Keith Staskiewicz
October 28, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Invisible

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Paul Auster
publisher
Henry Holt and Company

We gave it a B+

Invisible is ostensibly about Adam Walker, a precocious young poet who finds himself tugged into the vicious orbit of a French political-science professor after they’re involved in a life-changing act of violence. But like so much of Paul Auster’s work, its real subject is itself. The novel is arranged as a skein of nested perspectives (shifting from first to second to third person), and Auster handles the books-within-books and multiple narrators expertly, assembling the story’s intricate moving parts with precision. The finished product, unfortunately, feels a bit cold and technical. All that virtuoso formalism leaves little room for the characters to breathe. B+

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