maestro Yehudi. Auster tiene muchos detractores, y creo que muchas de las cosas que se dicen son ciertas. Los personajes son a veces increiblemente similares en todos los libros, y es cierto que su existencialismo a veces puede ser un poco adolescente y reiterativo, y que incluso a veces apela a la mistificación, sin realmente crear misticismo. Pero a mi en lo personal, que no leo los libros de literatura como ensayos, me parece que es el es escritor mas talentoso de su generación (teniendo en cuenta que el mas talentoso no siempre es el mejor). Un "natural". El mayor argumento que puedo dar es que ya pasaron varios años desde que me leí el libro, he leído desde entonces varios libros de Philip Roth, de McEwan y otros que supuestamente estan dos o tres pasos mas arriba en el canon oficial... y todavia me acuerdo mucho más de Pozzi corriendo sobre su muro. Recomiendo mucho este libro; es realmente hermoso.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Mohsen Rajabi

    داستان، داستان شانس آوردن و نیاوردن نیست. داستان این است اگر یکی دو جا شانس آوردی دلیل نمی شود همیشه همان طور باشد. همین طور می شود گفت داستان خواست رهایی و بازگشت به این دنیاست... چه در ابتدای آن که پای شخصیت اصلی هنوز به ماجرای اصلی باز نشده و چه بعد از آن. با اینحال موسیقی شانس داستان ساده ای دارد. پیچیدگی شاهکارهای کلاسیک را ندارد، و هرچند شخصیت اصلی داستان تقریبا کامل و بسیار خوب، اما بقیه تقریبا رها شده اند. شاید این ها هم از خوبی های داستان باشد برای نسل جدیدی که اکثرا از زیاد بودن داستان داستان، داستان شانس آوردن و نیاوردن نیست. داستان این است اگر یکی دو جا شانس آوردی دلیل نمی شود همیشه همان طور باشد. همین طور می شود گفت داستان خواست رهایی و بازگشت به این دنیاست... چه در ابتدای آن که پای شخصیت اصلی هنوز به ماجرای اصلی باز نشده و چه بعد از آن. با اینحال موسیقی شانس داستان ساده ای دارد. پیچیدگی شاهکارهای کلاسیک را ندارد، و هرچند شخصیت اصلی داستان تقریبا کامل و بسیار خوب، اما بقیه تقریبا رها شده اند. شاید این ها هم از خوبی های داستان باشد برای نسل جدیدی که اکثرا از زیاد بودن داستان ها می نالند، اما هرچند که من همیشه فکر می کنم یکی از نقص داستان های خوب جدید کم بودن حجم آنهاسا، فکر می کنم نویسنده در تعداد صفحات آن تصمیم درستی گرفته و کشش داستان همین 280 صفحه است. در دیگر شرایط به این کتاب سه از پنج می دادم اما یک نکته باعث می شود که حس کنم کتاب بیش از این ارزش دارد و آن این است که بعد از مدت ها اولین کتابی بود که هم خواستم و هم توانستم از ابتدا تا انتها را یک نفس بخوانم.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Paolo

    Jim Nashe eredita una cifra discreta ed abbandona Boston ed il lavoro per girare l'America senza scopo e senza meta, sino a quando non incontra un sedicente giocatore di poker professionista - Pozzi - al quale affida i suoi ultimi soldi per sfidare due miliardari, che si presume siano due polli al tavolo verde. Le cose andranno in tutt'altra maniera. Auster come al solito sa creare atmosfere ed ambientazioni inquietanti, creando situazioni "ai confini della realtà" con materiale assolutamente ordi Jim Nashe eredita una cifra discreta ed abbandona Boston ed il lavoro per girare l'America senza scopo e senza meta, sino a quando non incontra un sedicente giocatore di poker professionista - Pozzi - al quale affida i suoi ultimi soldi per sfidare due miliardari, che si presume siano due polli al tavolo verde. Le cose andranno in tutt'altra maniera. Auster come al solito sa creare atmosfere ed ambientazioni inquietanti, creando situazioni "ai confini della realtà" con materiale assolutamente ordinario. Peccato che il protagonista non venga adeguatamente approfondito per spiegare il destino autolesionistico cui si condanna, mentre al contrario i due miliardari Flower e Stone, dopo essere stati minuziosamente presentati, spariscono dalla vicenda senza alcun motivo, pur rimanendo i motori dell'azione. Forse due stelline e mezzo il voto più giusto.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    This is a super fun, smart, and ultimately powerful story about chance and money. The tone is both strange and familiar. Much of the dialogue is ripped right out of the experimental crime novels of the 1930s and 40s. The characters are fascinating creeps and lost lovers, and the setting is just bizarre enough to seem both very real and eerily prophetic. It felt timely - re: occupy movement - and timeless - re: chance. A fun roller coaster ride of a plot. Wow... talk about texture. This books is This is a super fun, smart, and ultimately powerful story about chance and money. The tone is both strange and familiar. Much of the dialogue is ripped right out of the experimental crime novels of the 1930s and 40s. The characters are fascinating creeps and lost lovers, and the setting is just bizarre enough to seem both very real and eerily prophetic. It felt timely - re: occupy movement - and timeless - re: chance. A fun roller coaster ride of a plot. Wow... talk about texture. This books is it! And interestingly it kind of denies any lyrical movements in favor of ellipsies and stress points until the denial itself feels lyrical. Highly recommend for lovers of the crime-ish novels of Denis Johnson (Nobody Move) and Charles Portis (Dog of the South).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cem

