House of Holes by Nicholson Baker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I've read a lot by Nicholson Baker, and the man can be incredibly maddening when he wants to be (for instance when he strings librarians up by their toenails in Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper). He can also turn a lunchtime escalator ride into a novel (The Mezzanine). Actually, I preferred that to this novel of "raunch." I kind of got the point after the first story or two, and while I enjoyed his seemingly endless names for body parts, that was really the only redeeming quality. The story was nonexistent, the characters were interchangeable, and at the end, I felt like I needed a shower ... in a bad way.
Mo-om, I think I got some creepy reclusive author on me!
Don't get me wrong. Nicholson Baker is worth reading. I just wouldn't start here (or maybe I wouldn't even go here!). If you want a novel that is shameless about sex but has a better story, you can try The Fermata, but my favorite is Vox, a novel that claims to be about phone sex, but I found incredibly touching. It had traces of what I loved about the movie Before Sunrise.
My favorite Nicholson Baker book is The Anthologist, because the character Paul Chowder is well-written, and it started me on a poetry reading kick that I haven't tired of.