Book Review: The Brooklyn Follies


Brooklyn Follies

by Nacho Fernández

I chose this book because it was the only of recommended books I found at the bookshops before Christmas. Also, I had known Paul Auster as a scriptwriter of  one of my favourites films: ‘Smoke’. After watching it, I read the Spanish translation of  ‘True tales of American life’, a compilation of  true stories which left me a bad impression  about the average American mediocrity and ‘Oracle Night’,  a surrealist story which left me impassive. But with The Brooklyn Follies the writer of the little big stories returns.
This novel tells the story of two losers. Nathan Glass is an old man who returns to Brooklyn after his wife has left him. He is recovering for a lung cancer and is  looking ‘for a quiet place to die’. There, he meets his nephew Tom, who has given up his promising studies and has resigned himself to a badly-paid job at a second-hand bookshop. They begin a close friendship and they keep each other company in their lack of ambitions. But the sudden appearance of Tom’s niece Lucy – a little girl who refuses to speak- and a random succession of events offer them both the opportunity to change their lives.
This readable book is written in a cheerful strain and is made up of hundreds of little stories -some of them a bit far-fetched like the priest incident- that make readers think about a lot of  life issues and leave them living in hope. It’s a book about survival, as Paul Auster says.

Nacho

The Brooklyn Follies is a fiction book in which the author claims the importance of human relationships to find a sense in life and reminds us that life can change at any time.
The story is about a sixty year old man who recently has got divorced and overcome a lung cancer. He feels alone and returns to his hometown Brooklyn expecting nothing but  death. But there, he meets his nephew, whom he has not seen for several years and gradually he gets into contact with other members of his family and is involved in their life and different situations.
I like the way the main characteres are portrayed, since they are different persons with different problems and you are able to see the life from the point of view of each of them.
The end of the book is quite confusing, since it is quite optimistic but sad at the same time. From my point of view, The Brooklyn Follies is an interesting and amusing book.

Rocío Muñiz

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