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1. The Anthologist: A Novel
2. Mezzanine
3. The Fermata
4. Vintage Baker
5. Vox
6. A Box of Matches
7. Double Fold: Libraries and the
8. Room Temperature
9. The Size of Thoughts: Essays and
10. Checkpoint: A Novel
11. Susie Bright's Sexwise: America's
12. U and I: A True Story
13. Understanding Nicholson Baker
14. The Everlasting Story of Nory
15. Vandals in the Stacks?: A Response
16. The "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy
17. Size of Thoughts
18. Vox
19. U and I
20. Rolltreppe oder Die Herkunft der

1. The Anthologist: A Novel
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416572457
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Paul Chowder is trying to write the introduction to a new anthology of rhyming verse, but he’s having a hard time getting started. The result of his fitful struggles is The Anthologist, Nicholson Baker’s brilliantly funny and exquisite love story about poetry.

* * *

A New York Times Notable Book, 2009

Favorite Fiction of 2009–Los Angeles Times

Best Books of 2009–The Christian Science Monitor

Best of 2009–Slate.com

"A Year’s Reading" Favorites, 2009–The New Yorker

 Best Books of 2009–Seattle Times


... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

4-0 out of 5 stars Poetry Obsession
The plot of The Anthologist isminimal. Paul Chowder, a minor,some might say, failed, poet is working on an anthology of rhymed poetry and has a writer's block when it comes to completing the Introduction. He lives with a woman named Roz, and she is upset by his constant procrastination. So upset that she moves out, and that's pretty much what happens in the novel when it comes to plot. But Baker, via Chowder, tells us what we're in for instead of a lot of plotted action on the very first page:

Hello, this is Paul Chowder, and I'm going to try to tell you everything I know. Well, Not everything I know, because a lot of what I know, you know. But everything I know about poetry. All my tips and tricks and woes and worries are going to come tumbling out before you.

You can't say you haven't been warned.

What follows is a long screed about "everything you ever wanted to know about poetry but were afraid to ask." Most especially, Chowder is consumed with the idea of correcting misleading and false notions of English poetic meter. (How's that for a racy subject?) He believes that iambic pentameter (a five beat line of unstressed and stressed syllables) is a misnomer, and that most English verse is based on a four beat line. He repeats this insight again and again, with lots of supporting examples throughout the book.If you love poetry, you will love this book unconditionally.If you don't love it, you will probably wonder what it'sall about.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of the Audio Version
I thought this was a wonderful book. I didn't think the narrator was particularly likable, but the essence of what it is like to be totally caught up in your own world and in contemplating your own navel is very well articulated. I had a 6-month stint when I was basically on my own and without distractions and had nothing to do but live inside my head. This book captured that time to a T.

What I'd really like to focus on in my recommendation is the narrated version. The author reads the audio version and this book absolutely should be experienced aurally. To hear the cadence and intonation as the author intended is very important to appreciating it. So much of the book is about words and the way they play together and if you can hear them just as the author intends, it is marvelously lyrical. I'm not someone who devotes any time to poetry, but this book brings poetry alive in a way I've never appreciated before.

2-0 out of 5 stars Love his earlier works, this one not as much
I'm a big Baker fan and have loved most of his earlier work.There are some great moments of writing in this novel, but overall I found the main character a bit too pedantic and at the same time too pathetic to be someone I could root for.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fictional yet realistic portrayal of "writer's block" without ever using the term
Paul Chowder is a poet who has compiled a new anthology of verse called "Only Rhyme."Now that he's gone through the tedium of choosing only the very best and most applicable poems to his premise, he must finish the job by writing the book's introduction.Except that he doesn't.He mostly ruminates to us about the history of poetry and poetic form.He rails against the popular use of iambic pentameter.And he finds other tasks that need to be done instead.Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend and the consternation of his editor.

That might sound to some as being the thinnest of threads for a plot, but I assure you that it works.Any poet or writer who reads this book will find plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.We've walked the same path that Paul has walked; and from this distance, we can find humor (and ourselves) in it."The Anthologist" might be fiction, but it reads like a memoir that's both funny and true.And Paul's insights about the REAL number of beats in a line present some food for thought.Bravo, Mr. Baker.

This is my first encounter with Nicholson Baker's work, and it won't be my last.After reading his pregnant prose, I feel as though I should go back and re-read "Trout Fishing in America" by Richard Brautigan or even "In His Own Write" by John Lennon.And maybe I'll do just that.But not before I read a few more of Baker's novels.He is truly a wordsmith who captures a reader's attention.At the very least, he's now attracted mine.

Oh, and anyone who feels that he/she needs a refresher course on poetry while reading "The Anthologist" would do well to pick up "The Ode Less Traveled: Unlocking the Poet Within" by Stephen Fry.It's too bad that Paul Chowder is a fictitious character.It would have been interesting to have been able to lock him in a room with Stephen Fry and Paul Muldoon.A cage match for poets?What fun!

5-0 out of 5 stars the anthologidt
This book is for everyone who has ever scanned a poem.The central theme of the novelis the fascination, love, and respect for poesy, the craft of making poetry, of Nicholson's protagonist, a published minor poet, Paul Chowder, Events fall into place about this theme. We are given Chowders, and I'm sure Nicholsons, thoughtful examination of the poets tools, meter and the out of fashion, rhyme and comments and evaluations of poets, pat and present. The novel stimulates thinking about poetry in a way that no textbook could. ... Read more

2. Mezzanine
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 142 Pages (2010-07-13)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$7.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080214490X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

In his startling, witty, and inexhaustibly inventive first novel—first published in 1986 and now reissued as a Grove Press paperback—the author of Vox and The Fermata uses a one-story escalator ride as the occasion for a dazzling reappraisal of everyday objects and rituals. From the humble milk carton to the act of tying one’s shoes, The Mezzanine at once defamiliarizes the familiar world and endows it with loopy and euphoric poetry. Nicholson Baker’s accounts of the ordinary become extraordinary through his sharp storytelling and his unconventional, conversational style. At first glance, The Mezzanine appears to be a book about nothing. In reality, it is a brilliant celebration of things, simultaneously demonstrating the value of reflection and the importance of everyday human human experiences.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

4-0 out of 5 stars A bravura performance for the first half of the ride . . .
. . . but after that it becomes bumpy and herky-jerky and threatens to stall out altogether, so that I was glad when I finally made it to the mezzanine and the end of the book.

THE MEZZANINE has no plot.Instead, the first person narrator, Howie, notices and meditates on all sorts of commonplace minutia of the life of an office-worker, circa 1985.His account is centered around an escalator ride in the lobby of an office building up to the mezzanine, where he works for a large company.This particular escalator ride took place as Howie returned to the office from his lunch break, during which, among other things, he bought new shoelaces to replace the pair whose second lace broke during the morning (the first lace having broken only two days earlier, the coincidence triggering all sorts of detailed and convoluted theories about shoelace wear and tear).

Howie is something of a doofus.Even as an adult, he occasionally entertains himself by trying to retie his shoes "without seeming rushed" as he rides up an escalator; he regularly brushes his tongue as well as his teeth; while standing at the urinal in a men's room, he often is so cowed by others standing next to him that he can't release his stream; and he is addicted to earplugs, wearing them most of the day and night, even when sleeping with his girlfriend.

Many of his observations and ruminations involve changes in the "technology" and design of everyday objects and apparatus - for example, straws (paper vs. plastic), interior lighting (incandescent vs. fluorescent), paper towel dispensers vs. hot-air blowers, door knobs, and vending machines.His other principal subjects are minor social conventions (such as the "two ideal ways to wind up a light conversation with a co-worker") and the microscopic deconstruction of everyday actions (such as tying shoelaces).

In truth, THE MEZZANINE is much more interesting than the above probably makes it sound.Also it frequently is funny, at times quite funny.Nicholson Baker is uncommonly percipient, he has a very fertile and creative mind, and he writes well.And there are footnotes!Lots of footnotes, some quite lengthy, including one extended footnote on footnotes.(Baker once said in an interview that THE MEZZANINE "was an attempt to stop time by expanding the length of the paragraph by using the footnote as a kind of fermata.")

This is the fourth of Baker's books that I have read, but it was his first published novel.For perhaps the first half of the book, I was entranced.It was a bravura performance, and I was gravitating towards the opinion that Baker's first published work surely had to be (like the first album of some singer/songwriters) his very best.But my enthusiasm did not last for the entire escalator ride.The conceit begins to wear; Baker begins to indulge himself in showing off; he occasionally becomes catty and irksome; and he also has his overly gross moments (for example, imaginary urination in the faces of men standing near him at men's room urinals and real-life boyhood urination into sanitary napkins swiped from his mother's closet).The novel is novel and accomplished (especially for a first novel), but it also is moderately flawed.

4-0 out of 5 stars details
If your into details of your surroundings and things that happen around you, this book is for you. Laughing out loud, alot! Excellent.

