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White hires Blue, a New York City private detective, to keep an eye on Black, but eventually Blue finds his own life in danger

96 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1986

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About the author

Paul Auster

326 books10.6k followers
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Report from the Interior, Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. He has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix Médicis Étranger, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Premio Napoli. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 400 reviews
Profile Image for Glenn Russell.
1,376 reviews12k followers
February 6, 2023

Paul Auster's Ghosts (1983) reads like the square root of a hard-boiled detective noir novel, an off-the-wall, bizarre mystery where there is no crime and the whodunit is replaced by a meditation on the nature of identity. Here are the opening few line: "First of all there is Blue. Later there is White, and then there is Black, and before the beginning there is Brown. Brown broke him in, Brown taught him the ropes, and when Brown grew old, Blue took over."

Blue is a detective and it is Blue we follow on every page of this sparse (less than 100 pages) novel set in 1947 New York City. Actually, this is the 2nd of the author's The New York Trilogy, bookended by City of Glass and The Locked Room.

To gain an initial feel for the novel, please go to Youtube and watch a snippet of one of those 1940s black-and-white noir films, like The Naked City. You will see lots of hard-talking tough guys in gray suits and gray hats running around city streets socking one another in the jaw and plugging one another with bullets -- plenty of action to be sure. And that's exactly the point - a world chock-full of police, detectives, crooks and dames is a world of action.

But what happens when one of those 1940s detectives is put on a case where all action is stripped away, when the only thing the detective has to do is look out his apartment window and keep an eye on a man across the street in another apartment sitting at his desk reading or writing? This is exactly what happens in Ghosts. So, rather than providing a more detailed synopsis of the story (actually, there is some action and interaction), I will cite several of Blue's musing along with my brief comments on Blue's relationship to literary and artistic creation:

"Until now, Blue has not had much chance for sitting still, and this new idleness has left him at something of a loss. For the first time in his life, he finds that he has been thrown back on himself, with nothing to grab hold of, nothing to distinguish one moment from the next. He has never given much through to the world inside him, and through he always knew it was there, it has remained an unknown quantity, unexplored and therefore dark, even to himself."

So, for the first time in his life, Blue is given a taste of silence and solitude, the prime experience of someone who is a writer.

"More than just helping to pass the time, he discovers that making up stories can be a pleasure in itself."

Removed from the world of action and building on his experience of silence and solitude, Blue is also given a hint of what it might mean to be a fiction writer, one who sits in isolation, exploring the inner world of imagination in order to create stories. And, on the topic of stories, the unnamed narrator conveys how Blue reflects on many stories, including the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, stories from the lives of Walk Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, and several stories Blue reads in his all-time favorite magazine: True Detective. Auster's short novel is teeming with stories.

"For the first time in his experience of writing reports, he discovers that words do not necessarily work, that it is possible for them to obscure the things they are trying to say."

Blue discerns it is possible that words cannot adequately articulate the depth and full range of human experience. And what is true of a detective's report is truer for works of great literature: there is a rich, vital, vibrant world of feeling and imagination beyond the confines of words and language.

"Finally mustering the courage to act, Blue reaches into his bag of disguises and casts about for a new identity. After dismissing several possibilities, he settles on an old man who used to beg on the corner of his neighborhood when he was a bog - a local character by the name of Jimmy Rose - and decks himself out in the garb of tramphood ."

During the course of the novel, Blue take on a number of different identities and with each new persona he experiences life with a kind of immediacy and intensity. Spending a measure of his creative life as a screenwriter and director, Paul Auster undoubtedly had many encounters with actors thriving on their roles, energized and invigorated as they performed for the camera. I suspect Auster enjoyed placing his detective main character in the role of actor at various points.

Ghosts can be read as a prompt to question how identity is molded by literature and the arts. How dependent are we on stories for an understanding of who we are? In what ways do the arts influence and expand our sense of self? Do we escape purposelessness and boredom by participating in the imaginative worlds of art and literature?

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews36 followers
January 22, 2022
(Book 219 from 1001 books) - Ghosts (The New York Trilogy, #2), Paul Auster

The second book in the acclaimed New York Trilogy, history is the first collection of theoretical essays to evaluate these facts and consider the importance of the metaphor of haunting as it has appeared in literature, culture, and philosophy. Haunting is considered as both a literal and figurative term that encapsulates social anxieties and concerns.

The collection includes discussions of nineteenth-century spiritualism, gothic and postcolonial ghost stories, and popular film, with essays on important theoretical writers including Freud, Derrida, Adorno, and Walter Benjamin.

کتب دوم از سه گانه نیویورک - پل استر (افق) ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال2010میلادی

عنوان: ارواح: نویسنده: پل آستر (اوستر)؛ مترجم: خجسته کیهان؛ تهران، افق، سال1382؛ در119ص؛ شابک9643690725؛ چاپ سوم سال1385؛ چهارم سال1388؛ چاپ دیگر سال1396؛ در127ص؛ شابک9789643698706؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده ی20م

کتاب نخست: شهرِ شیشه ای؛ کتاب دوم: ارواح؛ کتاب سوم: اتاق دربسته

رمان پلیسی، با سبک «پل آستر»: سیستمی ترسناک و توانمند، مردی را به جاسوسی، و پاسداری از همسایه‌ اش، که مردی نویسنده، و روشنفکر است می‌گمارد؛ مرد جاسوس، برابر شرایط جدیدش، رفته‌ رفته تنها، و خلوت ‌گزین می‌شود؛ روزی درمی‌یابد، که مرد همسایه نیز، مامور پاسبانی از اوست؛ سپس دچار این وهم می‌شود، که مرد همسایه، کسی جز خود او نیست؛ گویی انسان تنهایی است، که پاسداری از خود را بر دوش خویش دارد، و اگر دست از پا خطا کند، به دست خودش کشته خواهد شد

