Paul Auster and I are like two peas in a pod.
I just finished reading Moon Palace, after having read pretty much back-to-back all of his other books besides The Book of Illusions (yet to be found in paperback in English around these parts). Every one of his books has had its impact on me. Every single one of them I have finished far too quickly, wishing as I shut the final page that I had savoured it more. But every one of them was so damn good that I just couldn't stop myself from reading.
The creepy thing is that I have all these weird geographical connections to the characters in his books. Auster lived in Paris for awhile, so it's natural that some of his characters head off to Paris. Groovy. Auster often mentions suburban Chicago, where I spent nine years of my childhood. No problem. Several of his characters are connected in some way to Northfield, MN, a town with a population around 1 - but where I have spent more time doing useless things than I care to mention. Lastly, today, in Moon Palace, the book ends at Lake Powell in Utah, where my four-week, super-intense, 100% wilderness hiking expedition ended six summers ago. The ending, however, is an entirely new beginning for the main character in Moon Palace.
Six summers ago would be the summer after I graduated high school, before I ever set foot along the edges of the Pacific ocean. That would be sometime after I had decided to move far away from my adolesence in Michigan, and towards one of the unknown edges of the world. Little did I know where I would eventually find myself. So I guess, in a way, Lake Powell was a new beginning for me too.
I'll take the opportunity to let you know it's one helluva stinky lake.