Rick's Reviews > The Anthologist

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
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's review
Oct 14, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009
Read in October, 2009

Woah Nicholson Baker has a new book out? I found this randomly in the JFK Terminal 4 bookstore - I used to be such a huge Baker fan, but he had a long gap between novels, and then that novel came out about assassinating the president, and that sort of turned me off. But upon seeing this one, I gave it a chance.

It's vintage Baker - pedantic, meandering, plotless, academic... I love that about his books, so this one roped me in a bit as well. It's got no footnotes, and - gasp! - it has a semblance of a plot. Well, sort of. Okay, not really, but.. there is an actual climax to the novel, almost, and... something happens. And there's a denouement. And almost an ending. I guess that's a major change for Baker, in a way. It was welcome, though I almost missed it all, since it all happened over the course of maybe two pages.

Still, though, there's no one like him, and he's adapting and growing enough that the vestiges of his signature style are welcome and feel like a warm blanket. I always loved his meandering, pedantic, plotless, ribald style, and it was nice to revisit it. Enough so I might go read that book about the president.
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