1-0 out of 5 stars A torturous failure in experimental fiction
It's really painful for me to read the fawning praise by other Amazon reviewers lionizing this book for its originality.The entire work could serve as a cliché for artistic pretentiousness at its worst, an exercise in trivial and transparently post-modern intellectual narcissism.Often when you hear an artist's work described as `experimental', it's code for `original but not very good.'This book effectively epitomizes the notion of experimentalism gone awry.Since there is basically no story, we are left with the writing - unremarkable at best - and the ideas, which basically catalogue frivolous lines of thought in which the narrator marvels at the breaking of his shoelaces two days apart, the evolution from milk delivery to cartons, the pleasures of refilling a stapler, and other nonsense.In effect, the author thought it would be clever to hit the reader over the head for 150 pages with life's absurdity.How could this be entertaining?I wondered too and made the mistake of finding out.

I read another reviewer, doubtless agitated by some reference to the book's vapidity, declare that people focus too much on the big questions, when it is really the minutiae that make the difference in our quality of life.I disagree.The reason people differentiate between minutiae and the important is precisely because one is far more relevant to our existence than the other.Maybe there is some nihilistic wisdom in cultivating a jubilant reaction to menial tasks and minor feats of engineering, giving exaggerated meaning and joy to people whose lives are otherwise ordinary and mediocre in every facet, but it's boring as hell to read about.

4-0 out of 5 stars Seinfeld on Crack
Imagine describing 3 minutes of minutaie for an entire book. That's Mezzanine. One of my favorites though. A real brain screw.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unreadable
I enjoyed baker's previous books, VOX and Fermata, but found this book to be completely unreadable and boring. ... Read more

3. The Fermata
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 303 Pages (1995-01-24)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679759336
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Having turned phone sex into the subject of an astonishing national bestseller in Vox, Baker now outdoes himself with an outrageously arousing, acrobatically stylish "X-rated sci-fi fantasy that leaves Vox seeming more like mere fiber-optic foreplay" (Seattle Times). "Sparkling."--San Francisco Chronicle.Amazon.com Review
The Fermata is the most risky of Nicholson Baker'semotional histories. His narrator, Arno Strine, is a 35-year-oldoffice temp who is writing his autobiography. "It's harder than Ithought!" he admits. His "Fold-powers" are easier; hecan stop the world and use it as his own pleasure ground. Arno usesthis gift not for evil or material gain (he would feel guilty aboutstealing), though he does undress a good number of women andmomentarily place them in compromising positions--always, in his view,with respect and love. Anyone who can stop time and refer inself-delight to his "chronanisms" can't be all bad!LikeBaker's other books, The Fermata gains little fromsynopsis. The pleasure is literally in the text. What's memorable isless the sex and the sex toys (including the "Monasticon,"in the shape of a monk holding a vibrating manuscript) than Arno'swistful recollections of intimacy: the noise, for instance, of hisex-girlfriend's nail clipper, "which I listened to in bed as somelisten to real birdsong." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (61)

5-0 out of 5 stars An honest view of an intellectual man's sexual appetites
This is a book you will read more than once.Over the years, I have.Make sure when you lend it to your friends, you get it back!I recently ordered a new copy because mine has disappeared again, among my women friends who poo-poo the subject but are nontheless fascinated by the read.

How does a man who stops time use his great gift? In pursuit of his own personal happiness which is directly tied to his physical appreciation of women. In The Fermata, the protagonist, Arno, absolutely loves women -- it comes across in every lust-imbued word -- women of all body types, skin textures and ages.He falls in love regularly, as he keenly observes them and attempts to touch them in more than a physical way; he attempts to imprint their psyches anonymously with his admiration for them.The good reader will remove herself from judgment of Arno's decision-action tandem, suspend questions of self-determination by all the women from which Arno removes those questions, and enjoy immersing her own imagination in the thoughts of this considerate, intellectual man whose sexual appetites are permitted free reign (within his own strict morality of sorts) to manifest themselves.So many moments in the book are equally profoundly philosophical and hilariously profane, like when he tests out a small sex toy on himself to see how it would feel on a woman so that the result is just right.Arno wants this stranger to have a hidden and secret pleasure and goes to great ends to see it occur, while at the same time showing great concern for her comfort through his anonymity.

Love it!

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring! So Many Missed Opportunities to Have Made This a Great Novel!
The Fermata doesn't live up to its hype.Basically Arno Strine can pause time and get up to anything he wants as he's the only person who is awake in the paused world.The same as the Japanese character Hiro in the TV show Heroes, but Arno doesn't try to save the cheerleader, he just wants to look at what's underneath that cheerleading costume.Nothing wrong that, it's realistic. Any guy or woman would do exactly the same thing.Think back to your school days, when a good looking girl bent over and you got a glimpse of something for a few seconds you shouldn't be seeing you'd take a look, in fact you'd nudge you mates if they were beside you to enjoy a discreet look too.Women do exactly the same, if not more openly, they'll even yell out instructions to the "victim" when in groups, after especially a few drinks.Anyone who says they wouldn't take a curious look if given this superpower is lying.The thing is though you would get up to a lot of other stuff not involving naked women as well. Plus the problem is Arno goes beyond just taking a look or even a touch, he crosses the line into rape on occasion. Therefore he's not a likeable character.

Throw in the fact that Arno's a completely boring individual and narrator and you really get sick of following his exploits.Nothing else really happens in the plot, he doesn't give bullies or criminals their comeuppance, he doesn't have fun playing tricks on those who deserve it. For example maybe someone won't give up their seat to a pregnant woman on a train, he could place them on the wrong train so they would be late for work. He could have pulled the old fella out of the pants of a bully doing an important speech just before they step out from the podium, taken the food or something from say a biker's hand and put it in the hand of a bully walking behind, put the toilet seat up between women in a line using an office toilet, framed criminals with planted drugs or stolen money who had gotten away with serious crime due to witness or victim intimidation.Arno has a lot of opportunities he just never takes up except the odd (and there's some plot spoilers here so you may not want to read on) wrapping wire around muggers genitals so they castrate themselves trying to get him but these are very few and far between.There is the odd clever observation such as the discussion on textile x-ray glasses with a workmate at lunch explains you wouldn't actually see a woman/man nude as you would without clothes on but instead all squashed up due to how everything sits in the underwear.There is not much of this clever writing though.

Arno's morals as a character contradict themselves as well. He's upset when asking a security guard what he'd do with the same power and the simpleton simply just wants to rape women. Yet Arno did just that with a sex toy to a woman on a train early in the novel.Even outraged he does nothing with this anger, he could have when the guard was asleep put him naked in a maximum security prison shower for prisoners to discover or something so he would experience what the women would have then put the guard back in his bed so he'd think it was a nightmare and maybe change his attitude towards women.Like I said many missed opportunities for a great plot. Throw in the fact that this book has written on the cover that it is "the funniest book ever written" and there's no humorous dialogue or funny situations at all and you've got a pretty big disappointment.However this would be a good book for a book club or something as it certainly brings up many things to talk about, ie what would you do with these powers?

4-0 out of 5 stars Good condition
The product was in good condition. It arrived within about 2 weeks. Nothing wrong with the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Wading through graphic sludge
Nicholson Baker immediately grabbed me with his "character can stop time" premise. Really immediate. Like Page One immediate. There aren't a lot of authors that can pull that off, so my hopes for "The Fermata" were high. My interest level remained high as he explored the premise in extreme detail. We all know what men would do with such a power, but how would things like light, sound, electricity, and photography be affected? Baker gives us these fun little details, but he quickly settles in to the book's real focus: hard core erotica. Because I hadn't read any reviews beforehand, it was not exactly what I was expecting.

The first half of the book is a mix of time-control curiosities and sexual titillation. The second half of the book abandons most of the science fiction element and keeps only the erotica. Main character Arno Strine fancies himself an amateur erotic author. Fine. This aspect of the book fills in character details and provides motivations. My objections come from (I'm not exaggerating here) _entire_chapters_ devoted to Arno's amateur porn. The book's premise becomes completely inverted...it's only purpose is to provide author Nicholson Baker with a respectable literary cloak for publishing porn.

The story line becomes so outlandish towards the end, the character dialogue and interactions so ridiculous, that I thought perhaps it would end by revealing that the narrator was simply delusional. If that's what the reader was meant to infer, Baker certainly made no effort to make it easy for them.

Baker's a good author in terms of style. He creates a very credible voice for his protagonist, but what he does with that voice was just too over the top for me. Given his talent and unique treatment of the whole time travel/control fantasy, this book could have been so much more. That's why it's ultimately so dissatisfying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Erotic delight
Hidden in this wonderful book are some of the best erotic scenes Ive ever read and I both read and write erotica. Great book. Great pacing and plot. ... Read more

4. Vintage Baker
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 208 Pages (2004-09-14)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$6.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400078601
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Nicholson Baker has established himself as one of our most brilliant observers of everyday experience. With his keen perception, flawless prose, and endless wit, he has composed both fiction and nonfiction that has become an essential part of our literature.

Vintage Baker contains generous selections from the novels Vox, The Fermata, The Mezzanine, and A Box of Matches; essays from The Size of Thoughts; and portions of the NBCC award winner Doublefold.

Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the great modern writers, presented in attractive, affordable paperback editions. ... Read more

5. Vox
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 176 Pages (1993-01-26)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679742115
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Baker has written a novel that remaps the territory of sex--solitary and telephonic, lyrical and profane, comfortable and dangerous. Written in the form of a phone conversation between two strangers, Vox is an erotic classic that places the author in the first rank of America's major writers. Reading tour. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wetter than Whitewater
If you've read the Starr Report, the voluminous document which recounts, along with his other alleged misdeeds, President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, then you probably have heard of "Vox."Mr. Starr summarily refers to it as "a novel about phone sex by Nicholson Baker that, according to Ms. Lewinsky, she gave the President in March 1997."(Clinton, treating Lewinsky as he would a visiting head of state, gave her a special edition of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass."In a thank you note to "Mr. P.," Lewinsky writes, "Whitman is so rich that one must read him like one tastes a fine wine or good cigar - take it in, roll it in your mouth, and savor it!")Flouting the subpoenas of two grand juries, Clinton failed to produce his copy of "Vox," although the Report cites it in a list of books in his private study.Could it be that the book was just so dear to him that he couldn't bear to part with it?Clinton was a Rhode's scholar, after all, and "Vox" is something of a classic (although, as a classic of the erotica subgenre, it has enticements and charms other than its literary merit).As for Ms. Lewinsky, she proves as lubricious yet literate in her choice of presents as she does in her assessment of Whitman."Lubricious yet literate" might aptly apply to "Vox," as well, but before conflating the giver and gift, read this novel, savor it, and enjoy its sex, guilt-free.

When a writer, particularly a male one, writes about sex, he runs at least two risks: 1) Should he write the scene ham-handedly he may remind his reader of a little boy grinding together the erogenous zones of his sister's Barbie dolls, or 2) should he write the scene perhaps too vividly he may turn the reader off with an impression of shady, prurient voyeurism.Mr. Baker adroitly avoids both pitfalls by strictly limiting the narrator's intrusion to the reportage of dialogue between two paying customers on a phone-sex hotline. ("`What are you wearing?' he asked.She said, `I'm wearing a white shirt with little stars, green and black stars, on it, and pants, and socks the color of the green stars, and a pair of black sneakers I got for nine dollars.'")Since we are prying with our ears and not our eyes, we learn no more about them (and what they are doing) than they consent to share with each other.That is not to say that they don't share quite a bit.They do, everything from their pet names for the opposite sex's anatomy (Jim calls breasts "frans.") and the random mental images that crop up when they come (such as, in Abby's case, the great seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) to their most vivid fantasies and experiences.While even a modern erotica urtext like Pauline Réage's "The Story of O" can be boring, "Vox" never is, probably because its protagonists are subtly yet strongly drawn, and the stories that they tell are quirkily playful, dramatically taut and deliciously sexy.Above all else, Jim and Abby are so inherently likable that I exalted in their good fortune and practically rooted them on towards orgasm:

"This is a miracle," he said.

"It's just a telephone conversation."

"It's a telephone conversation I want to have.I love the telephone."

If I were a love-doctor, I would recommend that you take a cue from Bill and Monica, read "Vox," and learn to love the telephone, too.


3-0 out of 5 stars Baker Borrows from Roth
Basically an experimental novel told entirely in dialogue, between a man and a woman speaking exclusively on the phone through a sex chat line service. A borrowed narrative concept from Philip Roth's "Deception," the book succeeds at what it's trying to accomplish (which is essentially to titillate the reader and give them the impression that they're on the other end of the party line, just listening in and imagining what is going on in the privacy of these two people's homes, one on the East Coast, the other on the West Coast). There are no physical descriptions of the characters or their surroundings, so all of that is supplied strictly from the dialogue, which isn't necessarily "the truth" as each or both of them could possibly be "unreliable narrators" -- even though the author doesn't tip his hand in either direction on that. I barrelled through it in a couple of hours, not leaving the book with anything new or learned, but still enjoying the sojourn into these people's evening conversation.

If you've already read this and liked it, I'd suggest picking up Roth's "Deception," which is similar in form and tone, but richer in character and circumstance.

4-0 out of 5 stars Phone Sex for the Literary Inclined
I read this title in a matter of hours, not only because of the simplistic writing technique, but because I could barely find it in myself to put it down. Written without chapter breaking points, the book is a novella-length dialogue between two lonely strangers who call a dating hotline. There are a few "he said" "she said" moments, but very few and far between, with everything gathered through their conversation alone. Though in the wrong hands this technique could drive away readers, Baker uses it to captivate and draw the reader into the conversation. To say that the text doesn't excite, in more ways than one, would be a disservice to the author as up to the very last page, when the two strangers reach a culmination in their dialogue and meander into the awkward downtime that follows, I wanted little more than to read the book over.

Keep in mind, however, that this book isn't for everyone: the dialogue-only technique can be strangling for some readers, and in no way should this be considered "light reading" for anyone younger than their teenage years. Of course, when teenagers do read this, I wouldn't be surprised if the urge to explore beyond the normal reaches of their room reaches a breaking crescendo.


4-0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Anonymous Indecency...
This is a naughty little book with a scalding reputation. Many know that Monica Lewinsky gave a copy of the salacious "Vox" to then President Bill Clinton. A very quick read reveals the implications behind such an offering. It's about as direct and unambiguous as a gift gets. In the nuclear political fallout, author Nicholson Baker catapulted into the mainstream. The hubbub around "Vox" arguably solidified his literary career.

Put as bluntly as possible, this book deals with the anonymous and faceless pleasures that many find in phone sex. Though new and ridiculously interactive technology has since surfaced that makes a mere conversation seem tame in comparison, "Vox" nonetheless maintains some of its shock value some sixteen years later. One reason is that the written word perfectly captures the purely syntactical eroticism of a dirty telephone conversation. No faces. No direct physical interaction between parties. All words and imagination to stimulation. Nothing else.

The conversation that ensues within remains nameless to the end. Plus, the paradoxical human condition tends to allow more intimacy in anonymous situations. People can shamelessly reveal themselves to those they will likely never meet. In "Vox," a west coast man and an east coast woman do just that. Their explicit and intimate conversation belies the stark impersonal nature of their medium of choice: "2VOX," a phone bank advertised in adult magazines. They filter out the overstimulated rabble and enter a "private" phone line. They never address the concern that someone may be listening in. In any case, the reader, in full voyeur mode, does listen in to every word and guttural noise. Some might feel guilty after finishing this book, complete with its literary and, um, "other" forms of climax.

"Vox" remains a fun, if somewhat superficial, read. Baker's penchant for capturing conversation shines at full prominence here. The stories and fantasies shared range from the hilarious to the outright pornographic. The woman fantasizes about being stuck in a hole in the wall surrounded by strapping painters. Of course they paint. The man tells his tale about convincing Emily, a woman with seductively long arms, to his apartment to watch a dubbed European "blue movie." They ask each other what they're doing, how they're dressed, about their deepest secrets, and most significant conquests. The woman once used olive oil and a shower head in creative ways. She shares this ditty with the man, who brings the entire conversation to a satisfying conclusion by utilizing his "Mmmm-Detector." The question arises whether they will talk again, and the book ends with Baker's signature "unresolved resolution."

Evaluating this book remains problematic. Of course it's a titillating page-turner. It's dang fun. But does it rise above literary smut? At the very least, it represents highly creative, intriguing, well-written and engaging smut. At best, it explores the vastness of human sexuality interfacing with anonymous technology. Though the characters seem to reveal their deepest secrets, they remain strangely unknown in the conduits oftelecommunications. That they nonetheless manage to have a meaningful and satisfying encounter despite distance and intangibility, remains one of the book's most poignant tensions. Some may be put off by the explicitness of certain passages. Many would doubtless give "Vox" an "X" rating. But many will find the exploration a liberating and enticing read, regardless of how one rates its literary qualities. Baker further explored these themes in a later book, the even dirtier "Fermata." Though a little tamer, "Vox," given the political controversy that surrounded it and subsequent attention it received, will stand as Baker's breakout novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars a complicated mind
This is a quick little read-just over 40,000 words-about a man and a woman having phone sex. I've always borne the prejudice that nothing could be less interesting than phone sex, particularly somebody else's phone sex. And yet, here we have two people who stray from the topic at hand (so to speak)and from behind the cloak of anonymity, let fly some marvelously revealing fragments of everyday life.
Baker has the man say at one point 'an orgasm in a complicated mind is always more interesting than one in a simple mind'. Aside from the acknowledgment that orgasms happen in the mind, this is a wonderful moment. It's one of the many points in this little book when two people take quiet note of each other's humanity. Read this alongside Philip Roth's Deception-a book that's structurally identical and worlds away in spirit.

Lynn Hoffman, author of the novel bang BANG ... Read more

6. A Box of Matches
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 192 Pages (2004-03-09)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375706038
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Emmett has a wife and two children, a cat, and a duck, and he wants to know what life is about. Every day he gets up before dawn, makes a cup of coffee in the dark, lights a fire with one wooden match, and thinks.

