Paul Auster is really good storyteller, and there a lot of stories in here. I was drawn into all the plots and imaginings, and liked the meta-fictional aspect of it all, and how all the threads connected back to the main plot. The main plot - writer recovering from an illness experiences vague marriage problems - was probably the least interesting plot of all until the end of the book. I don't mean it in a derogatory way - it also reflects how writers are able to create major fires from minor sparks.
I do take issue, though, with the protagonist and his "luminous" wife giving his penis a name. I always find this ridiculous. I guess it's part of the effort to create "believable" characters. Real men name their penises, so must Sidney Orr (the protagonist). Even with this charming quirk, I found the characters in this book - the non-meta characters anyway - a bit flat. And Sidney, for all his tribulations, conjured barely a glimmer of sympathy from me, even though he's hardly a bad or stupid or dorky guy. That was the weakness of this book for me, but it was much compensated for in the clever and involving plots.
4 stars, just barely. But I did go out and buyCity of Glass this afternoon, so rah rah.