Paul Auster Questions and Answers

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Can someone make a summary and list of themes of Paul Auster's "City of Glass" graphic novel?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I am happy to attempt a summary and the themes of City of Glass for you. Let us begin with the summary and conclude with the themes.

The story begins with Daniel Quinn accepting a strange detective assignment due to a wrong phone number. The person on the phone is trying to reach Paul Auster, a famous detective, but Daniel Quinn decides to take the case anyway. The goal? To keep close watch on the caller's father, who teaches language at a university and has done some strange experiments on children as a result. Throughout the story, Daniel loses track of his client, his own apartment, all of his things, and even who he really is. It is a story very different from many others because of its unusual use of plot and character. We soon learn about the extensive identity issues of the client, Peter. Peter refers to himself continually in the negative as Peter Nobody, Anything, or Not Here. Peter also has trouble identifying others. In fact, every time he meets Quinn, Peter doesn't recognize Quinn. Therefore, Quinn pretends to be a different person each time. Please note how the author even pretends to be the detective in the story.

In conclusion, I would say that the main theme is altered identity. This is so in the case of the detective, the author, the client, and many of his pseudonyms.

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