What is a summary of Paul Auster's Music of Chance?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Paul Auster's Music of Chance is a novel told from the point of view of Jim Nashe. When we encounter Nashe, he has just inherited $200,000 from his father. He uses the money to take an extended road trip around the United States. As he returns to New York State, he takes pity on a gambler, Jack Pozzi, who has been beaten and abandoned by the roadside. He agrees to finance a poker game for Pozzi with the last of his inheritance. Pozzi and Nashe lose money in the game and end up indebted to Flower and Stone, two millionaires.

To pay off their gambling debts, Nashe and Pozzi agree to build a stone wall for Flower and Stone; they live in a compound surrounded by barbed wire and policed so they cannot escape. After they have finished paying off their debts with the labor, they throw a party to celebrate, putting them back in debt. Pozzi tries to escape, but is caught and beaten, and then taken off, presumably to a hospital but perhaps to be murdered. Nashe and the overseer Murks drive to a bar in the snow, and Nashe drives head on into a train, perhaps mesmerized by the headlights and perhaps as a deliberate act of suicide. 

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