Mr. Vertigo

Front Cover
Viking Books, 1994 - Fiction - 293 pages
15 Reviews
In Mr. Vertigo, his dazzling eighth novel, Paul Auster introduces a quintessentially American hero who, early in his life, masters the art of the unimaginable, and then must live out his days long after the magic has been lost and forgotten.
It is 1927, the year of Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh - and of Walter Claireborne Rawley, a streetwise orphan from Saint Louis who becomes "Walt the Wonder Boy," a diminutive showman famous for stunning audiences across the country with his feats of levitation.
Walt's teacher is Master Yehudi, a mysterious iconoclast who rescues him from poverty and instills in him the faith, fearlessness, and devotion to hard work essential to such a magnificent venture. Inevitably, Master Yehudi and Walt fall prey to the sinners thieves, and villains of America in its pre-depression heyday, from the Kansas Ku Klux Klan to the Chicago mob, and Walt's resilience, like that of his young nation, is over and again challenged.
Paul Auster, a "literary original" (Wall Street Journal) whose "bounties of intelligence, mystery and literary magic nourish and delight the mind" (Chicago Sun-Times), embraces both the realist and the mythic traditions in American literature. Walt and Yehudi are classic entrepreneur adventurers, and what they sell in Walt's performance is defiance of the natural laws governing men. This is an extraordinary, exuberant novel that captures the aspirations and excesses of a country ready to soar.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - browner56 - LibraryThing

Mr. Vertigo tells the life story of Walter Claireborne Rawley, from his boyhood as an orphan in St. Louis during the 1920s to his reflections as an old man some 70 years later. The pivotal event for ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - technodiabla - LibraryThing

I do not generally like magical realism but this book was amusing and touching and the magic was well integrated into the story. The story is told from the point of view of an orphan in 1920s America ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
15
Section 3
34
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Paul Auster was born on February 3, 1947, in Newark, New Jersey. He received a B.A. and a M.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. In addition to his career as a writer, Auster has been a census taker, tutor, merchant seaman, little-league baseball coach, and a telephone operator. He started his writing career as a translator. He soon gained popularity for the detective novels that make up his New York Trilogy. His other works include The Invention of Solitude; Leviathan; Moon Palace; Facing the Music; In the Country of Last Things; The Music of Chance; Mr. Vertigo; and The Brooklyn Follies. His latest novels are entitled, Invisible and Sunset Park. In addition to his novels, Auster has written screenplays and directed several films. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a French Prix Medicis for Foreign Literature.

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