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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Fermata

Book #9 on my reading list was Nicholson Baker's controversial novel The Fermata.

What would you do if you could stop time? If you're Arno Strine you'd take advantage of your powers to oogle naked women. That's the basic premise of The Fermata, but Baker's keen writing skills fortunately save the book from being the trashy dime novel it sounds like. Tough to describe, but Mary Gaitskill puts is well:

"The book is bursting with sex and beauty, wound together profoundly and pornographically. It is bountifully Rabelaisian and intensely refined ... I have never read anything quite like it ... Misogynists will definitely not like The Fermata; there is not one iota of violence towards or contempt for women in this book ... Wildly exhilarating and confirming ... The Fermata should be celebrated."

Salon Interview
Entertainment Weekly review


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