Patrick Skene Catling

Brooklyn Dodger

Sunset Park


Faber & Faber 308pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

In one of Paul Auster’s almost magically fatalistic novels, The Music of Chance (1990), ‘one thing kept leading to another’ and the protagonist’s destiny was determined by ‘one of those random, accidental encounters’. In Sunset Park, Auster’s wonderfully unpredictable new story of fatal manipulations, life is an apparently uncontrollable phenomenon that just happens to the anti-hero, Miles Heller. A highly literate, decent young American with good intentions, Miles somehow feels compelled to make disastrous decisions, as if he really has no other choices. Everyone else involved in his downward career is similarly afflicted, and yet, for even a humane reader, the whole sorry mess is fascinatingly enjoyable. Auster is sympathetic to his characters but merciless; he describes them and their predicaments with calm implacability.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,