A Walking Spell: Litkicks Mystery Spot #6

These city blocks may not appear exceptional to you, but they had a very specific and urgent meaning to a character in a famous modern novel. This character walked these streets every day, secretly observed by another character. Gradually, the meaning of these walks crystallized. Where are these streets, and what is the name of the novel?

As always, a few clues to the mystery:


1. For the first time in the Litkicks Mystery Spot series, this is a work by a living author. It’s a very popular book, though more of a cult favorite than a bestseller. I’ve often cited it as one of my favorite current books.

2. The novel is a “genre-bender”, mixing the conventions of noir/crime fiction with a shattering, bleak literary plot.

3. One of the two characters mentioned above is clearly insane. The other character probably is too.

Please post your answer to the question by posting a comment. As always, I will not publish any comments until I reveal the correct answer tomorrow, so as to avoid giving away the answer.

UPDATE: once again, many of you answered correctly, and a full answer/explanation has been posted here.

12 Responses

  1. Hm. THE NEW YORK TRILOGY, by
    Hm. THE NEW YORK TRILOGY, by Paul Auster — in particular, “City of Glass.” [?]

  2. Definitely the Upper West
    Definitely the Upper West Side of New York…so City of Glass.

  3. I’m taking a stab in the dark
    I’m taking a stab in the dark but is it The tracing of “babel” from City of Glass by Auster?

  4. The streets are on the upper
    The streets are on the upper west side, walked by the character of Peter Stillman, Sr.–who is being followed by Daniel Quinn– in Paul Auster’s City of Glass. Traced on a map, his path spells out the word… unfortunately I can’t remember the word.

    The graphic novel adaptation is great too.

  5. Good answers so far — please
    Good answers so far — please keep them coming! Will post all responses and the answer tomorrow (Tuesday) night …

  6. The novel’s Auster’s _City of
    The novel’s Auster’s _City of Glass_ – right? of the New York trilogy. You’re referring to Stillman’s walks in the area bound on one side by the Hudson River and on the other by Amsterdam Avenue, as tracked by Daniel Quinn.

  7. It’s Riverside Park in New
    It’s Riverside Park in New York City. The book is ‘City of Glass’ by Paul Auster.

    But I cheated. I’ve never read this book or another by Auster. I deduced the answer from ‘Riverside Park,’ ‘noir,’ and ‘novel.’ The only thing I recognized was the park because I used to live right next to it on 105th Street!

    But now I really want to read that book! It sounds brilliant.

  8. I believe you’re talking
    I believe you’re talking about Paul Auster’s wonderful, “City of Glass.” Which means the streets would be on the Upper West Side.

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