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4 3 2 1
Cover of 4 3 2 1
4 3 2 1
A Novel
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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
A New York Times Bestseller | A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
A Boston Globe Bestseller | A National Indiebound Bestseller
The Millions's "Most Anticipated;" Vulture's "Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017;" The Washington Post's Books to Read in 2017; Chicago Tribune's "Books We're Excited About in 2017;"
Town & Country's "5 Books to Start Off 2017 the Right Way;" Read it Forward, Favorite Reads of January 2017

"An epic bildungsroman . . . . Original and complex . . . . A monumental assemblage of competing and complementary fictions, a novel that contains multitudes."
Tom Perrotta, The New York Times Book Review

"A stunningly ambitious novel, and a pleasure to read. . . . An incredibly moving, true journey."—NPR

Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel—a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself.

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
A New York Times Bestseller | A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
A Boston Globe Bestseller | A National Indiebound Bestseller
The Millions's "Most Anticipated;" Vulture's "Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017;" The Washington Post's Books to Read in 2017; Chicago Tribune's "Books We're Excited About in 2017;"
Town & Country's "5 Books to Start Off 2017 the Right Way;" Read it Forward, Favorite Reads of January 2017

"An epic bildungsroman . . . . Original and complex . . . . A monumental assemblage of competing and complementary fictions, a novel that contains multitudes."
Tom Perrotta, The New York Times Book Review

"A stunningly ambitious novel, and a pleasure to read. . . . An incredibly moving, true journey."—NPR

Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel—a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself.

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. He has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix Médicis Étranger, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Premio Napoli. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

    "Auster has an enormous talent for creating worlds that are both fantastic and believable. . . . His novels are uniformly difficult to put down, a testament to his storytelling gifts."—Timothy Peters, San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 26, 2016
    Almost everything about Auster’s new novel is big. The sentences are long and sinuous; the paragraphs are huge, often running more than a page; and the book comes in at nearly 900 pages. In its telling, however, the book is far from epic, though it is satisfyingly rich in detail. It’s a bildungsroman spanning protagonist Archie Ferguson’s birth in 1947 to a consequential U.S. presidential election in 1974. Some warm opening pages are dedicated to the romance of the parents of Ferguson (as the third-person narrator refers to him throughout), Rose and Stanley. In its depiction of the everyday life of its hero, the book also gives a full history of America during this period through the eyes of Ferguson who, not coincidentally, is roughly the same age as Auster. He roots for the nascent Kennedy administration, sees Martin Luther King’s peaceful resistance, and recognizes both the greatness and the iniquity in L.B.J.’s actions as president. These national events are juxtaposed against Ferguson’s coming-of-age: he goes to summer camp, has a sad first love with a girl named Anne-Marie, and gets an education via his beloved aunt Mildred. One of the many pleasures of the book is Ferguson’s vibrant recounting of his reading experiences, such as Emma Goldman’s Living My Life, Voltaire’s Candide, and Theodore White’s The Making of the President, 1960. Auster adds a significant and immersive entry to a genre that stretches back centuries and includes Augie March and Tristram Shandy.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 15, 2016
    Four versions of an ordinary life. Auster's first novel in seven years is nothing if not ambitious: a four-part invention, more than 800 pages, that follows the life (or lives) of Archie Ferguson, despite his name a child of Jewish Newark, born in the 1940s. If such a territory seems well-traveled (Philip Roth, anyone?), Auster, as he often does, has something more complex in mind. Indeed, his subject in these pages is identity: not how it gets fixed but rather all the ways it can unfurl. To that end, he develops the book as four distinct narratives, each imagining a different life for Archie depending on the circumstances faced by himself and his family. It's an ingenious move, and when it works, which is often, it gives a sense of breadth and scope, of unpredictability, to the novel as a whole. This is underscored by Auster's decision to keep the rest of the book naturalistic, taking place in an identifiable world. Thus, once young Ferguson discovers baseball, he watches Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, Giants versus Indians, in which Willie Mays made his legendary catch. Later, he will end up in Europe as an aesthete, or as a student transferring to Brooklyn College, or in Rochester, New York, as a journalist reporting on the aftermath of the 1960s and the bombing of Cambodia. The history helps to keep us rooted, both because it's recognizable and also because it remains consistent across the novel's narratives, its variations on this single life. So, too, Auster's sense of possibility, his understanding that what all his Fergusons have in common, with us and with one another, is a kind of quiet intensity, a striving to discover who they are. "It could never end," he writes about one incarnation of the character. "The sun was stuck in the sky, a page had gone missing from the book, and it would always be summer as long as they didn't breathe too hard or ask for too much, always the summer when they were nineteen and were finally, finally almost, finally perhaps almost on the brink of saying good-bye to the moment when everything was still in front of them." With this novel, Auster reminds us that not just life, but also narrative is always conditional, that it only appears inevitable after the fact.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2016
    Like life itself, fiction is full of endless possibilities, something the multi-award-winning Auster exploits to the fullest in his new work. It seems an ordinary event when Archibald Isaac Ferguson is born in Newark, NJ, on March 3, 1947. But then his life splinters off into four different yet parallel paths, with each path offering widely swinging variations on the family's fortunes and young Archibald's particular skills (Is he an athlete? An intellectual?), even as Amy Schneiderman proves the shining love of his life--but in different ways.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Henry Holt and Co.
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A Novel
Paul Auster
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