Completists' Club discussion

Nicholson Baker
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Authors A-D > Nicholson Baker

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message 1: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Novels

The Mezzanine (1988)
Room Temperature (1990)
Vox (1992)
The Fermata (1994)
The Everlasting Story of Nory (1998)
A Box of Matches (2003)
Checkpoint (2004)
The Anthologist (2009)
House of Holes: A Book of Raunch (2011)

Non-Fiction

U and I: A True Story (1991)
The Size of Thoughts: Essays and Other Lumber (1996)
Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (2001)
The World on Sunday: Graphic Art in Joseph Pulitzer's Newspaper (1898– 1911) (2005)
Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization (2008)
The Way the World Works (2012)


message 2: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Not too keen on his non-fiction, which may present a problem, especially with the Double Fold book, which has an extremely dull premise. I still have to read Room Temperature and the roundly slated House of Holes.


message 3: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 258 comments I haven't made up my mind whether I'll complete it. But that list looks doable. I'll have to depend on cheap paperbacks. My only complaint about him is that his books are too short. . . I've only got two of his tic'd off. I believe I started The Fermata and got distracted with The Royal Family which I finished before I got back to The Fermata. High quality porn just doesn't hold one's attention like one would think it would.


message 4: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Shortness assists the completion. Human Smoke is 800pp, I believe.


message 5: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 258 comments MJ wrote: "Shortness assists the completion. Human Smoke is 800pp, I believe."

Okay. {gulp.}


message 6: by Tom (new)

Tom Willard | 17 comments I was going to start this one! Human Smoke is incredibly good as it details the realities of WW2 as reported on during that period. The book really makes the case for considering Churchill a war criminal. Checkpoint was rather dull, but most of his titles, I have read 8 or so, range from excellent to at least pretty good. The Mezzanine is an all-time favorite of mine; oh if I could only write about absolutely nothing as well as Baker writes...


message 7: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 258 comments Tom wrote: "The book really makes the case for considering Churchill a war criminal. "

Okay, I'm in. The 800 pages of History may be tolerable.


message 8: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Tom wrote: "I was going to start this one!"

Sorry Tom! Yes, some Bakers are so slight and short, there really is very little substance to them at all. Checkpoint could have used 200 more pages.


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant I'm tempted here, because Mezzanine, The Fermata and U & I are utterly great. The Anthologist was hugely silly, however. Like a bad version of what NB haters think he writes like.


message 10: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments I don't think he's improving as a novelist, not if Lee's House of Holes review is anything to go by.


message 11: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments I am planning to give Fermata a shot sometime soon. If things go well I might be back in camp Baker.


message 12: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments So we're allowed to say bad things? I don't want to be a hater in the thread of a fan. And I'm not a hater, it's not that severe. But Baker is one of those authors I'm "done with." I've read enough. No point in going any further. I found The Anthologist silly and self-indulgent too.


message 13: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Lobster: I can understand your having enough. I could happily never read another Baker again, but I do find him charming enough to always reconsider another. (Plus I'm close to completion).


message 14: by Tom (last edited Sep 19, 2012 12:38PM) (new)

Tom Willard | 17 comments While it is true that Baker's best work is behind him, I did enjoy The Anthologist. I have the feeling he has another great novel in him, and will likely publish some good non-fiction. The character of the completist needs to take the good with the bad!


message 15: by MJ (last edited Sep 19, 2012 12:41PM) (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments It's the really expensive The World on Sunday coffeetable book that is going to screw with completion, dammit.


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