Monday, November 22, 2010

Auggie Wren's Christmas Story

So I'm hanging out at another library last week and I see a Christmas book by Paul Auster on the shelf. "Well, that's different", I say. It is very different and is intended to be so.

In typical Auster fashion, the story is told as if it were told to Auster. We don't know how much is real, how much is fictitious. The story says that The New York Times had contacted Auster to write a Christmas story and he didn't want to write a typical sappy Christmas tale. He struggled until he started talking with his cigar vendor, Auggie Wren (whose name has been changed), who tells him his Christmas story which Auster then uses. Some of that is true. The story originally appeared on Christmas Day in The New York Times

The tale involves shoplifting, a lost wallet, a blind woman, and another theft. The story makes you think. Can lying and stealing be part of a good deed? Is giving giving if there is taking?

A very unorthodox and not really heartwarming Christmas tale. It's so short and so typical Paul Auster that I can't help but like it, though.

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