در «سه گانه ی نیویورک»؛ دو مفهوم «هویت» و «دنیای پست مدرن»؛ هماره دلپسند نویسنده ی «پست‌مدرنی» همچون «پل استر» قرار گرفته‌ اند، به‌ گونه ای که می‌توان ردپای آن‌ها را در موضوعات و حتی تکنیک آثارش به‌ آسانی دید؛ «پل استر» روایتگر دغدغه و سرگشتگی انسان‌ها در عصر مدرنی است، که زیر چرخ‌دنده‌های تکنولوژی و پیشرفت، و در شهرهای بزرگی همچون «نیویورک» روزگار می‌گذرانند؛ آدمِ قصه‌های «پل آستر» تنها، سرگشته، و حیران‌ هستند، در کتابهای «سه‌گانه نیویورک»، «پل آستر» میخواهند تا بخشی از زندگی در «آمریکا» و در شهری همانند «نیویورک» را بازگویند و ترسیم کنند؛ - در «سه گانه نیویورک» همان‌گونه که از عنوان سری برمی‌آید، سه رمانِ کوتاه به‌هم پیوسته هستند؛ «شهر شیشه‌ای»، «اتاق دربسته» و «ارواح» عنوان‌های هر کدام از این سه گانه هستند، که به روایت یک داستان با شخصیت‌های گوناگون می‌پردازند، در داستان «شهر شیشه‌ای»: شخصیت اصلی داستان شهر شیشه‌ای فردی به نام «کوئین» است؛ «کوئین» نویسنده‌ای جوان است که به‌ برهان درگذشت همسر و فرزند کوچکش تنها زندگی می‌کند؛ او مدت‌هاست با نام مستعار رمان می‌نویسد، تا اینکه یکشب تلفن خانه ی او به صدا درمی‌آید؛ زنِ جوانِ پشت خط تصور می‌کند که با شماره تلفن آقای «استر» به‌ عنوان یک کارآگاه خصوصی تماس گرفته است؛ نویسنده ی جوان به دلایلی تصمیم می‌گیرد، تا خودش را به‌ جای کارآگاه «استر» معرفی کند؛ ادامه ی ماجرا از همین جا آغاز می‌شود؛ دومین داستان این سه گانه، «ارواح» نام دارد، «ارواح» داستانِ نویسنده ی جوانی است که از دوران کودکی دوستی صمیمی و نزدیک به‌ نام «فنشاو» دارد، که زمان درازی از ایشان بی‌خبر است؛ روزی از همسر «فنشاو»، نامه‌ ای دریافت می‌کند، که خبر ناپدید شدن «فنشاو» را به او میدهد؛ زن چندین ماه به دنبال همسر خویش گشته، اما اکنون باور دارد که «فنشاو» مرده است؛ «فنشاو» که تا پیش از ناپدید شدن، هیچ‌گاه نمیخواست آثارش را منتشر کند، از همسر خویشش خواسته است تا در صورت درگذشت او، همگی نوشته‌هایش را به دوست نویسنده‌ اش بسپارد، تا نویسنده اندیشه ای برای آن‌ها بکند؛ دیدارهای راوی داستان و «سوفی» باعث علاقه آن‌ها به همدیگر می‌شود؛ پس از چاپ نخستین رمان «فنشاو»، روزی نامه‌ ای از «فنشاو» به دست راوی می‌رسد و....؛ در سومین بخش از این سه گانه: «آقای سفید» از «آقای آبی» که یک کارآگاه خصوصی است، درخواست کرده تا تمام رفتارها و رفت‌وآمد «آقای سیاه» را که نویسنده است، زیر نظر بگیرد؛ «کارآگاه آبی» با معشوقه‌اش برای مدتی نامعلوم خداحافظی می‌کند؛ سپس در آپارتمانی روبروی آپارتمان «آقای سیاه» که «آقای سفید» برایش در نظر گرفته مستقر می‌شود؛ «آقای آبی» از علت این ماموریت آگاه نیست، «آقای آبی» در پیگرد «آقای سیاه» دچار رویدادهایی می‌شود که ادامه داستان را شکل می‌دهد

نویسنده ی «سه گانه نیویورک» درباره این رمان خویش گفته اند، برای نگاشتن هر کدام از بخش‌های این سه گانه، از تکنیک‌های داستان پلیسی سود برده‌ام، اما در کل جرمی وجود ندارد، و جنایتی روی نداده است؛

این نویسنده ی توانا با نگارش این سه داستان درصدد بودند تا تلاش شخصیت‌ها برای کشف هویت‌شان را نشان بدهند؛ سه داستان این سری با اینکه روان و دلنشینند، پیچیده و پر از ریز و درشت روان‌شناختی نیز هستند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 09/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 01/11/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,460 reviews3,631 followers
April 23, 2021
In the drudgery of a private eye, there is no romance… To spy is a burden…
But the present is no less dark than the past, and its mystery is equal to anything the future might hold. Such is the way of the world: one step at a time, one word and then the next.