What Emmett thinks about is the subject of this wise and closely observed novel, which covers vast distances while moving no further than Emmett’s hearth and home. Nicholson Baker’s extraordinary ability to describe and celebrate life in all its rich ordinariness has never been so beautifully achieved.Amazon.com Review
One man's simple, colloquial meditations on his past, his family, and his life's daily minutia are the substance of Nicholson Baker's A Box of Matches.Feeling that life is passing him by, Emmett, a middle-aged medical textbook editor, decides to wake up early each day to sit by a fire in his country house and record his thoughts in a diary."Good morning," Emmett begins, "it's January and its 4:17 a.m., and I'm going to sit here in the dark."From this vantage point, Emmett reflects stream-of-consciousness style on whatever occurs to him, no matter how mundane: his recent trip to Home Depot, how he met his wife, the habits of the family duck.Routines, such as how he makes his morning coffee in the dark or picks up his underwear with his toes, are described with childlike reverence and directness.All told, nothing much happens in A Box of Matches, which seems to be the point.Baker is more interested in the idea that for many, life is made up of such apparent trivialities, and that only by pausing to appreciate them can anyone gain any lasting satisfaction.Baker emphasizes this through the moments of understated wisdom and joy that Emmett derives from ordinary occurrences, such as the daylight through the window: "a simple light that goes everywhere but with no heat, aware that it is taken for granted and content to be so."This is the philosophical equivalent of a one-joke premise, however, and there are moments when Emmett's naiveté and laundry list-like narrative wear thin.Likely understanding this, Baker has wisely kept things short.A curious, often charming novel, A Box of Matches will inspire some readers, while inspiring frustration in others. --Ross Doll ... Read more

Customer Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars Book of Matches
This was a fabulous and funny book. The author is without a peer in his style and wit.3 cheers for this gem of a book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Everything was smooth and perfect! Condition is excellent, just like new, but about 99% off a regular price! Couldn't have asked for anything better! Shipping was very expedient and it only has a library lamination, and property sticker, but it keeps the book in better condition. I would recommend the seller to everyone!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but I wanted more
This is the first Baker novel I read, and I'm almost lost for a review.The book is an extremely fast read - I got through it in 2 days on my Kindle.The story draws you into Emmett's life, but I'm not so sure this is a good thing.Actually, the novel reminded me of my solo journey's through Europe where I drink wine, write down random thoughts in my journal, and then sum them up to my friends and family via email.They find them to be good reads and recommend I publish, but then enough say what the heck was that about?This is a unique read and recommended for that.

2-0 out of 5 stars Writing down everything you see and think...
Fictional story centered around Emmett, a 44-year old Father and medical textbook editor.He gets up before dawn each morning, lights a fire and shares his reflections on lighting the fire, making coffee and other trivial and mundane thoughts that are sprinkled with some deeper reflections on himself, his family and his life.

I was moved by a number of flashing-by passages relating to his children, his parents and his own ruminations on mortality:

"Last night I washed my son's hair, thinking what I always think: How many years will be left before I have no child young enough to wash his or her hair?Phoebe takes long showers now and of course washes her own hair.The loss is enough to make you lose your composure."

However, these passages were overwhelmed by a large number of thoughts such as this one:

"The mug of coffee rests on top of the ashcan, and it gets hot on the side that it near the fire.But it stays cool on the side that I sip from.This particular mug has a blue stripe around it and a small chip in the sipping area."

I found the story verbose and overwritten with detail (and maybe that was the point in getting us to appreciate the wonder of this world.Yet I found that I had to wade too hard and too long in the inconsequential and minutia to get to the too few nuggets of pure reflection. I found this novel challenging to finish and it wasn't for me.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hardly a page-turner, but read it for the sheer joy of reading
This is one of those books where nothing really happens, but that's not really a bad thing! It is the story of a man who get up every morning very early, while it's still dark, to light the fire with a box of matches.

The narrative takes us through the motions of each of these mornings, and the subsequent day, through his thoughts, and via a series of flashbacks, over some of the events of his life.

Will it keep you on the edge of your seat? No. Is it worth reading for sheer skill of the storytelling? I think so
... Read more

7. Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 384 Pages (2002-04-09)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375726217
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The ostensible purpose of a library is to preserve the printed word. But for fifty years our country’s libraries–including the Library of Congress–have been doing just the opposite, destroying hundreds of thousands of historic newspapers and replacing them with microfilm copies that are difficult to read, lack all the color and quality of the original paper and illustrations, and deteriorate with age.

With meticulous detective work and Baker’s well-known explanatory power, Double Fold reveals a secret history of microfilm lobbyists, former CIA agents, and warehouses where priceless archives are destroyed with a machine called a guillotine. Baker argues passionately for preservation, even cashing in his own retirement account to save one important archive–all twenty tons of it. Written the brilliant narrative style that Nicholson Baker fans have come to expect, Double Fold is a persuasive and often devastating book that may turn out to be The Jungle of the American library system. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but often unreasonable
Nicholson Baker's Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper is a fiery polemic dedicated to the task of protecting what he sees as one of our nation's most important resources: our libraries' massive stockpile of seldom-used older books and newspapers. As Baker explains, the extent of our paper reserves of old newspapers and rarely read old books is dwindling, often being chopped up and "preserved" (that is, their content, rather than their form, is preserved) in either microform or a digital format.

Baker's position is not a nuanced one; we need to save everything. To do this, libraries need to purchase warehouses, warehouses basically without end, so that not a Sun-Times or musty tome is thrown aside. The very first sentence in the summary on the back cover reads "The ostensible purpose of a library is to preserve the printed word" which shows Baker may have a basic confusion between the definition of a library and the definition of a repository, but never mind: the point is, Baker says, a library neglects its duties when it throws away disused materials.

Baker's writing style is eloquent and engaging; however, the entire book is dominated by a one-sided and hostile tone, along with his distinctly uncharitable characterization of his opponents.

I think the basic philosophical difficulty in Baker's position can be found in the chapter with the title "A Swifter Conflagration." Here, Baker fully reveals his philosophical position that all pieces of written media are valuable as individual objects. It is not merely enough that a rarely-used book's contents are preserved somewhere; merely disposing of a particular object is itself always a dereliction of duty.

Baker says:
"The truth is that all books are physical artifacts, without exception, just as all books are bowls of ideas [i.e. textual content]. They are things and utterances both. And libraries, [Baker's ally] believes, since they own, whether they like it or not, collections of physical artifacts, must aspire to the conditions of museums. All their books are treasures, in a sense..."

This is a rather overstated thesis. Some books and newspapers are valuable essentially for their own sake, rare books such as the Gutenberg Bibles, for example. However, it doesn't follow that every library must preserve every non-duplicate book or newspaper on its shelves, some of which, such as pulp novels, are almost certainly disposable once their shelf-life is over. What Baker calls for is for libraries to devote large portions of their physical holdings to items that, not virtually, but literally, do not circulate.

Clearly, there are some documents for which preserving the content, as opposed to the object, is enough. Sometimes a microform copy may be enough. But in any case, a non-print version of some kind will be enough for a large number of items, such as research and journal articles is certainly enough.

There are times in Double Fold when Baker seems to be using the sheer confidence of his vituperation to slip some questionable logic past the reader. At one point Baker complains that the Library of Congress threw out ten million dollars worth of public property. However, his criterion for this figure is replacement value. This is a somewhat meaningless, almost sneaky figure. A lot of otherwise worthless things might be rather pricey to replace. Being difficult to replace does not make something valuable in the first place.

This is not say there are not some worthwhile themes in Double Fold. Baker's complaints about microform are well taken, his call for a national repository even more so. While I may disagree that individual libraries are responsible for every physical document they've ever possessed, it would be nice for historians if they could expect to find them somewhere.

Baker also provides the reader with an entertaining and occasionally fascinating history of book "preservation," including the disastrous use of large, book-filled, black-goo spurting tanks of explosive gas, formerly owned by NASA. Another memorable anecdote involves the creation of paper from the wrappings of Egyptians mummies.

The fact that Baker's book is quite biased and sometimes infuriating should not dissuade an intelligent reader from giving it a shot; however, some practical knowledge of libraries and a questioning attitude are prescribed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Librarians or vandals?
Well, pretty clearly vandals. Let me give another example or two of how right Baker is. I've been doing some historical research on various topics in 19th and early 20th century New Hampshire and Vermont history. Newspapers of the time are full of relevant information. Alas, actual copies of the newspapers I need no longer exist. Specifically, the Hanover (NH) Gazette, Burlignton (VT) Free Press, etc. All have been destroyed and now exist only on microfilm, much of which is simply unreadable. It would be one thing if librarians had microfilm copies of newspapers produced AND kept the originals so that those of us who needed to consult the originals could do so. But they didn't. They tossed the originals and these no longer exist. If this isn't vandalism, I don't know what is.

