If you're new to the slinky pleasures of Paul Auster's fiction, don't start with his new novella Travels in the Scriptorium, as it derives all of its slow-burning, strange brilliance from at least a passing familiarity with some of the author's previous titles. But do wind up here eventually, because Auster's bleak gamesmanship again reaps its usual spooky, minimalist rewards. An old man called Mr. Blank wakes up in a sterile furnished room, with no memory of the days before, unsure if he's a prisoner or a patient. Who is he? What is this book we're reading? As in other Auster works, the answers if you can call them that confound, pleasurably so.