To watch a man from day to day is a tedious onus… Especially if a man does practically nothing. Then the watcher begins to imagine stories to make the life of the watched and one’s own more interesting.
However, the main thing is to find out who watches the watcher… And that’s where all the psychological games begin...
Profile Image for Nickolas the Kid.
313 reviews70 followers
November 5, 2019
Ο Γουάιτ προσλαμβάνει τον Μπλου για να παρακολουθήσει τον Μπλακ. Ο Μπλακ είναι μαθητής του Μπράουν και έμπειρος ντετέκτιβ, όμως θα εμπλακεί σε μια ιστορία στην οποία θα αρχίσει σιγά σιγά να διαπιστώνει πως από κυνηγός μετατρέπεται σε θύμα μέσα σε μια πολύ περίεργη ιστορία...
Σε γενικές γραμμές αυτή είναι η ιστορία αυτού του διηγήματος στο οποίο ο Όστερ μας δίνει όλα τα στοιχεία για να λύσουμε έναν περίεργο αλλά γοητευτικό γρίφο. Όσο η υπόθεση εκτυλίσσεται τόσο ο αναγνώστης ταυτίζεται με τον Μπλου αλλά και αγωνιά για την λύση του μυστηρίου αλλά και την κατάληξη της ιστορία.
Απλή γραφή, έξυπνα στημένη υπόθεση και νουάρ ατμόσφαιρα. Χρειάζεται κάτι άλλο ένα βιβλίο για να τραβήξει την προσοχή μας;
Profile Image for Nad Gandia.
173 reviews43 followers
March 9, 2023
“Desear haber dicho no es ya haber dicho si”

“Los libros hay que leerlos tan pausada y cautelosamente como fueron escritos”

“Escribir es una actividad solitaria. Se apodera de tu vida. En cierto sentido, un escritor no tiene vida propia.”

“No estoy hablando de deseo, tanto como de conocimiento, del descubrimiento que de dos personas, a través del deseo, pueden crear algo más poderoso de lo que ninguno de ellos podría crear solo. “

La segunda parte de la llamada “Trilogía de Nueva York” me ha encantado. No tiene una estructura demasiado común.
Auster, es otro de esos escritores que utiliza la literatura para jugar. No a modo de desprecio, sino todo lo contrario. Para jugar con la literatura se precisa de una mano de cirujano, de un dominio de la cadencia y la narrativa casi absolutos. Lo va consiguiendo con el paso de los años, toda su bibliografía es muestra de ello.
Paul Auster, al igual que muchos otros escritores, se dedicaba a mejorar su calidad de vida de la mejor forma que podía, en este caso, traduciendo algunos libros del francés. Anduvo probando con mucha clase de historias hasta que al final, nunca mejor dicho, dio con la tecla adecuada. Lo que hizo fue una novela de corte popular, pero con una estructura muy de su estilo, una novela negra. Y es que, precisamente, esa mezcla de género con metaliteratura convierte a Paul Auster en todo un maestro en hacer lo que le da la gana con las palabras, también con el lector.
Me quedan muchos libros por delante de este autor, a propósito de esta segunda entrega, para quien le guste escribir, casi que viene como anillo al dedo, ya que habla del oficio de escribir y como uno de esos personajes puede cobrar vida a través de un imaginario muy concreto. Imaginación a raudales con este Auster.
Profile Image for Keith Bruton.
Author 1 book80 followers
November 5, 2022
I preferred 'City of Glass'. The story felt slow, long winded and repetitive most of the way through as if Auster wanted to reach his word count.

The characters names are Blue, Black, White... which made it annoying at times. Auster is a brilliant writer and the ending is good but you could see it coming. I wished it had more dialouge and action.
227 reviews110 followers
March 28, 2018
دومین جلد از سه گانه ی نیویورک
یه اثر پست مدرن و بسیااار خاص و متفاوت از پل استر. کتابی که ظاهر کاراگاهی داره ولی درون مایه ی کاملا متفاوتی داره. یک کاراگاه خصوصی برای زیر نظر داشتن یه شخص و حل یه معما استخدام میشه، معمایی که هرگز حل نمیشه. اما همه چیز شکل متفاوتی به خودش میگیره، تا حدی درون طرف مقابل غرق میشه که اون شخص رو در درون خودش حس میکنه و حتی گاهی شک میکنه آیا کسی که اون رو زیر نظر گرفته واقعا وجود خارجی داره یا نه.. 

فرم و شکل داستان انقدر خاصه که نمیدونم چطوری باید توصیفش کنم. بسیار کتاب جذاب و متفاوتیه. با وجود اینکه پایان کتاب بازه، نه تنها جذابیت کتاب رو کم نمیکنه بلکه بیشتر هم میکنه. از طرف دیگه نحوه ی نام گذاری توی کتاب خیلی جالبه. شخصیت های کتاب با اسم رنگ ها شناخته میشن. در کل اثار پل استر فضای کاملا متفاوتی دارن.
Profile Image for Bob Redmond.
196 reviews70 followers
July 18, 2010

In the first volume of the NY trilogy (CITY OF GLASS), Auster explored identity and language. In this second, his fractal inquiry turns towards the question of authorship and, by necessity, readership.

The plot runs on one level (like the first book) as a detective story, summarized neatly from the back cover thus: "Blue, a student of Brown, has been hired by White to spy on Black. From a rented room on Orange Street, Blue keeps watch out his window, making notes about his subject, who sits across the street in another rented room, staring out of _his_ window."

Auster spins a plot marked typically (for him) by doublings, parallels, erasures, Mobius twists and a dramatic conclusion. The ultimate whodunit, meanwhile, resides with existential questions raised by Pascal (a favorite source of Auster's), and Thoreau. The former figures in a previous book of essays, called INVENTION OF SOLITUDE, in which Auster quotes him numerous times: "All the unhappiness of man stems from one thing only: that he is incapable of staying quietly in his room."