3-0 out of 5 stars I See No Conspiracy
I don't doubt the author's word that there are isolated examples of libraries discarding old papers but I dont see any Orwellian conspiracy.
As a graduate student in Library Science and Information Studies, I would much rather manage e-books simply because paper is a big hassle.I also get tired of seeing trees cut down for untouched books.
Furthermore, managing information technology as opposed to baby sitting books has more appeal to employers and provides more cover for higher salaries.
Schools of Library Science/Information Studies can attract better students and more students to degree programs that provide skills as opposed to esoteric book studies.
However, there is no conspiracy against paper.To the contrary, the State University of Iowa offers graduate classes dealing purly with book studies.

5-0 out of 5 stars An eye opener for the realists
Would suggest this be listed in the Hall of Fame.

1-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and ridiculous
...to even think of blaming libraries.Maybe if high powered political figures on library boards across America didn't feel the need to make their served institutions "All Things to All People" and got back to core values, and if the American public could turn off American Idol and reality TV long enough to end the Reign of the Retard, there would be the support for libraries needed to house all the items ever published anywhere, and every Podunktown can have it's own Library of Congress.Guess you've truly made it when you've sold enough books you can bite a hand that feeds you, Mr. Baker.

However that does not detract from the quality of his writing, stellar as usual. ... Read more

8. Room Temperature
by Nicholson Baker
Kindle Edition: 128 Pages (2007-12-01)
list price: US$10.00
Asin: B003IGR1A0
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Nicholson Baker's first novel, The Mezzanine, turned a lunch hour into a postmodern Odyssey. In Room Temperature, Baker takes the reader even greater distances in the course of twenty minutes, although his narrator is obliged to be stationary, as he is giving his baby daughter her bottle. His reflections provide startling and deliciously apt takes on such things as peanut butter, the air nozzles in passenger jets, and the microscopic interactions of love.Amazon.com Review
Nicholson Baker writes in 360-degree Sensurround--hisdescriptions of the seemingly banal awakening the most jaded of sensesinto recognition, admiration, and amusement. In RoomTemperature, his self-deprecating, endlessly curious narrator isat home giving his baby girl a bottle and allowing his mind towander. Uppermost in his thoughts are his wife and daughter, but thereis also that obsession with commas and some concern with tiny tabooslike nose-picking and stealing change from his parents. Truth-tellingis the operative mode; at one point he tries to get his wife toexplain a doodle by quoting a review of early Yeats: "Always true isalways new." Room Temperature is a rare novel of domesticpleasure and stability, with a twist. "Was there ever a limit betweenus? Would disgust ever outweigh love?" Baker's alter ego asks, andseems determined to find out. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought it would be.
I do like this author's style, but despite finishing the book I felt it might have been handled differently, the subject matter. He does have keen insights into human nature, but not all of us can relate to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Breath
Room Temperature is certainly about a father and his child, but there is so much more.In typical Baker style, he examines minutia with elucidating commentary.This, in itself, is worth reading the novel; however, the quality that makes it transcend happens to be his ability to unite the entire book with its central theme: Breath.From the comma, to the mobile in his child's room, to tuba lessons, breath pervades - breath as its metaphor to remember to cherish every moment.

I have never seen a novel so effortlessly and imperceptibly weave a central idea throughout a book.Read this novel for both it compelling insight but also for the extraordinary literary technique.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sophomore Jinx
A major disappointment after The Mezzanine.Baker goes to the well once too often by trying to recreate that excellent book here. That first book seemed to avoid crossing over into pretentiousness by giving us aself-deprecating narrator and by simply pouring on the wit and intelligentobservations and forcing you to laugh.Here, pretentiousness andself-indulgence abound. The subject matter is just far too personal toconnect with the reader and, simply, it seems that Nick didn't try as hardthe second time around.If you enjoyed the pretentious and turgid essay"Lumber," then this might be for you, but if you were drawn tothis book after reading more engaging Baker fare such as U and I, TheMezzanine or Vox, stay away.

4-0 out of 5 stars praise for attention to details in "whatever" world
I have read all of Mr.Bakers books, and with the exception of "TheEverlasting Story..." (which indeed did seem to be everlasting) haveread them with delight.Although he's often compared to Updike, I think hesurpasses him due to his wit and his more creative sense of the strangenessof life.In "Room Temperature" we find the antidote, along withhis other novels, to a modern world obsessed with speed, impersonaltechnology and the summational catchphrase "whatever".Howwonderful it is to see an author bend his mind and spirit to the details oflife with so much talent and fervor.And how wonderful to see that hisbooks, plotless and demanding of full attention as they are, sell so well. It gives me hope for our civilization; it really does.On a sidenote - Iam tired of critics and readers thinking he is cheapening his prose bywriting on sexual topics.Sex is one of the most universal and fascinatingand character-revealing subjects around; a great writer can make anythingcerebral and holy, and a writer needs to go where his passions lie. Besides, do we really want every novel to be about rubber bands andbathroom hot air dryers?

5-0 out of 5 stars Tender, engrossing
Probably the most undeservedly overlooked of Nicholson Baker's novels, Room Temperature is a delightful, heartwarming tome.

Any attempt at synopsis would only serve to make the book sound dreadfully boring.After all, during the entire 116 pages the narrator is feeding his small child.No car chases or steamy love scenes.Just a father feeding his baby.

Rather than relying on typical, often stale plot devices, Baker relies on his considerable talent at description to maintain the reader's interest, and he succeeds in a big way.Room Temperature is touching in a way that none of his other books are.The father-child bond is explored in such breathtaking detail that one finds the book impossible to put down, despite the lack of a discernable plot.

Nicholson Baker is not for everyone.His quirky prose and lack of traditional plot lines are sure to put off many readers, but fans of Updike are sure to find a great read in Room Temperature ... Read more

9. The Size of Thoughts: Essays and Other Lumber
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 368 Pages (1997-02-25)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$4.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679776249
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The bestselling author of Vox and The Fermata devotes his hyperdriven curiosity and magnificently baroque prose to the fossils of punctuation and the lexicography of smut, delivering to readers a provocative and often hilarious celebration of the neglected aspects of our experience. 368 pp. 15,000 print.Amazon.com Review
Novelist and essayist Nicholson Baker has had a small but well-deserved cult following sincehis first book, The Mezzanine, and the publication of the literary sex-bomb Vox saw his popularity mushroom.Baker's great gift is a precision of observational detail that has a peculiarly incisive effect on a reader's consciousness.Here is over a decade's worth of his essays and articles, including the much-praised card catalogue article first published in the New Yorker.The Size of Thoughts, through its varied forays into the realms ofthe overlooked, the underfunded, and the wrongfully scrapped, is a funny andthought-provoking book by one of the most distinctive stylists and thinkers of our time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Lumber Room Is Filled With Insights
I am re-reading this collection and I am reminded of just how much Baker has to offer readers.The essay "Books as Furniture" is a masterpiece of whimsy, sociology, tangent hunting, and joy in observations that lead to adventures for the mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars IT'S NOT WHAT BUT HOW HE SAYS WHAT HE SAYS . . .
Based on reading just half this book I scrambled back to Amazon and ordered everything else he's written. (Then I went back and finished the rest of SIZE OF THOUGHTS; the brilliance never dimmed. Baker's amazing agility with words never stopped surprising and tickling.)

Those other books are coming in now, and I've skimmed three or four and they are no-less unique amazements. MEZZANINE, as an example, immortalizes some guy's thoughts on a 135-page escalator ride. All, an inner monologue of comments and perceptions that made me feel I'd slipped into an alternate universe that exceeds description by anyone by Baker. (Consider a format where there's as much copy in the footnotes as in the narration.)

Nicholson Baker can see and describe anything and make it readable, interesting and insightful. Wish I could write like that.

1-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Rubbish
I've read and enjoyed other works by Baker (The Fermata, Vox), but this collection of magazine articles is absolute rubbish.Random musings on arcane topics such as fingernail clippers, cinema projectors and model airplanes not only fail to entertain, they appear to have no redeeming value whatsoever.

Baker is without question a talented writer, but this collection aptly demonstrates that even the best author needs adequate subject matter with which to work.I'm stunned at just how bad this collection actually is.The first time I've ever awarded a one star rating.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lumber!
This is a brilliant book. It consists of several short essays on varied subjects; fingernail clippers, a review of a slang dictionary, and the demise of card catalogues to name a few, and one long essay on the history and usage of the word 'lumber'.

Nicholson is a master of finding the sublime in the mundane and his essays bring into focus the understated beauty of everyday objects. Eccentric and and at times almost comically over-erudite? Sure, but you'll find yourself nodding in silent recognition at his apt descriptions of the minutiae of daily life.

1-0 out of 5 stars Puny Thoughts
The world is full of whiners, and this guy is the king. As a pup, Nicholson Baker attended the School Without Walls where, "learning has no limit." Unfortunately for us, the only message he got resulted in his permanent low self-image.

If you purchase ANY of this poor misbegotten soul's books, you are doing nothing more than feeding the mouth of a permanent pessimist.

