The Music of Chance


By Paul Auster

cover image of The Music of Chance

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An “exceptional” (Los Angeles Times) novel of fate, loyalty, responsibility, and the real meaning of freedom with “all the suspense and pace of a bestselling thriller” (The New York Times), from renowned author Paul Auster

“A rich, dazzling performance . . . a tour de force about freedom and imprisonment, motion and stasis, order and randomness . . . its story beautifully paced and shaped, its tone powerfully ominous.”—The Wall Street Journal
In a Pennsylvania meadow, a young fireman and an angry gambler are forced to build a wall of fifteenth-century stone. For Jim Nashe, it all started when he came into a small inheritance and left Boston in pursuit of “a life of freedom.” Careening back and forth across the United States, waiting for the money to run out, Nashe meets Jack Pozzi, a young man with a temper and a plan. With Nashe’s last funds, they enter a poker game against two rich eccentrics. But when their plans backfire, Jim and Jack are indentured by their elusive marks, who order them to erect a meaningless wall with bricks gathered from ruins of an Irish castle. Time passes, their debts mount, and anger builds as the two struggle to dig themselves out of their Kafkaesque serfdom.
In Paul Auster’s world of fiendish bargains and punitive whims, where chance is a shifting and powerful force, there is nonetheless redemption in Nashe’s resolute quest for justice and his capacity for love.
The Music of Chance