Auster's inquiry gets more dramatic treatment in the fictional Trilogy; in GHOSTS, Thoreau's work makes a prominent appearance, as Blue discovers while snooping that Black is reading WALDEN. For most of rest of GHOSTS, Blue grapples with WALDEN, both the experience of reading it and the questions it raises.

Why do we do the things we do, particularly suffer destructive encounters with other humans? Why don't we all move out to the pond and live as satisfied hermits? "Because," says one of Auster's characters in a climactic scene (p.75): "Because he needs me… he needs my eyes looking at him. He needs me to prove he's alive."

But if this proof resolves one thing, it unearths multiple more unknowns. In less than 100 pages, Auster makes these phantoms visible, with thrilling and unsettling results.


WHY I READ THIS BOOK: I'm re-reading the New York Trilogy. See Volume 1 (CITY OF GLASS) for the whys and wherefores.
Profile Image for merixien.
587 reviews327 followers
March 12, 2022
İlk kitap çok daha ilgi çekiciydi ama bu da bir yere kadar peşinden sürüklemeye devam ediyor. Zaten oldukça kısa bir kitap o yüzden üçlemeyi bozmadan okumaya değer.
Profile Image for Joshua  Gonsalves.
105 reviews
January 21, 2018
Auster follows up what I believe to be a near flawless masterpiece with a poignant tragi-something that plays out like one extended...something. There is no denying that the book really IS something.

With its own style of wit, mystery, and tragedy, Ghosts largely consists of the most intentionally boring and bland detective story ever. A guy named Blue has just been hired to spy on this other guy named Black. He sits in the apartment from the opposite side of Black's and observes him, often getting bored and exhausted and all that. Sometimes, Black actually (GASP) leaves his home and takes a walk, maybe visits a bookstore. Auster gets the reader so pumped when his characters actually step outside. And yet the book is never really boring. As a matter of fact, these extended stretches of time that depict minimalist tendencies bordering on their most extreme are kind of fun to read in a unique way only an author like Auster can really pull off.

While more mature and perhaps less flawed overall, Ghosts unfortunately doesn't come close to matching the brilliance of its predecessor. However, that's really just me. Plenty of people who hated City of Glass would probably be able to at least tolerate this. After all, it isn't even one hundred pages!

Another fun thing to note:

The book is filled with literary and otherwise art-based references, whether they be to Walt Whitman or Robert Mitchum. Most notably, Thoreau's Walden plays a very similar role to that of Don Quixote in the previous novella in the trilogy. It helps reestablish many of the novella's central themes, concepts, plot points (although the plot of this book is clearly quite loose), and so on. Really, this book is just about some guy alone observing what (the Walden pond/Black) inhabits the outside of his apartment (cabin) and writing it all down, including all sorts of records of philosophical thoughts or encounters, any event that could possibly be noteworthy.
Profile Image for Jim Leckband.
714 reviews1 follower
January 18, 2012
Auster is playing with you from the start. When you are given characters name Black, White and Blue, you know you are in a realm of unreality. Since I just finished the first book in the New York Trilogy (City of Glass) I knew Auster was really infatuated with the author/reader/book "space" where what was of interest to him was not the plot/characters/"point" of the novel, but in how the reader responds to what he reads of the author's words, in how the reader re-formulates the story/characters in his head. This re-formulation is where Auster has staked his claim. He no longer wants it be the elephant in the room, he is dragging it out in front of it by the trunk!

The wonder of the book is that his sentence to sentence writing is somehow magically interesting. The danger is that this type of conceited (i.e. it has a trick or "conceit") writing can leave the reader with a big case of the "who cares?". But I think he pulls it off with his writing.

As far as the book - well, my running hypothesis was that the book was a metaphor for the act of reading and writing a novel, with one character being the writer, one the reader, and one the publisher - the one who actually sends it out into the world. More than "City of Glass", this one got me thinking of the act of creation as I was reading it.

And once again, I start out giving the book three stars, and then once I write the review, I find out I've really written a four star review...I guess I really liked it.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,661 reviews2,658 followers
January 30, 2020
I jumped straight from City of Glass into this second part of the NYC Trilogy, and it suffered by comparison. It is not a sequel per se, because it has different characters and is set in the late 1940s instead of the early 1980s, but it shares some of the same concerns (with literature, identity, doubling, the essential otherness of the writer, and so on) and again is a sort of metafictional mystery.

Part of why I couldn’t take this novella entirely seriously is the silly naming: White hires Blue to trail Black (really; all of the secondary characters are named after colors, too). It turns out Black is a writer who does little besides sit in his apartment, writing. Only when Blue disguises himself as a tramp and then as a salesman and meets Black in various other contexts does he realize that Black, too, is an investigator ... writing up a case of following a writer who hardly leaves his desk.

While I appreciated the circularity and the uncertainty over whether these accidental twins would destroy each other, as well as the literary references to Whitman, Thoreau and Hawthorne, the whole felt slightly inconsequential (“Blue watches Black, and little of anything happens.”). Plotlessness is part of the point, but makes for only a moderately interesting read.

There is one coded reference to Auster here: the fact that the book opens on February 3, 1947, the day he was born.
Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,016 followers
August 24, 2011
Reading Ghosts, I had the bizarre feeling, the whole time, that I'd read the story before. That I'd read about this premise being played out somewhere else. In any case, I think I've got more of a handle on the kind of story Paul Auster is telling. It's definitely not a clear-cut detective novel -- I didn't expect it to be, but some people tried to read it and the first book, at least, in that way.

