In a way the story about the parallel world and the war is just a metaphor for feelings of disorientation and grief. You realise that after that story is snuffed out as the author lies in the dark talking to his granddaughter this really is a book about loss and perhaps if anything it is slightly over complicated.
The start makes it feel like some author meets creation Vonnegut number and has a slight feel of De Lillo but then the second part, divided only in terms of my reading and not formally, is more of a personal tale of coming to terms with loss.
As the main character retells the story of his life and the love for his wife with all of his mistakes and the granddaughter tells of her grief for a love killed in Iraq the idea of what happens to those that are left behind is the big one Auster is grappling with.
Just as with Incredible Loud and extremely Close follows the story of someone pulling the loose ends of a tragedy in the death of a father in 9/11 together this is similar.
After the twin towers fell the sense of loss, anger, disorientation and grief can only be imagined. In the second half of this book Auster manages to get close but perhaps The Falling Man edges it.
A review will follow soon...