With the exception of The New York Trilogy, I have only read Paul Auster’s later works ( From Timbuktu onwards – I’ll be reading Invisible very soon) and he has never disappointed me. I knew that his early works are even better so I was glad to finally have a chance to read ‘The Music of Chance’
It is fantastic.
Jim Nashe is a man who is disillusioned with life. After a long spell on the road and a hefty inheritance he decides to pack it all in and spend the rest of his days travelling.
His troubles begin when he befriends a gambler called Jack Pozzi and they plan to play a game of cards with two rich people. Things do not turn out as they seem and jack and Jim have to repay the eccentric duo by building a wall ( the stones were from a destroyed Irish castle).
At first things go well but Jack rebels and this leads him to commit certain actions which affect his destiny and Jim’s as well.
Like I said this book kept me stuck to my chair. It focuses on chance and circumstances but also is about the absurdity of life. There are many existentialist tones, especially with Jack’s way of reasoning. Plus it’s written beautifully.
I would also say – up to this point it’s also the best Auster novel I have read and a very good place to start if you haven’t delved into his novels yet.