After recovering from an extremely grave illness, novelist Sidney Orr (thirty
four) buys a Portuguese blue notebook in a stationery shop in the Cobble Hill
section of Brooklyn. M. R. Chang an eccentric yet dedicated entrepreneur of
Chinese origin, owns the paper shop, named “The Paper Palace”. After Orr
purchases the blank notebook, he will find himself invigorated and ready to
start writing all over again.
Under advice of family friend John
Trause, Orr starts writing the story of Flitcraft, a small character from Dashiell
Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon. From that moment on, the story is split,
showing the events occurring in both Orr’s real life and in the novel written
by him. Orr chooses the name of Nick Bowen as the main character for his
novel, an important New York book editor. The character has just received a
manuscript named Oracle Night from the granddaughter of a very relevant
literary figure, Sylvia Maxwell. The same night Bowen is almost crashed by a
fallen gargoyle from a nearby building. It is then when the Flitcraftian tale
starts, Bowen abandons everything, only bringing with him the copy of the
manuscript Oracle Night and the clothes he is wearing.
Orr is trapped by the power of the blank notebook and the story he is writing.
He is in fact immersed in a world of premonitions and disturbing events that
put in danger his marriage together with his own sanity. As the story
develops the reader cannot help to wonder if there is a similar relationship
between Orr and Bower and the same Auster and the real characters in the
real Oracle Night.
A great deal of puzzling events is what makes
"Oracle Night" a thrilling novel. Auster delivers an extraordinary piece of
writing to top his impressive array of publications starting with The New York