I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
Told throught the eyes of Archie Ferguson 4321 is really a picture of 60's America with all its dirty laundry on show! Racism, Vietnam war, Tricky Dick, anti war demonstrations, student unrest/riots, the summer of love, free love, the beautiful pill, Martin Luther King, JFK, KKK, Manson, one small step for man, rampant consumerism, Bay of pigs, Woodstork, Oswald, Ruby, Khrushchev, Che Guevara, Castro, marijuana, lsd, helter skelter...the list is endless
The novel poses the question...what if we could live our lives over again, would we make the same decisions? the same mistakes? would we choose the same or a different path? This is cleverly achieved as the author introduces not one Archie Ferguson but 3 and we follow their separate lives as individually they make different decisions with different outcomes.
The book is enjoyable, Paul Auster is an accomplished, and clever wordsmith but at over 1000 pages (paperback) it is in need of some critical word management/editing. At times brilliant, at times challenging, at times confusing the story moves forwards and backwards at a franatic pace and needs some serious reading time devoted solely for the purpose of completion.