    Paul Auster,beyzbol maçı bile anlatsa,beş yıldız alır benden.Hayranıyım kendisinin...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Soha

    وقتي شانس به آدم رو مي كنه، هيچ چيز نمي تونه جلوش بگيره. مثل اينه كه يك دفعه همه ي دنيا سر جايي كه بايد باشه قرار مي گيره. انگار آدم بيرون از خودشه و تمام شب معجزه هاي خودش رو تماشا مي كنه. ديگه ربطي به تو نداره. از دستت خارجه و تا وقتي زياد بهش فكر نكني، اشتباه نمي كني.

  25. 5 out of 5

    James

    I enjoyed my first foray into Auster. I thought this novel was well constructed and delightfully disorientating. I also really enjoyed the absurdist undercurrent. I would have given it five stars were it not for the fact that I found some of the exchanges between Nashe and Pozzi a little grating.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    A friend spoke to me once of "concretizing the metaphor" when trying to write evocative and symbolically pregnant prose. Auster manages to do that very effectively in almost all of his works, and The Music of Chance is no exception. No one reading this work could help but be struck by the three cases of concrete metaphor on display here. The first is Stone's City of the World. The second is Flower's museum of unwanted objects, but the third and most compelling is surely The Wall. William Jenning A friend spoke to me once of "concretizing the metaphor" when trying to write evocative and symbolically pregnant prose. Auster manages to do that very effectively in almost all of his works, and The Music of Chance is no exception. No one reading this work could help but be struck by the three cases of concrete metaphor on display here. The first is Stone's City of the World. The second is Flower's museum of unwanted objects, but the third and most compelling is surely The Wall. William Jennings Bryan once said, "Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." Auster shows that choice, chance and destiny are not nearly the separate things that Bryan may imagine them to be. That it may be our choices that put us on destiny's path and that chance may play a role in us fullfilling our destiny, but also that it is our choice to be the victim of chance or the author of our own destiny.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alain

    El primer tercio me ha parecido malillo, lleno de clichés de otras road movies y novelas del estilo. A partir de al partida de poker, sin embargo, me ha empezado a interesar mucho, y la segunda mitad entera me ha encantado y la considero de lo mejorcito que he leído de Auster. Siempre que no sé qué leer vuelvo a él y de momento nunca me ha defraudado.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alireza

    دکلخوانی! دکل‌خوانی!

  29. 3 out of 5

    Steve mitchell

    Very well written, very original. Great book but I just couldnt give it a 10. In my book a 10 or 5 on Goodreads demands that I buy the book if I havent (I got this from the library) and tell everyone they must read it. I think the character Jack Pozzi "Jackpot" is a pun on Ponzi scheme? Just a guess. I wonder if this is Austers reply to the beatnicks on the road, and what happens if a person does not root down somewhere and commit to something. Look at the relationship that Nashe has with the jo Very well written, very original. Great book but I just couldnt give it a 10. In my book a 10 or 5 on Goodreads demands that I buy the book if I havent (I got this from the library) and tell everyone they must read it. I think the character Jack Pozzi "Jackpot" is a pun on Ponzi scheme? Just a guess. I wonder if this is Austers reply to the beatnicks on the road, and what happens if a person does not root down somewhere and commit to something. Look at the relationship that Nashe has with the journalist in San Fran, by the time he decides she is important and worth standing for its to late again. Auster uses money as a tool in a few of his stories I have read, in Music of Chance, he gives Nashe an inheritance and Nashe squanders it then tries to rebuild it to ruinous results with Pozzi. And in Invisible he gives the main character money to start a magazine. I think he likes this device, and makes a statement that some folks can be happy regardless of circumstance while others are unhappy even with most of lifes worries taken care of. This is almost a piece like zen and the art of motorcycle maintenenance, both because it speaks about parenting and having a passion for something. This is where the quote comes from during the novel, “You had to invent something. It's not possible to leave it blank. The mind won't let you." Nashe and Pozzi are talking about an episode in Pozzi youth. The act of building a giant wall or stone is a metaphor for fixing something broken in your life, you wasted your time and money, relationships, and now with each brick you can mend them. Maybe the time you take and the thinking while performing this job is therapeutic. I do really like Paul Auster and will read anything he writes, however I want to do something horrible like slap a baby or kick a dog or yell at an old person, after the sudden and incomplete ending! I just hate that he did not answer any of the questions posed during the story, like: possible spoilers***************************** What happened to Pozzi, what happened with Nashe did he die in the crash, how was his daughter, what about the 2 old fogies that had him build the wall. I also wonder if the 2 old men, Laurel and Hardy as Pozzi describes them, were a book or story that Auster was working on and then decided to just add them here? I wonder if he will come back to them in the future, they were very interesting and then out of the book the rest of the way.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yashar Yashmi

