After re-reading The New York Trilogy and both enjoying it and considering it an important work of fiction, I thought it only reasonable to read some more of Auster, and I had been quite looking forward to reading this. It turns out that it’s made up of two more or less separate pieces – “The Invisible Man” and “The Book of Memory” – the former being a Philip Roth type meditation on the loss of his father, the latter being a mix of fairly lucid but directionless narrative sections and piles of meaningless sentences masquerading as literature. Roth does his thing better, but Auster does it well. There are stretches that are engaging in the second piece, but the whole is marred by his insistence on philosophical-riffing, which is almost always bordering on nonsense, and far too often falling right in. And though a little bit of sense peeks out periodically, a nugget of insight, a quotation from Proust or Freud, a hint of realisation, a joining together of dots, you’d be as well off reading the newspapers, if it’s sense you’re after.