Paul Auster's City of Glass

by Paul Karasik

Other authorsPaul Auster, David Mazzucchelli (Illustrator)
Paper Book, 1994




New York : Avon Books, c1994.


A graphic, crime noir novel on a New York detective-cum-novelist who answers a wrong number. A double- barreled investigation, one from the perspective of the detective, the other from that of the novelist. Adapted from Paul Auster's City of Glass by the creators of Maus.

Media reviews

If you haven't read City of Glass, then you have an intriguing dilemma: not which of the two books to read - you should read both - but which to read first. I can't really answer that question, because setting them against one another, trying to decide which is more successful, seems pointless.
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Both are wonderful works of art. Both are worth reading again and again. And each complements the other, the comic driving you back the novel, and vice versa.
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The result is something akin to a film noir directed by Franz Kafka from a script by William S. Burroughs.
Mr. Mazzucchelli's art is appropriately stark, demonstrating great ingenuity in rendering the intense isolation of these characters.

User reviews

LibraryThing member taylorh
nonsensical and nonlinear

Characters seemed to have multiple personalities, names, identities, textures, grids, rhythms... If ever I thought I was losing myself in my self, this book would be a good map for it. Immediately after finishing this I reread it, not for the sake of enjoyment [though I did
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in a Through the Looking Glass Don Quixote kind of way], but more to try to understand it further. I felt like I got it while reading, but as soon as I put the book down, it slipped away. Rather than becoming frustrated by this though, I felt intrigued and drawn to Auster's layered circling ideas, conversations, inspired art work.
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LibraryThing member stephmo
A wrong number starts everything in this adaptation of Paul Auster's novel into graphic form...and from the moment Daniel Quinn who has been hiding behind his William Wilson identity decides to adopt the identity of Paul Auster, things take a turn for the strange. In a story that manages to
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effortlessly weave the Tower of Babel, Don Quixote and pulp fiction books, this graphic novel also manages to play with the prose and add depth to the questions of language, identity and obsessive meaning in the meaningless in ways that are limited by mere words. The illustrations do more than merely illustrate - they become integral pieces to solving the unsolvable puzzle.
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LibraryThing member TPLThing
This is a graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster’s acclaimed book, created by Paul Karsik and David Mazucchelli. In many ways, it’s a surprising choice for a graphic adaptation. While the book has a distinct noir feel to it, as is the case for many of the newer graphic novels, Auster’s book
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plays heavily with language, words and identity. It’s an ambitious undertaking for an artist to attempt visually. Karasik and Mazzzucchelli have made an engaging read, though, with a stripped-down artistic style and an inventive use of imagery. I confess I’ve never read the original version, but the story has me hooked and that original is now on my "to do" list.
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LibraryThing member GiacomoL
This is not just a transposition of one of Auster's most famous works in graphical form; it's a masterpiece on its own merit, interpreting the text in a very creative way, pushing the boundaries of sequential art.
LibraryThing member rita009
This book is the first in a New York Trilogy. Its about a wrong number in the middle of the night which involves a man named Daniel Quinn into a case more bizarre than any he has ever had to deal with. His only task giving by the person on the phone is to keep Peter Stillman's ( a character in the
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story) father, an insane scholar who kept his son in a room for nine years away from his rehabilitated son. I was really enjoying the book until about half way in it, took a wrong turn and under unsatisfying and flat.
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LibraryThing member VisibleGhost
City of Glass seems like an impossible novel to turn into a graphic novel. It's kind of a noir metafiction that circles in on itself. Actually, I doubted anything could be done with it with panel art. The efforts came out better than I thought they would. It's not perfect but it manages to capture
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most of the feel of City of Glass. It did win a place on the 100 Most Important Comics of the Century list. Still, it's hard to try to turn a review of it into words so I'll stop here before I tie myself into a knot.
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LibraryThing member MariaAlhambra
An excellent adaptation of the Paul Auster novella, with some very ingenious visual translations of Auster's labyrithine metafictional riddles.
LibraryThing member Stevil2001
I like Paul Auster, but I find his brilliance difficult to put into words; with this graphic adaptation of the first volume of The New York Trilogy, the problem is even more difficult.  All of this is appropriate, of course, for a story where the main theme is the inability (or unreliability) of
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language to capture truth.  When I first read this comic back in 2006, I hadn't yet read the prose novel; upon reading the prose novel some months later, I could not find anything in it that had been subtracted for the comic.  Furthermore, the addition of a visual dimension meant that there was a whole new layer of meaning.

All I can do, then, is praise Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli's artwork; their simple, stark style suits the narrative perfectly, and their use of transitions between panels is astounding, showing a complete mastery of the comics medium.  City of Glass is heavy with meaning in the best of ways.
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LibraryThing member AlejandroAlarcn
Really good story. It's difficult to convey the sense of a descent into madness and the dissipation of self into nothingness in graphical form; yet I think this book succeeds admirably. I'm judging this work on itself, as I haven't read the original novel.
LibraryThing member Don.A
Really good story. It's difficult to convey the sense of a descent into madness and the dissipation of self into nothingness in graphical form; yet I think this book succeeds admirably. I'm judging this work on itself, as I haven't read the original novel.
LibraryThing member bluepigeon
As a graphic mystery/detective short novel, this book is very well done. What Karasik and Mazzucchelli have achieved here is no small feat. The abstract thoughts and intricate stories intertwined in the book are delicately interpreted into the visual with striking compositions within each panel as
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well as on each page. The story is a page turner at times, so I had to go back to re-examine the drawings and composition of the pages. And yes, Auster is not your average thriller/mystery writer, so more intellect and general knowledge of historical facts, literature, and New York will allow the reader to appreciate and enjoy the story more.
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LibraryThing member PhilSyphe
I consider "City of Glass" to be one of the most nonsensical book I’ve ever read. Apart from the occasional interesting scene, this was on the whole a tedious web of confusion.
LibraryThing member arewenotben
Stunning use of the graphic novel form, using all the formal options available to tell a story in a way that would be impossible in any other medium.

Intrigued to read the original Auster novel now, I can't imagine it working nearly as well.
LibraryThing member thisisstephenbetts
This is great, but I wish they'd done the full New York Trilogy.



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