4 3 2 1

4 3 2 1

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: [Toronto] : McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780771009174
0771009178
Characteristics: 866 pages ;,25 cm
Alternative Title: Four, three, two, one

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d
ds80
Oct 22, 2017

Seriously lacking.

n
njon38
Oct 11, 2017

Not sure why this 866 page doorstopper is on the Mann Booker shortlist. It has been called a “quadrophonic bildungsroman” of, in my opinion a self-absorbed white male writer. The problem is that it’s hard to care about any of the four Archie Fergusons. I understand the writer’s conceit is the that core of your character is set early in life and is relatively impervious to various circumstances life throws at you. I have some admiration for Auster’s ability to take a set of facts and weave four different stories. The background of the story, the politics, the music, the zeitgeist, is the tapestry of of any baby boomer’s life, and yet he can’t manage but a cursory nod to the condition of women and the powerful changes that took place for us in this period. This book reminds me of why, as a baby boomer feminist, I consciously read fiction written only by women for a period of more than ten years.

p
PeterWMC
Sep 06, 2017

I gave up halfway through. Too much detail of baseball (who cares?) and of his time at summer camp etc. I soon realized I was skipping sections due to it being tedious. Not worth the effort.

y
yoshko
Aug 08, 2017

I love Paul Auster's work - but this was hard to get through. In fact, I didn't. Enough of big mid-century books with struggling immigrants and baseball. Time to move on, guy writers.

a
avocadotree
Jun 14, 2017

Finished with a couple days left of checkout. Long. I was definitely satisfied. Learned a lot.

c
clairemars
Jun 05, 2017

I enjoyed this book immensely-- Intriguing plot, well-written characters, and an excellent ending. It is more of a heavy read (think Dickens) and it's helpful to take notes on the various Achies to keep them straight, but overall it was near everything I want in a book. This was one of those book I constantly tell people about. As for recommending it, only to those who pursue hefty books that captivate and tickle the mind.

c
chandmcd
Mar 31, 2017

Hi -- I'm enjoying this book, but it's longer than it needs to be! Highly recommend that you take notes while you read it -- will help you keep the four Archies straight!

s
sinister31
Mar 16, 2017

Wonderful. An ambitious novel about four different versions of lives lived by the same person. If I could give it six stars I would. Fascinating dialogue, intelligent descriptions, fully realized cast of characters, and very unpredictable. It is the opposite of boring for anyone interested in a challenging novel. It's a long, sublime journey.

t
tracebroyles
Mar 01, 2017

If I could give a negative star rating, I would. This book was over 800 pages. I wouldn't have minded if it were halfway good. Bogged down by lengthy historical references and play-by-plays of baseball games from the 60s, I skimmed so much of this book I might have been ashamed if it were something else. I just wanted a nugget of something enjoyable, I never got one. Awful, awful, awful.

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c
clairemars
Jun 05, 2017

clairemars thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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