the ledge files
the ledge - nl - uk
The New York Trilogy
Paul Auster
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1985-1986 (published together in 1990)

refered to by:
The Dark Room of Damokles
Willem Frederik Hermans

Jorges Luis Borges

full text search:

the ledge - flash version*


These three novels, first published separately, mix elements of the standard detective fiction and postmodern fiction. City of Glass combines dark, Kafka-like humor with all the suspense of a Hitchcock film as a writer of detective stories becomes embroiled in a complex and puzzling series of events, beginning with a call from a stranger in the middle of the night asking for the author — Paul Auster — himself. Ghosts, the second volume of this interconnected trilogy, introduces Blue, a private detective hired to watch a man named Black, who, as he becomes intermeshed into a haunting and claustrophobic game of hide-and-seek, is lured into the very trap he has created. The final volume, The Locked Room, also begins with a mystery, told this time in the first-person narrative. The nameless hero journeys into the unknown as he attempts to reconstruct the past which he has experienced almost as a dream. Together these three fictions lead the reader on adventures that expand the mind as they entertain.

bookweb from:
Lezen&Cetera, Pieter Steinz

The New York Trilogy
1985-1986 (published together in 1990)
Three stories on the nature of identity. In the first a detective writer is drawn into a curious and baffling investigation, in the second a man is set up in an apartment to spy on someone, and the third concerns the disappearance of a man whose childhood friend is left as his literary executor.
The Music of Chance
Nashe comes into an inheritance and decides to pursue a life of freedom. He meets Pozzi, a gambler, who exerts a terrible fascination over him, and together they take a desperate gamble.
Oracle Night
Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, novelist Sidney Orr enters a Brooklyn stationery shop and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18th, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of this blank book, within a world of eerie premonitions.

The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850
The tale of a passionate woman in 17th-century Boston who challenges the system of moral authority and places belief in the higher law of her own heart.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain, 1884-1885
The story of Huck and his companion Jim, a runaway slave, as they travel down the Mississippi to escape from slavery and 'sivilization'.

The Castle
Franz Kafka, 1926P
'published posthumously'
The story of K., the unwanted Land Surveyor who is never admitted to the Castle nor accepted in the village, and yet cannot go home, seems to depict like a dream from the deepest recesses of consciousness, an inexplicable truth about the nature of existence.

The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett, 1930
The Maltese Falcon set the standard by which the private eye genre is judged.

The Big Sleep
Raymond Chandler, 1939
The Big Sleep was Raymond Chandler's first novel and features Philp Marlowe, the neat, cleanshaven and sober man who is everything the well-dressed detective should be.

The Outsider
Albert Camus, 1942
('cycle des absurdes')
An ordinary man is unwittingly caught up in a senseless murder in Algeria.

William Wilson
Edgar Allan Poe, 1839
'William Wilson' is Poe’s most sustained character study of the doppelganger, or double.

City of Glass
When a stranger calls on Daniel Quinn's phone asking to speak to Paul Auster (supposedly a detective), Quinn claims to be Auster and soon is drawn into a case involving a man who fears his father is trying to kill him. ('Part I' of 'The New York Trilogy', 1985)

Samuel Beckett, 1947 (published in 1951)
Part I of a trilogy of novels. Written in the first person, Molloy consists of two monologues - that of Molloy on his odyssey towards his mother, lost in town and country and finally emerging from the forest; and that of Moran, a private detective who is sent to find him.

The Erasers
Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1953
A detective must solve a murder that hasn't yet been committed.

[Het huis M]
Atte Jongstra, 1993
The inspector himself is the suspect in these 'memoires of a speaker.'

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886
In seeking to discover his inner self, the brilliant Dr Jekyll discovers a monster.

The Dark Room of Damokles
Willem Frederik Hermans, 1958
"WWII novels"
Nihilistic novel about a weakling drawn into the Resistance by his (stronger) doppelgänger - or was it just his imagination?

The White Castle
Orhan Pamuk, 1985
A young Italian scholar is captured by pirates. Put up for auction at the Istanbul slave market, he is bought by a Turkish servant, eager to learn about scientific and intellectual advances in the West.

The Secret Sharer
Joseph Conrad, 1910
A captain saves a young stowaway and hides him in his cabin.

Mahomed's Double
Jorges Luis Borges, 1936
Short story by the 'master of mirrors.' See also Borges and I.

Borges and I
Jorges Luis Borges, 1946
Short story by the 'master of mirrors.' See also Mahomed's Double.

Snow Falling on Cedars
David Guterson, 1994
In 1954, Ishmael Chambers, a local reporter who lost an arm in the war, covers the murder trial of a Japanese-American fisherman, whose wife had been Ishmael's boyhood sweetheart.

The Cave
Tim Krabbé, 2001
Can a single encounter with evil poison an entire life?

The Fall
Marga Minco, 1983
The fatal fall of a Jewish woman is contrasted with the falling accident that saved her from deportation 40 years earlier.

Moon Palace

Mr. Vertigo

The Book of Illusions

Auster filters the 'homeless experience' through the relentlessly unsentimental eye of a dog.
make a note


Code (above)

The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht,
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Design: Maurits de Bruijn

Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.