Wednesday, March 09, 2016

House of Holes: a book of raunch

by Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker wrote The Mezzanine and A Box of Matches, and he also wrote The Fermata. If I didn't know better, you probably could convince me there are two different authors who both just happen to be named Nicholson Baker. But, no, there's only one, and he has two specialties: intricately crafted explorations of quotidian tasks, the universe contained in a single moment; and intricately crafted smut, no-holes-barred astonishingly raunchy sex. This book is the second kind. I'm not sure how much of a plot there is, definitely less than in The Fermata. Things happen, somebody's trying to do something, but it's all just a bunch of frames for different chapters of sex. Maybe I was too distracted to catch the mythos, or maybe there isn't one and the book is just an exercise in pornography. Not that it's bad. I don't regret reading it. But don't expect there to be some literary revelation hidden in the subtext. Or, if you find it, let me know.

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