It's oddly absorbing despite the quiet feel of it; I read it more or less in one sitting. It's very odd. Quiet, like I said, with lots of space to think.
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,732 followers
October 4, 2013
An uncanny valley of Gaddis IMHO. 'Ghosts', the second book in Auster's 'New York Trilogy' reminds me what I both like and don't like about MFA writers. Often clever and grammatically precise but they don't say so much. If they were painters their perspective would be perfect and their posters would sell, but the pigment or texture or something between the edges is just missing that undercurrent of something to give a real shit about.
Profile Image for محمد فرد.
Author 5 books67 followers
July 30, 2019
یکی از اون کاراست که نوشتن در موردش کمی سخته.
چرا؟ چون عملا با تمام چیزهایی که فراگرفتیم متفاوته و از سویی لذت‌بخش هم نیست. اما کارش رو انجام می‌ده. یعنی توی سیستمی که خلق می‌کنه درست پیش می‌ره.
تو این‌طور مواقع آدم می‌مونه که با توجه به انتظاراتش داستان رو قضاوت کنه یا با توجه به همون چیزی که کتاب سعی در بیانش داشته. به هر حال ما با شیوه‌ی دوم قضاوت می‌کنیم کار رو اما پیش از اون به نظرم لازمه بدونید که با چه نوع اثری سروکار خواهید داشت.

داستان به‌شدت توصیفیه و درونی. خبری از تصویر سازی نیست. فضاسازی تقریبا وجود نداره و مدام این طور حس می‌کنید که دارید تعریفای یه نفر دیگه رو از یه داستان دیگه می‌خونید. این طور بگم که انگار این رو استر نوشته تا بعدا تبدیلش کنه به یه رمان هشتصد صفحه ای مثلا و خب وقتی دیده ملت از کارش استقبال کردن به‌عنوان یه اثر کامل بیرونش داده. در این حد.

اما داستان چند ویژگی جالب داره برای من. اول اینکه داستان فرم جنایی داره اما به هیچ وجه یه داستان چنایی نیست. با اینکه کارآگاه خصوصی و تعقیب و گریز رو توی خودش داره و تمام داستان ماجرای همین تعقیبه، اما بیشتر از اینکه به این تعقیب کسالت‌بار بپردازه به درونیان شخصیت اصلی پرداخته. به افکارش و زندگیش و...
یعنی قرار نیست شما خیلی شخصیت مورد تعقیب رو بشناسید، بیشتر از هر چیزی با خود کارآگاه همراه خواهید شد و اون رو درک می‌کنید.
کنار این اجازه بدید شخصیت‌پردازی واقعا محشر کار رو هم متذکر بشم. نویسنده طوری شخصیت‌ها رو معرفی کرده و توی داستان مدام به لایه‌های بعدیشون وارد شده که خواننده بی اینکه بدونه کی در مورد شخصیت‌ها خونده، بعد از پایان کتاب می‌تونه بر اساس منطقشون به سادگی تصمیم بگیره و...

ویژگی های خوب دیگه ای هم کتاب داره اما با این حال اصلا برای خوندن تفریحی توصیه‌اش نمی‌کنم، چون جدا لذت‌بخش نیست و قطعا کلافه خواهید شد. اما اگه یه روزی خواستید یه چیزی شبیه به طرح رمان بخونید شاید بتونید ازش لذت ببرید.
هرچند که تموم کردن اثر برای خود من یه شکنجه‌ی واقعی بود.
یا علی.
Profile Image for May Be.
11 reviews7 followers
May 3, 2021
A great sequence of questions and a great sequence of events brings a fantastic loop of art and literary identification. A dark post-modern piece of art that makes reader speechless, even in the second reading.
Auster gives so many hints on the way book will end and the way the story will interpret the characters and events; so as the story-line goes, the reader would predict some of the events, but it will not affect the joy of reading such a masterpiece.
Profile Image for Diego Lovegood.
297 reviews65 followers
June 9, 2018
Me gustó más que la primera parte. El juego especular entre todos los elementos del mundo es notable. Es muy inteligente Auster y amo las reflexiones literarias que hace. En el 1er libro fue con el Quijote y ahora con Walden.
Profile Image for Tommy.
234 reviews29 followers
February 2, 2008
Could it be possible that Auster learned from his weaknesses? The first thing any reader of City of Glass would notice about this second installment is the sophomore effort is still shorter! Weighing in at only 96 pages, I wondered how many crises of existence Auster would try to cram into this one: love in the twentieth century; how far the hand of God reaches toward earth; life after death? But no, Auster sailed through this more complete and better work by picking up on his earlier theme of the relationship between an author and his subject and just staying on target. The result? A powerful vignette featuring basically anonymous figures (all the characters are named after colors) buoyed by Auster’s clean, compact style and simple plots. The tension here is more detectable to the reader. If the reader is jumping at Auster’s questions, he at least feels confident that he is guessing at answers to Auster’s puzzles, rather than imagining what Auster was trying to do in the first place. This is a vast improvement over City of Glass.
In Ghosts, the protagonist, Blue, another detective, is assigned to simply keep his private eye focused on a man living in a sparse apartment across the street, Black, and record all of his daily moves, down to the minute details. But all Black does all day is write. Bored and soon lost in his new role, Blue surrounds himself with images of his identity: photos of his parents (pre-Blue), reminders of the stories he forever wants to write, a snapshot with his happily-retired mentor, the movie plot he feels his own story should follow, a shot of his hero Jackie Robinson sliding into third, a portrait of Walt Whitman. Nothing of his current life, only where he has been and where he wants to go.
Becoming stir crazy in this absence of a fulfilling present, and although content with his paycheck, Blue decides to engage Black in a serious of plotted encounters, attempting to learn more about this shadowy character, and inevitably about himself in the process. Eventually, the walls between Black and Blue crumble, and Auster tips his hand as to the novel’s internal struggle: the tension between author and character. Which of the two writes and which acts, which records while the other creates?
We are left with a better sense of how an author struggles with his own characters in trying to avoid becoming the subject of everything he writes. It’s an endless circle, and one the author must inevitably travel alone. Black’s hobby turns out to be studying American writers in an “effort to understand things.” (That’s about as much specificity as we can expect out of Auster.) Black and Blue discuss Hawthorne’s shutting himself in his room for twelve years to write The Vicar of Wakefield, an act which prompts Black to comment “Writing is a solitary business. It takes over your life. In some sense, a writer has no life of his own. Even when he’s there, he’s not really there.” To which Blue responds, “Another ghost.” Voila, a title.
One thing is certain: Blue is an author through and through. He tosses Thoreau’s Walden aside as worthless. Who would go live in a forest where there’s nothing to write about, we hear Blue think, as we pity his inability to define himself through anything but his characters. As Black and Blue idly sit and script each other’s lives, the reader can’t help but feel a sense of loneliness descend upon this closed, difficult, two-person world. Are they simply alter egos, or are they author and character (and which one plays which)? By the end, we wonder whether Auster summed up the difficulties of writing best by the way he named his characters: what’s harder for any author to describe than “blue”?
But what profession doesn’t have its troubles. Of course, we can only expect Auster to write with such potency about his own demons (although we get the sense he’d rather do otherwise). We see clearly now the link to City of Glass, the elementary lesson that authors, despite their troubles and torments with identities and characters, simply must live through and by writing. And they are only human. Black’s hobby seems suddenly futile. “We always talk about trying to get inside a writer to understand his work better,” Black confesses to Blue on a Brooklyn stoop beneath a summer sunset. “But when you get right down to it, there’s not much to find in there— at least not much that’s different from what you’d find in anyone else.” Auster better stop inviting us into such intriguing stories, or else we will never be able to stop prying, as any good detective should.
Profile Image for Merdan.
51 reviews7 followers
July 22, 2018
New York üçlemesinin 2.kitabı Hayaletler: kurmacanın kurmacası tadı bırakıyor, her olayda bir başka kurmaca metine bağlaması ve en sonunda da kendi kurmacasının da kurmaca olduğunu kurmaca kişiler -ki bu kişiler de kurmaca metinde kurmaca karakter yaratmış olabilir- tarafından anlatması bambaşka...
Sanırım yazarsam spolier vermek zorunda kalıcam.

