These 3 novellas each begin with the outward form of a classic noir detective novel. They soon descend into madness and obsession, and become almost a parody - but a parody of what, I can’t say.
Despite the great critical praise given to these stories, I found them a bit tedious. The detective story can be great literature, without resorting to deconstruction - think of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Georges Simenon for example. So when Auster plays his inversion games with the genre, it makes me think that he simply couldn’t achieve what others have achieved. It was disappointing.