Cover image for City of glass
City of glass
Karasik, Paul.
Personal Author:
First Picador edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Picador, [2004]

Physical Description:
129 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 21 cm
A graphic, crime noir novel on a New York detective-cum-novelist who answers a wrong number. A double- barreled investigation, one from the perspective of the detective, the other from that of the novelist. Adapted from Paul Auster's City of Glass by the creators of Maus.
General Note:
A graphic mystery.
Format :


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A graphic novel classic with a new introduction by Art Spiegelman

Quinn writes mysteries. The Washington Post has described him as a "post-existentialist private eye." An unknown voice on the telephone is now begging for his help, drawing him into a world and a mystery far stranger than any he ever created in print.

Adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, with graphics by David Mazzucchelli, Paul Auster's groundbreaking, Edgar Award-nominated masterwork has been astonishingly transformed into a new visual language.

"[This graphic novel] is, surprisingly, not just a worthy supplement to the novel, but a work of art that fully justifies its existence on its own terms."-- The Guardian

Author Notes

Paul Auster was born on February 3, 1947, in Newark, New Jersey. He received a B.A. and a M.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. In addition to his career as a writer, Auster has been a census taker, tutor, merchant seaman, little-league baseball coach, and a telephone operator. He started his writing career as a translator. He soon gained popularity for the detective novels that make up his New York Trilogy. His other works include The Invention of Solitude; Leviathan; Moon Palace; Facing the Music; In the Country of Last Things; The Music of Chance; Mr. Vertigo; and The Brooklyn Follies. His latest novels are entitled, Invisible and Sunset Park. In addition to his novels, Auster has written screenplays and directed several films. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a French Prix Medicis for Foreign Literature.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. ``An impressive if not major work,'' PW concluded. (March) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is a masterly adaptation by Karasik and Mazzucchelli (nominated for both Eisner and Harvey Awards upon its original 1994 release) of Auster's 1985 novel of the same title. After the death of his wife and son, poet and playwright Daniel Quinn lives a life of quiet desolation. When a mysterious voice repeatedly calls him asking for Paul Auster, private eye, Quinn takes on the persona of Auster and becomes involved in the case of a man who as a child was shut in a dark room for nine years. Auster's novel of ideas isn't exactly tailor-made for a graphic representation. But Karasik and Mazzucchelli bring ingenuity and a deep understanding of the possibilities of the comics medium to the challenge. A new introduction by Art Spiegelman outlines the genesis of the project. Mature themes and a bit of nudity make this for adult collections, for which it's strongly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Auster's novella, originally published as part of the groundbreaking "Neo-Lit" series (Sun & Moon, 1985; o.p.), holds up in this adaptation. Daniel Quinn, a reclusive poet turned mystery writer living in New York City, receives calls from an unknown and perplexing individual who mistakes him for the detective Paul Auster (not to be confused with Auster the writer, who also appears in the book). After giving in to curiosity, Quinn accepts the case as protector of Peter Stillman, a young man whose father tortured him with experiments of sensory deprivation to discover the original language of God. As Quinn delves into the case, he becomes caught within the pair's obsessions. Karasik and Mazzucchelli tone down some of the metafictional aspects of the novella, but they streamline and focus the story without sacrificing too much of Auster's intent. Mazzucchelli's simple, straightforward artwork is ultimately what makes this version really work, transforming a highly intellectual tale based mostly around language and the word into a world of surreal visual meditations. The use of heavy black lines against a white background is reminiscent of the noir movies that partially influenced the original; when the characters dive further and further into insanity, the images become increasingly abstract. Combined with the unusual story, this technique makes for a unique introduction to some complex ideas of postmodernism without getting in the way of the plot.-Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.