June 6, 2011

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

Simply absolutely the best book I've read in ages! It's a novel, I guess. A poet has put together an anthology of rhyming verse and his editor wants him to write a foreword for it. He has writer's block, so does everything else except write, carrying on a running commentary with the reader all the while about poetry. This book is so clever! Very, very funny and real. Newsweek said, "Baker writes like no one else in America" and I can believe it. I'm not sure if you didn't love poetry that you'd still like this book - it is really in depth about every poet under the sun and rhythm and rhyme and why poetry is written in the first place. But there's so much more. I will look for everything else that Nicholson Baker has written.

P.S. Later...I read somewhere after I finished this book that Nicholson Baker was known for erotica. This puzzled me - thought it must be a different author. So I picked out another of his books at the library the other day, scanned it and hastily put it back, blushing furiously. I guess I will NOT look for everything else he has written. The Anthologist is not the least like that!

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