This program is narrated by—and includes a bonus interview with—the author.
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, listeners 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 listeners have never heard from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.
©2017 Paul Auster (P)2017 Macmillan Audio
I really like the fact that it was read by the author, so that I was able to hear the cadence in which it was meant to be heard.
I would compare this book to City on Fire and A Little Lie both of which I would really recommend.
I actually loved the performance but I did speed it up to 1.25x which resulted in a slight octave raise to the narrators voice. This made it a little easier to relate to him being a young man. He also did not attempt to fein female voices.
If you are to purchase this novel, be ready for the long haul. I listened to this over a period of 3 days and couldn't put it down. This was my first Paul Auster book and I definitely don't think it will be my last.
There have been a number of door stopper epics that have come out over the past couple of years but this is the only one I would consider a classic. Auster manages to give a beautiful emotional rendering of lives lived and possible; history of mid- 20th century America and how it echoed in people's lives; a philosophical/ psychological work in how we construct a life. I will reread this many times ( I hope). The author's reading is pitch perfect.
This book requires some serious investment in time and thought but oh what a return on that investment. I was sucked into the four lives of Ferguson. Loved it!
I tried for three hours, but I could not listen to the author try to read this book. The premise was so promising, but the execution was a lot of description and no action. Maybe reading instead of listening would improve the story. Doubt it.
One of my favorite writers has kept me enthralled and in love with ths story and its characters for over a week.
I embraced all the lives, deaths and loves of Archie Ferguson, wanting more of each story even as I fell into the next. It's an ingenious plot, warm and satisfying when it comes to an end. I'll be listening to this again, probably more than once.
I love when authors read their own work, especially when they are as in tune as Auster is here.
Obviously Auster is a a very talented writer. He brought the protagonist to life and I liked the multiple pathways. But so often, he had long lists of items or things, e.g., "Ferguson didn't like to eat vegetables - he didn't like cabbage, he didn't like eggplants, onions, celery, green beans, red peppers, bok choy, snap peas, zucchini, or avocado." Also, included long play-by-plays of baseball games from 4 decades ago. And then in the middle, a short story about shoes? Some editing would have been helpful.
I think Paul Auster has a distinctive voice and I've enjoyed all his books. However, he sorely misjudged his talent when he decided to narrate his book for Audible. Way too often Audible ruins the listener experience by allowing the author with a Trump-size ego to narrate his or her own book. Because they're talented writers doesn't mean they're good performers.
Lacks talent as a narrator.
A fantastic novel exploring the roads not taken...
However, I would probably recommend reading a physical copy of the book as opposed to listening to it...it may prove easier to keep the individual protagonists straight in one's mind, particularly in a book this size.
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