Get Better Soon

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Editor: Jeffrey W. Hunter
Date: 2000
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 789 words

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[(review date 29 November 1997) In the following review, Connolly offers unfavorable assessment of Hand to Mouth.]

I hope that this book doesn't mean that there's something the matter with Paul Auster. He is the most distinguished American writer of the generation below Updike and Bellow, indeed their only author under 60 with any claim to greatness. Posterity will doubtless smile upon Edmund White, David Mamet, Sam Shepard, Mark Doty, but it will positively beam at Paul Auster. Since the publication of his acclaimed New York trilogy almost a decade ago, he has received reviews ranging from the admiring to the ecstatic. Even so, the arrival of this collection of juvenilia--or not quite juvenilia, being mostly the labours of his late twenties--seems premature. Nothing Auster writes could be boring, but some of this material comes perilously close. Notwithstanding its introductory essay and a short crime novel tacked on to the end, the book doesn't amount to a heap of beans. The rest--three short plays and an incomprehensible card game--are the sort of material that irresponsible literary executors might put out after a writer's death. That's why Hand to Mouth made me worry about Auster's health. This is...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1100033449