Normal view MARC view ISBD view

4 3 2 1 / Paul Auster.

By: Auster, Paul, 1947- [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Faber & Faber, 2017Copyright date: ©2017Description: 866 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780571324637.Other title: Four three two one | 4321.Subject(s): Man-woman relationships -- Fiction | Jewish families -- Fiction | Families -- United States -- Fiction | Jews -- United States -- FictionGenre/Form: Domestic fiction.Summary: Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel -- a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece. Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.
List(s) this item appears in: 1. New Fiction ~ request it today!
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Fiction Collection (New)
Fiction Collection (New) AUST 1 Checked out 07/12/2017

Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel -- a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece. Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

Kotui multi-version record.

2 5 7 11 18 19 20 22 27 28 30 34 37 44 66 68 74 79 85 93 96 98 105 109 119 130 132 134 135 144 151 164 168 175

NEWBKS-NEM, NENEWBK4M, GY-NBK, HU_NEWFIC, NE-ONORDER, DPHOT

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

According to family legend, Ferguson's grandfather departed on foot from his native city of Minsk with one hundred rubles sewn into the lining of his jacket, traveled west to Hamburg through Warsaw and Berlin, and then booked passage on a ship called the Empress of China, which crossed the Atlantic in rough winter storms and sailed into New York Harbor on the first day of the twentieth century. While waiting to be interviewed by an immigration official at Ellis Island, he struck up a conversation with a fellow Russian Jew. The man said to him: Forget the name Reznikoff. It won't do you any good here. You need an American name for your new life in America, something with a good American ring to it. Since English was still an alien tongue to Isaac Reznikoff in 1900 he asked his older more experienced compatriot for a suggestion. Tell them you're Rockefeller , the man said. You can't go wrong with that. An hour passed, then another hour, and by the time the nineteen-year-old Reznikoff sat down to be questioned by the immigration official, he had forgotten the name the man had told him to give. Your name? the official asked. Slapping his head in frustration, the weary immigrant blurted out in Yiddish, Ikh hob fargessen (I've forgotten)! And so it was that Isaac Reznikoff began his new life in America as Ichabod Ferguson. He had a hard time of it, especially in the beginning, but even after it was no longer the beginning, nothing ever went as he had imagined it would in his adopted country. It was true that he managed to find a wife for himself just after his twenty-sixth birthday, and it was also true that this wife, Fanny, née Grossman, bore him three robust and healthy sons, but life in America remained a struggle for Ferguson's grandfather from the day he walked off the boat until the night of March 7, 1923, when he met an early, unexpected death at the age of forty-two - gunned down in a holdup at the leather-goods warehouse in Chicago where he had been employed as a night watchman. No photographs survive him, but by all accounts he was a large man with a strong back and enormous hands, uneducated, unskilled, the quintessential greenhorn know-nothing. On his first afternoon in New York, he chanced upon a street peddler hawking the reddest, roundest, most perfect apples he had ever seen. Unable to resist, he bought one and eagerly bit into it. Instead of the sweetness he had been anticipating, the taste was bitter and strange. Even worse, the apple was sickeningly soft, and once his teeth had pierced the skin, the inside of the fruit came pouring down the front of his coat in a shower of pale red liquid dotted with scores of pellet-like seeds. Such was his first encounter with a Jersey tomato. Not a Rockefeller, then, but a broad-shouldered roustabout, a Hebrew giant with an absurd name and a pair of restless feet who tried his luck in Manhattan and Brooklyn, in Baltimore and Charleston, in Duluth and Chicago, employed variously as a dockhand, an ordinary seaman on a Great Lakes tanker, an animal handler for a traveling circus, an assembly-line worker in a tin-can factory, a truck driver, a ditchdigger, a night watchman. For all his efforts, he never earned more than nickels and dimes, and therefore the only things poor Ike Ferguson bequeathed to his wife and three boys were the stories he had told them about the vagabond adventures of his youth. In the long run, stories are probably no less valuable than money, but in the short run they have their decided limitations. Excerpted from 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Critics were quick to describe Autser's Invisible, a quaternary tale that told a contiguous narrative across a multitude of voices and authors, as a mere exercise in textual irony, lacking readability and substance. Here, the author has greater success as he returns to the four-part literary form with the coming-of-age story of Archibald -Ferguson. Set in the 20th century, this novel chronicles -Archibald's maturation through four possible, yet divergent, life paths. Family fortunes, careers, and hometowns shift and change as Archibald's life unfolds across each metaphorical fork in the road. However, one constant remains: his love for Amy Schneiderman. By interweaving each chapter into a single narrative and playing with metafiction, Auster winks at the multitude of universes contained within a single story and slyly presents the reader with essentially four drafts of a novel in progress. VERDICT Fusing the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics with the bildungs-roman literary genre, Auster illuminates how the discrete moments in one's life form the plot points of a sprawling narrative, rife with possibility. [See Prepub Alert, 7/22/26.]