Two books ago, Paul Auster decided to ditch his ageing protagonists for a more youthful cast of characters. In that vein, he wrote the gripping Invisible, whose central character was a young, handsome Francophile not unlike the younger Auster.
Sunset Park followed a year later, and its haste shows in its execution. A diehard Auster fan will struggle not to be disappointed by its lack of depth, a failing which in this rare instance is not overriden by the tight, innovative plotting at which Auster usually excels.
Four 20-somethings squat, as the young will, in a townhouse in a shabby end of Brooklyn, and their unspooling stories reveal youthful anxieties over love, careers, finances, in a surprisingly flabby, unoriginal narrative tone.