Season after Pentecost, 2023
JAY: It's helpful to have a hobby. I have a hobby, too.
BEN: Jay, assassinating the president isn't a hobby.
When Nicholson Baker publishes something, I read it. After finishing A Box of Matches this weekend (okay, it took me a while to read that one), I was eager to get my hands on the recently published book. It is stunning.
Rather than summarize or review the book here (neither of which I am articulate enough to do), let me just recommend it and make two observations:
From the point of view of the publisher, it would be incredibly gratuitous if George W. Bush is assassinated. Surely Baker's name would come to the forefront of the media coverage and copies of the book would fly off the shelves. Although I doubt his intention was to put himself in a place to profit from "George W. Tumblewad's" untimely death, that is exactly what he has done.
In the more likely event that "W" is not assassinated, however, I am worried that the book's subject matter will date it very quickly. The writing is fantastic (as always), and the book is extremely culturally relevant at the moment. After Shrub (not Baker's term) is no longer in power, either in January 2005 or 2009, I believe this book will be much less readable. I would assume that Baker felt personally compelled to publish this "current event fiction," and I am glad he did.
For more info and reviews of the book see: Nicholson Baker Fan Page: Checkpoint
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