    خب؟ آخرش که چی؟! سوال بالا، سوالی است که می تواند تمام ارزش این کتاب را توضیح دهد، جواب این سوال می تواند حکم به بی ارزش بودن این کتاب بدهد و یا برعکس، دو ستاره ی نازنین را به آن عطا کند. بر خلاف بسیاری که پل استر را پست مدرن می دانند من نمی توانم او را یک پست مدرن تمام و کمال بخوانم. فی الواقع، روش و مشی او بیشتر بازی و سیخونک کردن دنیای مدرن است تا شکستن آن. با این حال، وضیع و چینش این کتاب نظر من را تغییر داد: اول از همه این که اسم کتاب به شدت بی مسمّاست و در عین حال حاوی بالاترین مفاهیم موجود خب؟ آخرش که چی؟!‏ سوال بالا، سوالی است که می تواند تمام ارزش این کتاب را توضیح دهد، جواب این سوال می تواند حکم به بی ارزش بودن این کتاب بدهد و یا برعکس، دو ستاره ی نازنین را به آن عطا کند. ‏ بر خلاف بسیاری که پل استر را پست مدرن می دانند من نمی توانم او را یک پست مدرن تمام و کمال بخوانم. فی الواقع، روش و مشی او بیشتر بازی و سیخونک کردن دنیای مدرن است تا شکستن آن. با این حال، وضیع و چینش این کتاب نظر من را تغییر داد:‏ اول از همه این که اسم کتاب به شدت بی مسمّاست و در عین حال حاوی بالاترین مفاهیم موجود در کتاب است. ژانر های کتاب در همه حال در حال تغییر و تبدل هستند و علاوه بر این ها پایانی قابل تامل کتاب را به پایان می رساند. ‏ انسان سرگشته ی مدرن؟! زندگی بر باد رفته ی مکانیکی؟! لزوم وجود معنا (دیوار)؟! مرگ به عنوان اخرین راه حل؟! محتوای کتاب را همین مفاهیم رقم می زنند. اما آیا باید از این کتاب به ظاهر پست مدرن لطف محتوا و مفهوم مستقیم داشت؟ چند وقتی است که من درگیر این موضوع هستم که ما نباید لزوماً از یک اثر هنری انتظار پیام را داشته باشیم و صد البته فهم محتوا اجتناب ناپذیر است. به بیان دیگر، ما باید از چند ساعتی که برای این کتاب می گذاریم لذت ببریم، به پایانش برسانیم، از پایان آن هیچ نفهمیم [ و شاید شگفت زده شویم] و در نهایت کتاب را به گوشه ای بیافکنیم و به سراغ زندگی مان برویم. کتاب «موسیقی شانس» پل استر تجلی همین ایده است: در عین این که همه چیز جدی است، لکن آن را جدی نگیر و خودت را درگیر هنر نکن؛ هنر خودش با تو بازی خواهد کرد. ورق های هنر اعداد ریاضی نیستند که قابل پیش بینی باشند. پس اگر دیدی همان طور که انتظار نداشتی پیش نرفت؛ آن را به حساب ضعف هنر نگذار. ‏ موسیقی شانس هیچ نیست جز ساعتی خواندن و توجه نشان دادن به چیزی که تقریباً کاملاً بی اهمیت است.بذل توجه به همین بی اهمیتی است که هنر را می سازد... همین!!!‏ 1391/4/19 ستاره (از پنج ستاره): دو ستاره ی تمام روایت داستان یک دست نیست و مشخصاً در این باره عمدی وجود دارد، کتاب ژانر های خودش را مرتباً عوض می کند، شخصیت پردازی ناش فوق العاده است و در عوض دو مرد میلیونر بی هیچ دلیلی در داستان رها شده اند ( بر خلاف همه که سرنوشتشان مشخص است)، گاهی اوقات حس می کنم من هم باید مانند ناش خودم را غرق در جاده کنم و در نهایت، صرفاً دیواری برایم در جایگاه معنا قرار بگیرد‏

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