“Ama kaçırılan fırsatlar da kullanılan fırsatlar kadar hayatın bir parçasıdır ve bir hikaye “neler olabilirdi” üzerinde oyalanmaz.”
Ama bu kitap oyalanıyor sanırım hem de çok fazla...
Profile Image for Octavi.
1,071 reviews
September 4, 2019
Este me ha gustado mucho. Densito y una fumada del 15. Cojonudo.
Profile Image for Sgrtkn.
176 reviews21 followers
April 8, 2022
"...Bugün de geçmiş kadar karanlıktır ve aynen gelecek kadar bilinmezlerle doludur. Dünya böyledir işte ..."
Profile Image for Parn Abr.
21 reviews4 followers
February 1, 2021
I read this story when I was 16 or 15 or sth like that. which was too soon and it killed me with existential dread. I couldn't get it, I hated it. I didn't finish the first story (city of glass) because my twin sister told me the ending is disappointing and when I finished the second story I gave up on the book entirely (because it was too cold and meaningless to me) and I didn't read the third story (the locked room) at the time. flash forward to three years ago (I was 20), some friend talked about the New York trilogy with enthusiasm and I was encouraged to read this book again. I read the first and last story and this time I fell in love with the book. it was written beautifully and was exciting, you really wanted to know what will happen next. but neither of the stories really finished the way you'd expect a normal story would finish, if you can call them finished at all. nothing was resolved, there was no catharsis.

at 20 years old, I was just starting to see the world through the eyes of existentialism, I was starting to see how everything is pointless and unlike the stories they kept telling us when we were young, pain doesn't always lead to good things, it doesn't make us stronger; it can break us and make us lose our hope entirely.
in the disenchanted world we live in, departing from the ordinary doesn't make a hero out of us, it doesn't save anyone, there is no salvation. it can only lead to greater problems and complicated situations that you can't undo. and this was the case with The New York trilogy.