Nicholson, we're praying for you and your children. ... Read more

10. Checkpoint: A Novel
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 128 Pages (2005-04-12)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$5.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400079853
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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From Nicholson Baker, best-selling author of Vox and the most original writer of his generation, his most controversial novel yet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars How can he get it so RIGHT!
Nicolson Baker dissects the angst of the liberal during the Bush era with precision.It's painful and funny to remember the details of distress thoughtful people felt about Bush's attacks on civil liberties, the Constitution and the reputation of our country abroad.In this short dialogue, two men unpack the whole ugly box of civic terrors.This gem ought to be required reading for every libertarian in our country.

5-0 out of 5 stars Double Checkpoint
I loved it!It reads almost like a radio script - and just as fast.I finished it in 3 hours because I couldn't put it down.I'm now reading all the Baker I can find.

1-0 out of 5 stars This position is unmanned
When reading all the praise of Nicholson Baker's prose, on the dust jacket, and his ability to use the English language to create a satirical edge, I expected something more substantial. Apparently, this is case of reputation leading the book. There is nothing funny (except the Bush seeking Bullets), nor ironic in the text, and satire is checked in at another hotel. One cannot feel any emotional impact the ravings of Jay, as he plots to kill the bush baby in the White House. (Although, I suspect that if Shrub could read, the book just might make him catatonic.) This really is not a novel, but a one-act play.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Everything was smooth and perfect! Condition is excellent, just like new, but about 99% off a regular price! Couldn't have asked for anything better! Shipping was as expedient and it only has a library lamination, and property sticker, but it keeps the book in better condition. I would recommend the seller to everyone!

4-0 out of 5 stars An emotional outburst embedded in its time...
Probably the least controversial thing one can say about Nicholson Baker's "Checkpoint" is that it's controversial. Released at a time when the highly polarized American public was awaiting the charged 2004 election, the book's main character spews invective against the incumbent president, George W. Bush. Some four years later the public remains equally divided as yet another tense presidential election approaches. Some things never change. 2004 also saw the release of Micheal Moore's "Fahrenheit 911," a film which seemed to unify the left by showcasing President Bush and his administration at their absolute worst. Its phenomenal success prompted a catharsis of anti-Bush material. Doubtless Baker, or at least his publisher, saw an opportunity with "Checkpoint." In August, 2004 it appeared to near universal disdain (at least in the mainstream American press). Though the book isn't necessarily political, its timing, subject matter and tone probably made it difficult for many to read it otherwise. Its incendiary topic: the assassination of President Bush.

The cover of "Checkpoint" says "a novel," but it reads like a play. It could easily be performed as one (for the controversy hungry, at least). Every page contains nothing but dialogue and the occasional bracketed stage direction or sound (such as "[Click... click, click]"). Perhaps the cover should instead read "Checkpoint a dialogue." The text involves a tape recorded discussion between two main characters, Jay and Ben ("Room Service" has a few lines later on). Ben has rushed to the "Adele Hotel and Suites" in Washington, D.C. at Jay's behest. Jay soon says "I'm going to assassinate the president." Ben's initial reaction seems a bit far-fetched, but as the book continues the reader discovers that Ben has a history with Jay. Jay isn't well. He hasn't been well for a while, it seems. Plus, he's a little loopy. His assassin's weapons include a large boulder, remote controlled flying saws, and "special bullets" programmed by marinating them with a picture of the intended victim. Jay also reads blogs. From these he's collected information on what he sees as the crimes of the Bush administration. The Iraq war plays heavily here, in particular an episode at a checkpoint in which a mother witnesses her daughters killing by US forces. Jay works himself to a frenzy. Ben tries to dissuade him and threats begin (when Ben threatens to contact the authorities, Jay promises to carry out his act immediately; the story's crucible seems a little contrived, but it suffices). Ben tries to calm Jay with some of the usual palliatives: killing just leads to more killing, all presidents have been bad (he lists them since Truman; only Carter gets a "meant well"). He then has Jay pound on a picture of Bush with a hammer ("[Flump!]"). Whether this provides adequate therapy remains somewhat ambiguous. The book ends with a "[Click.]"

Following publication, a plethora of interpretations spewed from the press and public. Some excused it merely as a diatribe against President Bush a la "Fahrenheit 911." Others saw it as a critique of liberalism, likely building on the seeming "nothing-we-can-do" passivity of Ben in the face of Jay's violent outburst and Jay's iconoclastic views on abortion. A much smaller number questioned the legality of the book. Still others saw its "therapeutic" value in providing a warning to not destroy oneself by raging against the machine. The literary minded tended to dismiss the politics altogether and focus instead on the character's personalities and interactions. Baker himself insisted that the book is "not political," though he also said it was inspired by the events of the recent Iraq war. The book does read like an emotional outburst. It feels rushed and uneven in many places. But it also contains hilarious, disturbing, and moving passages; a few of which seem likeharbingers of Baker's 2008 non-fiction follow-up "Human Smoke." Ultimately, the question remains: will this book continue to inspire readers situated outside the political volcano it appeared in? It seems to have disappeared, swallowed up by the 2004 election results, though criticism of the Bush administration continues unabated. Nonetheless, the book contains enough intriguing elements that in a few year's time people may read it with a new perspective. In some ways the book was too close to the historical events that surrounded it. Time may provide enough distance to judge the book by other merits. Or perhaps it will remain a product of its fervent and frenzied time, when the United States saw a degree of polarization unseen since the Civil War. ... Read more

11. Susie Bright's Sexwise: America's Favorite X-Rated Intellectual Does Dan Quayle, Catharine MacKinnon, Stephen King, Camille Paglia, Nicholson Baker, Madonna, the Black Panthers, and the GOP
by Susie Bright
Paperback: 130 Pages (1995-04-21)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$1.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573440027
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The X-rated intellectual and author of Susie Bright's Sexual Reality takes on Dan Quayle, Madonna, and the GOP in a collection of previously published essays, interviews, and reviews that also includes new writing by the sexpert. Simultaneous. 25,000 first printing. IP. Amazon.com Review
Susie Bright celebrates the first amendment, lesbianism,single motherhood and fantasizes an eventful night with Dan Quayle inthis uninhibited and quirky collection of essays, articles and bookreviews written over the past few years. Offbeat and sexy, Brightdefends Madonna, attacks Dr. Ruth and is snubbed by Camille Pagliaherself in this rather amazing and outspoken collection. Bright is gayand proud of it and considers herself a serious and first-ratepornographer. She gets into endless trouble with right-wingers andkicks and screams her way out of it thoughout these pages.Witty,fearless and thought-provoking. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Info On This Title:
Since there are no Publisher's Comments or Editorial Reviews available here, I am including the following in hopes it may be of some help:

Susie Bright's Sexwise: America's Favorite X-Rated Intellectual Does Dan Quayle, Catharine MacKinnon, Stephen King, Camille Paglia, Nicholson Baker, Madonna, the Black Panthers and the GOP

Candid, campy, and sexy, Susie Bright's latest pop culture primer on sex raises more than an eyebrow as she looks at the state of sex in America. Along with essays, interviews, and reviews, Sexwise includes new writing that traces Bright's development as America's most daring (or darling?) sexpert.
Susie Bright is an American Treasure. Once again, her sharp wit and erotic imagination put a spin on modern culture unlike any other...
- Sallie Tisdale

4-0 out of 5 stars X-rated Intellectual, Indeed!
Ah, the delectable Susie Bright.This book, though several years old, is fabulous. In it, Ms. Bright cunningly explores several themes and individuals with wit and intelligence.Her description of a discussion she had with adult film (and I do mean film) director Andrew Blake on her dislike of his lack of realism in his films' lesbian scenes is right on.Another great tale is her fantasy involving Dan Quayle.Yes, that's right, J. Danforth himself is lucky enough to have been the subject of one of Ms. Bright's sexual fantasies, or, at least, she will have us think so.

As is true of all of her books, Sexwise by Susie Bright is not to be missed. ... Read more

12. U and I: A True Story
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 192 Pages (1992-02-04)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679735755
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Baker muses on the creative process via his obsession with John Updike.Amazon.com Review
Nicholson Baker is most famous for Vox, the phone-sex novel Monica Lewinsky gave President Clinton, but the vastly superior U and I contains Baker's own dirty little secret: an obsession with John Updike. Not since Salieri in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus has one man's genius so publicly tormented another. Baker's ambition is a naked thing shivering with sensitivity, like a snail bereft of its shell. Yet his book about himself thinking about Updike is as hilariously self-knowing as it is excruciatingly sincere. And Baker is not mad (not quite). He does have a few things in common with his idol: fiction precociously published in The New Yorker, psoriasis, insomnia, a keen eye for everyday minutiae, and a mischievously felicitous prose style. He is, however, funnier. Hunting for Updike at The Atlantic's 125th anniversary party, he gets brutally snubbed by Miss Manners--U and I is a fine comedy of literary manners--and cheers up when Tim O'Brien chats with him. But when O'Brien mentions that he golfs with Updike, Baker is hurt:

It didn't matter that I hadn't written a book that had won a National Book Award, hadn't written a book of any kind, and didn't know how to golf: still, I felt strongly that Updike should have asked me and not Tim O'Brien.

