City of Glass (The New York Trilogy, #1) by Paul AusterNominated for an Edgar award for best mystery of the year, City of Glass inaugurates an intriguing New York Trilogy of novels that The Washington Post Book World has classified as post-existentialist private eye... Its as if Kafka has gotten hooked on the gumshoe game and penned his own ever-spiraling version. As a result of a strange phone call in the middle of the night, Quinn, a writer of detective stories, becomes enmeshed in a case more puzzling than any he might have written. Written with hallucinatory clarity, City of Glass combines dark humor with Hitchcock-like suspense.
Ghosts and The Locked Room are the next two brilliant installments in Paul Austers The New York Trilogy.
“Reading the City”: The concept of language in Paul Auster’s "City of Glass"
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Originally published sequentially as City of Glass , Ghosts and The Locked Room , it has since been collected into a single volume. Ostensibly presented as detective fiction , the stories of The New York Trilogy have been described as "meta-detective-fiction", "anti-detective fiction", "mysteries about mysteries", a "strangely humorous working of the detective novel", "very soft-boiled", a "metamystery" and a "mixture between the detective story and the nouveau roman ". There is, however, "a certain coherence in the narrative discourse, a neo-realistic approach and a show of responsibility for social and moral aspects going beyond mere metafictional and subversive elements" [ citation needed ] , which distinguish him from a "traditional" postmodern writer. The New York Trilogy is a particular form of postmodern detective fiction which still uses well-known elements of the detective novel the classical and hardboiled varieties, for example but also creates a new form that links "the traditional features of the genre with the experimental, metafictional and ironic features of postmodernism. A reissue by Penguin Books is fronted by new pulp magazine -style covers by comic book illustrator Art Spiegelman. The first story, City of Glass , features a detective fiction writer-become- private investigator who descends into madness as he becomes embroiled in a case. It explores layers of identity and reality, from Paul Auster the writer of the novel to the unnamed "author" who reports the events as reality to "Paul Auster the writer", a character in the story, to "Paul Auster the detective", who may or may not exist in the novel, to Peter Stillman the younger, to Peter Stillman the elder and, finally, to Daniel Quinn, protagonist.