-Joshua Finnell, Los Alamos National Lab., NM © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Almost everything about Auster's new novel is big. The sentences are long and sinuous; the paragraphs are huge, often running more than a page; and the book comes in at nearly 900 pages. In its telling, however, the book is far from epic, though it is satisfyingly rich in detail. It's a bildungsroman spanning protagonist Archie Ferguson's birth in 1947 to a consequential U.S. presidential election in 1974. Some warm opening pages are dedicated to the romance of the parents of Ferguson (as the third-person narrator refers to him throughout), Rose and Stanley. In its depiction of the everyday life of its hero, the book also gives a full history of America during this period through the eyes of Ferguson who, not coincidentally, is roughly the same age as Auster. He roots for the nascent Kennedy administration, sees Martin Luther King's peaceful resistance, and recognizes both the greatness and the iniquity in L.B.J.'s actions as president. These national events are juxtaposed against Ferguson's coming-of-age: he goes to summer camp, has a sad first love with a girl named Anne-Marie, and gets an education via his beloved aunt Mildred. One of the many pleasures of the book is Ferguson's vibrant recounting of his reading experiences, such as Emma Goldman's Living My Life, Voltaire's Candide, and Theodore White's The Making of the President, 1960. Auster adds a significant and immersive entry to a genre that stretches back centuries and includes Augie March and Tristram Shandy. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Auster has been turning readers' heads for three decades, bending the conventions of storytelling, blurring the line between fiction and autobiography, infusing novels with literary and cinematic allusions, and calling attention to the art of storytelling itself, not with cool, intellectual remove, but rather with wonder, gratitude, daring, and sly humor. Strands of his own experiences run throughout his novels, as do recurring tropes, characters, and themes. Beginning with his cherished mid-1980s New York Trilogy and on to his sixteenth novel, Sunset Park (2010), Auster's fiction is rife with cosmic riddles and rich in emotional complexity. He now presents his most capacious, demanding, eventful, suspenseful, erotic, structurally audacious, funny, and soulful novel to date. Auster's hero and narrator is Archibald Ferguson, born to Rose and Stanley, children of Jewish immigrants, in 1947 Newark. His father and uncles run an appliance-store empire. His father owns a small repair shop. His father dies. His parents divorce and remarry. His loving mother is a small-town portrait photographer; she is a famous, museum-grade photographer. Ferguson attends public school. He attends private school. He plays baseball and basketball. He struggles with unbridled lust and loneliness. He is enthralled by Laurel and Hardy; he publishes a handwritten newspaper in grade school. He's a stellar student; he's a delinquent. At 14, he writes a precociously knowing story titled Sole Mates (presented here in full) about a pair of shoes owned by a cop. He freaks out his English teacher. He loves summer camp; summer camp is catastrophic. He has many brilliant mentors. He attends Princeton; he attends Columbia; he refuses to go to college and moves to Paris. He becomes a sportswriter, a film critic, a fiction writer. He is sexually involved with men and women. He is obsessed with Amy Schneiderman, his friend, cousin, stepsister, lover, and polestar. Confusing? That's because there are actually four Archie Fergusons. Each Ferguson is precisely the same at the genetic level and, to a large degree, in temperament and passions. His narrative voice is consistent, as is his fierce attention to life, from sensuous nuance to the spinning roulette wheel of city life to war and profound social upheavals. But the particulars circumstances, events, accomplishments, and losses vary in ways great and small. Told in alternating chapters, these four variations on a character's life are disorienting until the novel establishes a quadraphonic rhythm, and it becomes clear that Auster is conducting a grand experiment, not only in storytelling, but also in the endless nature-versus-nurture debate, the perpetual dance between inheritance and free will, intention and chance, dreams and fate. This elaborate investigation into the big what if is also a mesmerizing dramatization of the multitude of clashing selves we each harbor within. Two other prominent Jewish American male writers together, with Auster, they form a nearly three-generational spread have lately written loosely autobiographical, socially and historically conscious family sagas narrated by a boy becoming a man: Michael Chabon's Moonglow (2016) and Jonathan Safran Foer's Here I Am (2016). For Auster, 4 3 2 1 is his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, his The Adventures of Augie March. A paean to youth, desire, books, creativity, and unpredictability, it is a four-faceted bildungsroman and an Ars Poetica, in which Auster elucidates his devotion to literature and art. He writes, To combine the strange with the familiar: that was what Ferguson aspired to, to observe the world as closely as the most dedicated realist and yet to create a way of seeing the world through a different, slighting distorting lens. Auster achieves this and much more in his virtuoso, magnanimous, and ravishing opus.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2016 Booklist