He justifies this reaction with a remarkably intricate series of associations between his life and Updike's, starting with the major impact a golf joke in an Updike essay once had on him. When Baker reads in the paper that his local cops offer to X-ray kids' candy for razors, he plausibly imagines the droll "Talk of the Town" piece Updike might have spun from the item, glumly noting that Updike's piece would have been better. He even teasingly confesses that U and I constitutes "a little trick-or-treating of my own on Updike's big white front porch." By the time he actually meets his hero (at Rochester's Xerox Auditorium!) in 1981, Baker has transformed him into a character in a Baker story. Quite a trick--and a treat.

In his elegy for Yeats, Auden wrote that a great poet's words are modified in the guts of the living, but Baker proves what really happens: at best we misremember and mangle, shamelessly remaking the master in our own image. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars this soliloquy is far better than the phone sex in Vox...
One of the most original - and honest - pieces of literature in the history of the planet, to date, at least.And by circumscribing the topice to something very specific - his obsession with what John Updike would be thinking of his thinking or doing in any and almost every regard - he may have been more successful than Verlaine in pulling of a truly honest, unmasked account of his thoughts.

Buy it.

Read it.

You'll love it.

Now: I have a sort of selfish reason for writing this review, but I stand altogether by the rather strong praise above: as one condition of writing the book, Baker eschewed any reference to Updike's writing during his undertaking.And that leaves him throughout trying to remember, without reference to a touchstone (say Updike's workds) what Updike had written about this or that.And at one point he tries to recount a poem that Updike wrote, admits that he doesn't know if he's got it right, just as I'll cop to the fact that I'm not sure I remember his recreation of Updike's poetry. I rather like my memory of Baker's verse, which makes me think that it does differ from the Updike original.Some years ago, I made the mistake of posting a request on "Yahoo Answers" for the actual line, and some banal nonanswer like "read all of Updike's poetry and you'd know" "won" the best answer.

Here's how I remember it, and a web search of the first line in quotes yields nothing.

The line is the horizon line,
the blue above, it is divine,
the blue below the line is green,
sometimes the blue is aquamarine.

Now, if a google search for the first line get's me nowhere, I'm guessing a reference to the first line's of Updike's poetry is a lost cause. And it seems that Baker has become a cause celebre'worthy of a book called something like "Understanding Nicholson Baker" (which I think he has a pretty good handle on himself) that he hasn't arranged to allow me to "Read Inside"! the book on Amazon to even pin down the Baker version.

Anyone?It's not life critical, but it is worse than a fourteen year itch.I must know if there even is a poem like this, especially given one review (Baker's by pseudomnymn? And why backpeddle from a masterpiece by calling it "semi-demented"?But maybe that Amazon review is from Updike, prior to his untimely death.

Regardles, give an old man some peace and answer this riddle, that sits sphynx-like, about two thirds back in my brain at all times, saying, WHEN WILL I KNOW?

thank you very very much!

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely not for everyone
That may be true for most books, but it's doubly true for this one.

This book appealed to me because the author and I share a common interest (though in the case of Baker, it's more like an obsession) in the form of Updike's writing.Even so, it must be said that I agree with the negative reviews;many of them are right on.This book is often frustating and exasperating, particularly in the way Baker focuses on himself, his insecurities, his worth as a writer, and the way he does and doesn't hold up next to Updike.Not to mention the fact that several times he seemed about to, yet never does, come up with an explanation for why Updike's writing is so memorable and his words and images so long-lasting in the mind of the reader.I found myself wanting to read Updike more and Baker less...probably not the intended result (and, for the record, if Baker's own reading list is accurate, I've read way, way more Updike than him...which I found strange and unexpected, considering).

Still...Baker's writing, about Updike's writing, is often dead-on.When he focuses on that topic, he more or less succeeds;he is insightful and intelligent, and there is something entertaining in the way he struggles, strains, and sweats to dissect an author whose own writing is so often effortless.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't read this because you like Updike
Because it is hardly about Updike at all.And if you read it because you like Baker, I'd wager there is a very good chance you will like him less afterwards.

Baker comes across as a smarmy, smirking, egotistical, overreaching, worrisome irritating twit.Maybe this is supposed to be funny; well, it isn't.He came up with a stupid idea for an essay, and despite its shortness, it is stretched out and completely empty.

I read this book because it came to hand, and I am interested in Updike.I finished it because it is so slight and quick a read, and I gave it numerous chances to turn around.Certainly I should have known enough to stop when he announces that writing novels is really the purview of women and homosexual men, and that he and Updike succeed only despite the fact that they are heterosexual males.Well, here's your opportunity to learn from my mistake: skip this thing.

This is a truly horrid, pointless little book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The consciousness involved in the reading of fiction
Nicholson Baker is reputed to be a miniaturist.In Baker's opinion Updike's obituary in THE NEW YORKER for Nabokov was a model of its kind.

In the opening pages a crisis arises when Baker reads an AP story in his local paper that Donald Barthelme has died.He strives to compose an obituary of Barthleme for THE NEW YORKER.Baker's obituary comes out eventually in the 'Notes and Comments' section of the magazine.Baker considers working himself up to a fanatical receptivity of Barthelme's work, but then thinks to himself that Barthelme would never know.The intellectual surface given to the dead writer's work changes in texture and chemistry.In the dead, autobiographical fidelity in the work becomes less important.Baker comes to feel that Updike is more important to him than Barthelme, particularly because Updike is still alive.Baker resolves to make a book about his obsession with Updike.

At first Baker seeks to write a commissioned article on Updike.He contacts THE ATLANTIC.Baker, 25 years younger than Updike, notes that older writers are wary of younger writers.THE ATLANTIC responds.An editor says the results could be good or creepy.

Nicholson Baker started reading Updike at Christmastime, 1976, when he was on leave from college.Like the rest of us, Baker's actual coverage of Updike's works is spotty.Both Baker and Updike have psoriasis.Baker offers up the facetious suggestion that book reviews, not books, are the engines of intellectual change.In wonderful fashion, Baker teases out the meaning of, and circumstances surrounding, an Updike observation made pursuant to reviewing Edmund Wilson's journals that a set piece on a sunset would clog, would break the momentum in the writing of a novel.Writing involves an unbelievable amount of memory.A prolific writer works to avoid reapeating himself.

In the end THE ATLANTIC runs an excerpt of the author's essay on Updike.Belittling the Franklin Library, the author states that Updike teaches even in his transgressions.The book is a marvellous piece of writing and encompasses many writerly concerns.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anxiety of Influence
Baker has a gift for writing very funny pieces about subjects that are usually dry and serious. Nominally about John Updike, U and I is mostly concerned with how young writers are influenced by the "tradition" of past writers. He's anxious, for instance, about "The Anxiety of Influence." Has Harold Bloom covered the same ground already?Baker doesn't know, because he hasn't read Bloom, and now refuses to do so, for fear that the book will "take me over, remove the urgency I feel about what I'm recording here." His vague ideas of Bloom's argument have come second hand. "Book reviews, not books, being the principal engines of change in the history of thought." That doesn't stop him wildly speculating about what Bloom would say, and then sheepishly confessing to some of the books that have directly influenced his own work in progress, such as Exly's A Fan's Notes and Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot.

John Updike, in an interview that appeared in Salon, praised the book himself. "It has done me a favor, that book, because it's a book like few others. It's an act of homage, isn't it? He's a good writer, and he brings to that book all of his curious precision, that strange Bakeresque precision." ... Read more

13. Understanding Nicholson Baker (Understanding Contemporary American Literature)
by Arthur M. Saltzman
Hardcover: 209 Pages (1999-04-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$36.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157003303X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars just as fascinating as reading one of Baker's own books. . .
What a great read.This book truly let's you into the psyche of Baker.Reads sort of like a bio in many ways.Definetly a must read for Baker fans. ... Read more

14. The Everlasting Story of Nory
by Nicholson Baker
 Paperback: 240 Pages (1999-03-30)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$3.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679763759
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Our supreme fabulist of the ordinary now turns his attention on a 9-year-old American girl and produces a novel as enchantingly idiosyncratic as any he has written. Nory Winslow wants to be a dentist or a designer of pop-up books. She likes telling stories and inventing dolls. She has nightmares about teeth, which may explain her career choice. She is going to school in England, where she is mocked for her accent and her friendship with an unpopular girl, and she has made it through the year without crying.

Nicholson Baker follows Nory as she interacts with her parents and peers, thinks about God and death-watch beetles, and dreams of cows with pointed teeth. In this precocious child he gives us a heroine as canny and as whimsical as Lewis Carroll's Alice and evokes childhood in all its luminous weirdness. Amazon.com Review
Sex and the adult cerebellum have tended to be Nicholson Baker's cherished subjects, and not necessarily in that order. In The Everlasting Story of Nory, however, he turns his literary microscopy in an entirely new direction, exploring the consciousness of a child. Nory, we are told, "was a nine-year-old girl from America with straight brown bangs and brown eyes. She was interested in dentistry or being a paper engineer when she grew up." This future dentist or paper engineer is also ensconced for a year in the English town of Threll, where her family is taking a sabbatical from life in Palo Alto.

