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Paul Auster: Ghosts

The second novel in the New York Trilogy is a very simple story, set in 1947, unlike the first and third novel of the trilogy. White hires Blue to watch Black. Yes, it is another mystery novel – sort of. All Black does is sit in a office and write. Clearly this is very boring for Blue, particularly as it goes on for years. He has neglected his fiancée (when he bumps into her in the street, she is understandably very upset) and seems only to associate with people whose names are colours. The matter gets worse when he finds that White and Black are, in fact, the same person. Why, he asks, is a man paying him to watch himself? Naturally he tries to find out. Naturally, there are no solutions. It is a short novel and not much happens. Clearly it is the lesser of the three novels of the trilogy but, as ever with Auster, it somehow grips you.

Publishing history

First published 1986 by Sun & Moon Press