I was thoroughly engaged by this fact-based narrative about an individual and an era that are more often discussed in a fictional context. The descriptions of Capone's personality and style brought to mind more modern day gangsters, many of whom must have modeled themselves on him. Even while recognizing Capone for the murderous thug that he was, Eig managed to convey the qualities that made him so slippery and so admirable to so many. In fact, his descripton of the trial, complete with a stacked jury and biased judge, almost made me feel sorry for the guy.
I was put off at first by what I thought was an unconnected series of vignettes about a self-pitying, self indulgent late middle aged white guy. But as I listened it became clear that Paul Auster had in fact captured not just a slice of life, but a fairly substantial cross section of it. That he set his story in Brooklyn, my home town, made this story all the more compeling to me, but even those who don't recognize the street names will recognize life's turns and the emotions they evoke as Auster describes them. By the end, I not only felt sympathy and kinship for Nathan Glass, the main character and narrator, butI felt as though Glass, and Auster, felt it for me.
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