unlike City of Glass (1st story) and the locked room (3rd story), Ghosts had an ending,
the mystery was resolved. In the previous detective stories that I had read (like Agatha Christie's) resolution of the mystery came with a sense of relief, the criminal was arrested and efforts of the protagonists had payed off. But this wasn't the case in ghosts, our detective put in the work only to realize it was all for nothing, nothing he did meant anything. and this was so shocking to a teenager me, that I still remember the details of the story. I read City of Glass twice but after so many years I'm still afraid of re-reading Ghosts. That story's coldness and emptiness, scares me.
Profile Image for Mehrdad.
82 reviews3 followers
February 10, 2020
بعد از خواندن چند صفحه ابتدایی این رمانِ بدون فصل بندی، شاید نزد خواننده اینطور به نظر برسد که با یک رمان پلیسی طرف است اما خوانندگانی که با پل استر و آثارش آشنا هستند می دانند که استر یک نویسنده ی پلیسی نویس نیست بلکه او در بیشتر موارد از بن مایه های رمان پلیسی تنها به این جهت استفاده می کند که مفهوم های گاه فلسفی خود را در کتابهایش بیان کند. بارزترین مثالش در این کتاب هم می تواند این باشد که شخصیت اصلی کتاب ارواح مانند شخصیت اصلی بسیاری از کتابهای نوشته شده در ژانر یاد شده یک کارآگاه است. به هر حال هر خواننده ای که کتابی در ژانر پلیسی خوانده باشد و یا حداقل فیلم یا سریالی که بر اساس این کتاب ها ساخته شده را دیده باشد متوجه این موضوع خواهد شد که در چنین داستانهایی شخصیت اصلی یا همان کارآگاه یاد شده، غالباً فردی باهوش و زیرک و همچنین مغز متفکر داستان موردنظر بوده واغلب همه معماها به دست او حل می شود. مثل کارگاه پوآرو یا شرلوک هولمزی که اغلب ما آنها را می شناسیم. اما آیا اوضاع برای شخصیت اصلی یا در واقع همان کارآگاه داستان پل استرهم به همین شکل است؟ در پاسخ به این سوال باید صراحتاً پاسخ داد که خیر، "آبی" شباهت چندانی با کارآگاه هایی که از آن ها نام بردیم ندارد، البته این به آن معنا نیست که کارآگاه آبی از هوش و ذکاوت کارآگاه های معروف داستان های جنایی بی بهره باشد، بله جوان است اما می خوانیم که آنقدرها هم بی تجربه به نظر نمی رسد که نتواند از پس معماهای پیچیده ی جنایی بر بیاید، اما مسئله اینجاست که داستان و معمایی که او در پی حل آن است به گونه ای رقم می خورد که او خود نیز درگیر معما شده و اصطلاحاً در آن حل می ��ود. بلایی که به شکلی دیگر بر سر شخصیت اصلی داستان شهر شیشه ای هم آمد.
اگر دوست داشنید بیشتر درباره این کتاب بخوانید می توانید سری به وبلاگ کتابنامه بزنید:
Profile Image for Eshraq.
150 reviews20 followers
February 18, 2019
خیلی دلم میخواست چند تا رفیق داشتم کتابای استر رو میخوندیم و بعد درباره برداشت هامو�� باهم صحبت میکردیم
فضای کتاب، اسامی، نحوه بیان، موضوعات مطرح شده و... همه برام خیلی جالب و بعضا جدیده درباره این کتاب
نمیدونم چطور توصیف کنم که چقدر لذت بردم ازین کتاب و کتاب اول از این سه گانه
خوشحالم که با این نویسنده آشنا شدم.
Profile Image for Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine).
465 reviews68 followers
October 19, 2016
Πρόκειται για το 2ο βιβλίο της, εξαιρετικής, '' Τριλογίας της Νεας Υόρκης'' του P. Auster, ενός από τους σημαντικότερους ,σύγχρονους αμερικάνους συγγραφείς. Αν και χαρακτηρίζεται ως ''αστυνομικό΄΄ μυθιστόρημα, η αλήθεια είναι ότι δεν μοιράζεται πολλά κοινά χαρακτηριστικά με τα βιβλία του είδους. Δεν έχουμε δηλαδή ένα έγκλημα που δρά ως η πρώτη φάση μιας αναγωγικής αλυσίδας, η οποία μας προτρέπει να φτάσουμε σε λογικά συμπεράσματα. Σκοπός του κάθε, αξιοπρεπούς, ''αστυνομικού΄΄ μυθιστορήματος είναι να μην αφήνει κανένα ερώτημα αναπάντητο όταν φτάνει στο τέλος του. Στο τέλος του βιβλιού, όλα τα στοιχεια που πλέκουν την ιστορία αποκτούν σαφές και αδιαμφισβήτητο νόημα, τίποτα δεν μένει ΄΄ανοιχτό΄΄ σε ερωτήματα και εναλλακτικές ερμηνείες, διαφορετικά το μυθιστόρημα δεν μπορεί να ενταχθεί με ακρίβεια στο συγκεκριμένο είδος. Έχοντας αυτά υπόψην, κάθε αναγνώστης του Auster βρίσκεται αντιμέτωπος με την δυσκολία της οριοθέτησης του έιδους στο οποίο ανήκουν τα έργα του. Ο συγγραφέας φάινεται να χρησιμοποιεί μια απλή ιδέα μυστηρίου/εγκλήματος ως πρόσχημα για μια ιδιαίτερη άσκηση ύφους που φέρνει τον αναγνώστη αντιμέτωπο με υπαρξιακούς προβληματισμούς τους οποίους σπάνια συναντάμε στα ''αστυνομικά'' μυθιστορήματα. Στην ''Τριλογία της Νέας Υόρκης΄΄, ο Auster πειραματίζεται με την έννοια της ταυτότητας και του υποκειμένου. Οι ήρωες και των 3 βιβλίων, ξεκινούν με μια συγκεκριμένη και σαφή ιδέα για τον εαυτό τους και για το ποιοί πραγματικά είναι, για να διαπιστώσουν στη διάρκεια μιας προσωπικής οδύσσειας ,το πόσο ευάλωτη είναι η ιδέα της ταυτότητάς τους και πόσο έυκολη , και άραγε ελκυστική (;), είναι η διά-λυση της μέσα στην υποκειμενικότητα ενός ή περισσότερων άλλων. Η ζωή των ηρώων του Auster μοιάζει με άγραφο χαρτί, το οποίο επιχειρούν αγωνιωδώς και καταβάλλοντας δυσβάσταχτο κόστος να γεμίσουν, με μια ιστορία, μια οποιαδήποτε ιστορία. Στο ''Ghosts'', βλέπουμε τον ήρωα να αντιλαμβάνεται τη καθημερινότητά του ως ένα ''κενό, μια ασυνέχεια στην πλοκή των πραγμάτων που η οποιαδήποτε ιστορία μπορεί να γεμίσει΄΄. Στον κόσμο του Auster η συγγραφική και μυθοπλαστική δημιουργία γίνεται ,πέρα από κάτι ευχάριστο , κάτι ζωτικό και τόσο απαραίτητο για τον άνθρωπο όσο η αναπνοή. Στο 3ο βιβλίο της ''τριλογίας'', με τίτλο ''The Locked Room'' o Auster υπογραμμίζει: '' Oι ιστορίες συμβαίνουν μόνο σε αυτούς που είναι ικανοί να τις διηγηθούν'' και ίσως γι΄αυτό τα βιβλία του λειτουργούν ως προτροπή στην συγγραφική δημιουργικότητα.
Όσοι ψάχνετε ένα τυπικό ''αστυνομικό'' βιβλίο, καλύτερα να το παραβλέψετε. Εάν από την άλλη πλευρά ενδιαφέρεστε για κάτι πραγματικά ξεχωριστό που δεν θα δίνει απαντήσεις σε ερωτήματα αλλά θα τα πολλαπλασιάζει, δημιουργώντας σας''υπαρξιακό πονοκέφαλο'', τότε έχετε βρεί τον κατάλληλο συγγραφέα.

