From a background of ease and comfort, from a time and place where life still makes some kind of sense, Anna Blume embarks on a search for her missing brother. Soon she finds herself trapped in a city whose consciousness is obsessed with last things: with the means and manner of death. In this culture of doom, the masses are homeless, theft has ceased to be a crime. Production has ceased, and dying and disassembly are the only growth industries.
As survival becomes her sole motivation, Anna takes up the occupation of scavenger, searching for objects from the past which she then sells for food and shelter. But even in this landscape of devastation, her humanity prevails as she finds friendship, love and even some hope for the future. In the Country of Last Things reaffirms the singular gifts of Paul Auster.
Vanessa Redgrave is not so much an actress as a force of nature…Here she reins it in to deliver an appropriately detached portrayal of a sheltered young Jewess cast on her own devices in a nightmarish world of terror and entropy. While playing against the unremitting horror of the first-person narration, she vividly impersonates the characters in dialogue scenes.” (
“Auster's, one of the best, is distinguished by an uncanny grasp of the day-to-day realities of homelessness. This is a scary but highly relevant book.” ( Library Journal)
“[ Auster] creates a tone that deftly combines matter-of-factness and estrangement.” ( Publishers Weekly)
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