Baker's novel is endearing, entertaining, and most of all, accurate. The author recognizes that an authentic nine-year-old is incapable of long, intricate narratives, so he divides Nory's story into short (and comically abrupt) chapters. He never credits Nory with precocious wisdom or insight. Instead, Baker concentrates onexactly how a nine-year-old mind works. There is, for instance, that wonderful literalism, which subjects a cliché to strict, heartbreaking scrutiny: "Nory suspected that the straw that broke the camel's back was an unsensible idea anyway, because first of all, stop and think of that poor camel. How could it happen? Doesn't he have something to say about the situation? Also, camels' backs are pretty strong things. If you've ridden on them, you know that they can support at least two people, if not three."

Nory slowly makes friends at school, where she's exposed to the usual level of childish cruelty. She fills us in on her family and plays with her kid brother, Frank (a.k.a. Littleguy). And for a large portion of the book she regales us with stories, which are short on narrative logic and long on amusing malapropisms. But this compulsive teller of tales worries about how to keep her material straight in her head: "You live your life always in the present. And even in the present, this day, dozens and hundreds of tiny things happen, so many that by the end of the day you can't make a list of them. You lose track of them unless something reminds you." No Nicholson Baker fan can read that rather touching thought without thinking of The Mezzanine and Room Temperature--novels in which the author seemed intent on recording precisely those "dozens and hundreds" of minuscule events. The Everlasting Story of Nory, then, is partially a meditation on what lasts, and what doesn't. "You can't mummify a nice memory in someone's head," Nory announces. You can, however, keep one alive, as Baker has done in this deeply charming and delightful book. --James Marcus ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nory and Nick rock!
I am an ex-nine-year-old girl, and based on my experience, this book is spot-on.It takes some merit to get into the persona of a child and write a novel based on her perspective.Kudos to Nicholson Baker for doing such a terrific job.

And for those readers who cry "where's the plot?", may I recommend some John Grisham or similar.Leave the art of literature to those of us who can read beyond the excitement of a plot.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nory, We Hardly Knew Ye...And That Was The Problem
If you're someone who subscribes to the idea that the journey itself is the destination, then you'll likely feel an affinity for The Everlasting Story of Nory, a good-natured but sadly empty tale of a young American girl and her family, who reside in modern-day England. Nory is a bright soul, witty, curious, lively, even wise, and yet in this nearly plot-less novel by Nicholson Baker, a writer who places more value on the worth of each ordinary moment than anyone I've ever read, the brave attempt to set an audience down into the life of one young girl fails for exactly that same absence of any concrete plot. Like some other novels I could name, Nory could almost---and note I do say "almost"---have its chapters shuffled into a random order, re-assembled, and then read without it making much difference to the content of the story. The experience of entering this book is like being set aimlessly adrift on some great river, and then being informed that there is no destination ahead, just look at whatever happens to be there on the banks as you pass by. Nory is endearing and her titular story sometimes is as well, but at book's end I was bored and no longer enchanted and couldn't decide if I'd been cheated (even ripped off) or whether I should pity Baker for missing his chance to create what might've been one of the best inside treks into childhood ever written. In the end doing The Everlasting Story of Nory was like being presented with a bit of bubble gum to be chewed on and discarded, with the exercise of chomping on it being the entirety of the reward offered.

In a post script, lest anyone label me a Baker-hater, let me point anyone with a regard for history toward his excellent new release, Human Smoke, a work in which Baker's intellect and scholarship shine.

5-0 out of 5 stars perfect nothingness
Baker manages to perfectly encapsulate the mind of a nine year old in all its semi-logical, semi-nonsensical glory. Nory feels like a living, breathing child, as do her classmates and younger brother. A beautiful book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nicholson Baker is still a great writer
The book is about Nory, a nine year old who is a bad speller and tries to get along with her parents, friends and brother while standing up for herself and others.That's really it.I disagree with other reviewers, in that I think Nicholson Baker did an amazing job of making it seem like most, if not all of the story was coming from Nory herself.It doesn't sound like a middle aged man pretending but more like a middle age man who does a great job of creating a book for adults that seems like it could be for kids.Where the book is flawed, and I think this is where others who reviewed this book will agree, is that you just don't really care about Nory or her friends.There's no real interest, and as such it takes forever to read this 200 page book.Nothing is really resolved at the end because there is no progression.It's Nory telling stories, most of which, although clever, are generally uninteresting and not that fun to read.Nicholson Baker tries to put his amazing writing style into a 9 year old and although it works in his prose, it doesn't work in its ability to create a good story.Sure, it's still Nicholson Baker, who I think is the greatest user of the English language, and you should still read this book if you have nothing else to read and are a fan of his work, but it's not important if you don't.You don't miss too much.

2-0 out of 5 stars A late-middle-age man imagines life as a nine-year-old girl
A fan of Nicholson Baker, I was thoroughly disappointed by a book that I had looked forward to reading. Nine-year-old Nory relates to the reader her observations of her life to date. Although the dusk-jacket blurbs would lead the reader to believe that Nory's observations about her parents, her teachers and fellow children will leave the reader laughing out loud, I found that Nory's voice sounded very much like that belonging to a late-middle-age man working hard to imagine life as a nine-year-old girl. For Baker fans, skip this one. ... Read more

15. Vandals in the Stacks?: A Response to Nicholson Baker's Assault on Libraries (Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science)
by Richard J. Cox
Hardcover: 285 Pages (2002-08-30)
list price: US$102.95 -- used & new: US$82.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313323445
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Libraries and archives have violated their public trust, argues Nicholson Baker in his controversial book Double Fold, by destroying their paper-based collections. The present work critiques Mr. Baker's argument, responding point by point. Whether one agrees with Nicholson Baker or not, the other side of the story is offered in this book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A necessary reply to Nicholson Baker's "Double Fold"
This book provides a reasoned and erudite response from the professional librarian and archivist community to Nicholson Baker's "Double Fold".Think that Baker over-made his case against the CIA/library conspiracy to destroy our print heritage?You're right - he did.In the interests of writing a ripping good yarn, Baker played fast and loose with the facts.Remember, he's a novelist, not an investigative reporter.

Richard Cox brings years of professional archival practice and scholarship to bear on the fallacies of "Double Fold".Cox rationalizes the debate by asking profound questions about how society should decide what it preserves among competing wants with limited resources, the best methods for preservation, and what the implications for Baker's solution of "saving everything" will be in our electronic age.

Most interesting perhaps is Cox's review of Nicholson Baker's public statements on the TV and lecture circuit regarding his "Double Fold" crusade.Obviously, consistency is not one of Baker's hobgoblins.He seems to have made a career out of repeatedly contradicting what he wrote in "Double Fold".Of extreme value in Cox's response is his focus on how Baker has brought the previously private library science debate on what materials to preserve and how into the public realm.Although he disagrees with Baker's caricature of librarians, Cox argues that the public perceptions of librarianship and archival responsibilities should be of extreme concern to the profession.

Cox doesn't just do a hatchet job.He uses "Double Fold" with all its warts as part of his graduate courses for archivists.Cox believes that Baker has done the profession a favor by shaking it up a bit and bringing preservation issues into public debate.The only criticism I have of the book is that its arguments are at time redundant. ... Read more

16. The "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy Photo Guide
Paperback: 160 Pages (2004-11-01)
list price: US$15.78 -- used & new: US$11.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007198949
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The official children's pictorial storybook covering all three Lord of the Rings movies.A full-colour photo guide packed with stunning pictures of the key characters, creatures and places in the film. Discover the origins of the Ring, find out about each of the Nine Companions and their characters, see how the Fellowship was formed, and follow the Companions as they embark on their quest to destroy the One Ring. As the armies of the Dark Lord Sauron come together, Gandalf and the rest of the Fellowship are drawn into the epic War of the Ring, while Aragorn must decide whether or not to fulfil his destiny and claim his place as King of Gondor.This exciting and colourful introduction for younger readers to the film and the "Greatest Adventure Story Ever Written" is packed with over 250 photographs from the film, including many published in this edition for the very first time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lord Of The Rings
This trilogy photo guide of "Lord of the Rings" is one of the best for all three movies. ... Read more

17. Size of Thoughts
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 304 Pages (1997-01-02)

Isbn: 0099579715
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A selection from Baker's essays and journalism which form some of his most popular writing. The subjects range from extinct forms of punctuation to the tribulations of reading aloud; and from the contemplation of the unbuilt model airplane to the mechanics of changing one's mind. ... Read more

18. Vox
by Nicholson Baker
Paperback: 185 Pages (1993)

Isbn: 2260009964
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19. U and I
by Nicholson Baker
Hardcover: 192 Pages (1991-04-25)

Isbn: 0140142266
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Written by the author of "The Mezzanine" and "Room Temperature", this is a book about John Updike and Nicholson Baker. ... Read more

20. Rolltreppe oder Die Herkunft der Dinge. Roman.
by Nicholson Baker
 Paperback: 224 Pages (1993-05-01)
-- used & new: US$7.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3499133008
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