Καλή ανάγνωση!
Profile Image for محمد حمدان.
Author 2 books816 followers
December 8, 2017
الأشباح – بول أوستر

هي ثاني الروايات في ثلاثية نيويورك وقد صدرت لأول مرة عام 1986 وهي كما هي الرواية الأولى لا تخرج عن إطار الرواية البوليسية.. إلا أنها مختلفة بحيث أنها من ذلك النوع الذي أظن بأنه لو قدر لفرانز كافكا أن يكتب الروايات البوليسية لكانت هذه التي بين أيدينا أحد انتاجاته.

إنها تتحدث عن المهمة التي أوكلها وايت لبلو وتتلخص ببساطة بأن يراقب بلاك ويرسل لوايت تقريراً عن ذلك. تبدو مهمة بسيطة للغاية.. إلا أنه لا يبدو أنه ثمة أي غاية ذات معنى ما واضح لبلو من هذه المهمة.. وكما حدث مع بطل الرواية الأولى أصبح بلو مهووساً بهذه المهمة التي استغرقت منه سنوات طويلة.. وخسر مدام بلو المستقبلية في خضم انشغاله التام بها.

لقد تم توظيف المكان جيداً، حيث أنه في زاوية ما في نيويورك حيث اعتاد بعض كتابها في الانعزال وكتابة القصص.. تماماً كما يبدو لبلو بأن بلاك يفعل. ثم تأتي تلك المحادثة بين بلو وبلاك لتوضح لنا كيف أن الكتابة فعل انعزالي.. وأنه ما من حياة خاصة للكتاب. إنهم أشباح لها هدف واحد؛ أن تكتب وليس من هدف آخر أو معنى من وجودها.

لن أتحدث أكثر عن أحداث الرواية كي لا أفسدها.. فهي فقيرة الأحداث وتعتمد بشكل رئيسي على الحديث الذاتي للبطل بلو.

هل أحببتها ؟ حسناً، إنها رواية خفيفة، لربما كنتُ لأعجب بها إن قرأتها في زمن سابق.
Profile Image for Navid.
26 reviews9 followers
April 23, 2023
در دومین قسمت از سه‌گانه نیویورک، پل‌استر مجدداً با رویکردی نامتعارف و نسبتاً کنایه‌آمیز به سراغ ژانر معمایی/پلیسی میره. در این کتاب، یک کارآگاه خصوصی استخدام میشه تا روی پرونده‌ای کار کنه که به نظر میاد وجود نداره! تعقیب فردی که هر چقدر در داستان بیشتر پیش بریم، مشخص‌تر میشه که هیچ جرمی مرتکب نشده و دلیلی برای تعیب کردنش وجود نداره.

دوباره پارانویا خیلی زود از راه میرسه، معنای هویت به سوال گذاشته میشه، و معمای داستان با پرسش‌های فلسفی پرشمار عجین میشه.
Profile Image for سامان.
113 reviews8 followers
July 19, 2023
هر کتاب را باید با همان تعمق، طمانینه و درون‌گرایی خواند که نوشته شده- و ناگهان پی می‌برد که نکته این است که باید به کُندی بخواند، چنان آهسته که تا کنون کلمات را چنین کند نخوانده است.
چه کتابی! اُستر حقیقتاً استاده. یه داستان پست مدرن درجه یک
نویسنده توی کتاب درباره‌ی این فیلم هم صحبت می‌کنه. یکی از نوآرهای محبوبم.
Profile Image for Daniel Parks.
77 reviews3 followers
November 9, 2012
First of all there is Blue. Later there is White, and then there is Black, and before the beginning there is Brown... That it is how it begins.

Auster brings the meta with the second book in his New York Trilogy. The writer spys on the writer, the reader spys on the writer spying on the writer, who is also the reader because through the course of spying on the writer the writer reads his own story.

Ghosts at times can feel a bit like what would happen if a brilliant writer was given a high school creative writing assignment ("Create a piece of fiction using as many color names as you can" or "Write a story where you put yourself into the story"), but its more than just creative writing, its existential philosophy.
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