Vox by Nicholson Baker

Vox by nicholson baker

source – review copy

I was very lucky to get sent the four new reissues from Granta of Bakers work which is good as I ve only read a couple of his book .Nicholson Baker is an american writer he writes both fiction and non fiction and is known for stream of consciousness writing and his voyeuristic style at times ,he got a ba in philosophy from Haverford college .

Vox was Nicholson’s fourth book and was published in 1991 ,the book is a shortish novel at only 167 pages long .the book focuses on two characters that are on the telephone on a telephone chat line ,they decide to go to a private room to chat one to one ,the book is that one to one chat ,things start slowly then as the two open up the conversation and subjects get sexier and sexier ,as they talk about their encounters and dreams .This is  not a story if you turn red at steamy scenes on tv as it goes into close details of what they want to do in the bedroom ,so as we find out what Jim and Abbey like we feel a bit like a voyeur or an old stasis agent listening into something private that maybe we shouldn’t be listen to but can’t hang up and in a way its the same for Abbey and Jim as they’re paying a lot for doing this as it is a charging chat line there on .

“what are you wearing ?” he asked.

she said “I m wearing a white shirt with little stars,green and black stars ,on it ,black pants ,and socks the colour of the green stars ,and a pair of black sneakers I got for nine dollars .”

“what are you doing ?”

“I m lying on my bed ,which is made .That’s unusual thing .I made my bed this morning .A  few months ago my mother gave me a chenille bedspread,exactly the kind we used to have ,and I felt bad that it was still folded up unused and this morning I finally made the bed with it ”

The opening of the book and you jump in the middle of the conversation

As you can see Baker’s style is a little different to many writers you don’t get any intro ,no here you jump straight in .So what did I think I loved it ,ok at times the sex scenes described are very sexy and made me go red but it is a book you just want to keep reading like being on the bus and sat behind people as there having a juicy conversation about people you don’t know but you just want to sit there and catch it even if you miss your stop .The book is also more famous for supposedly being the book a Monica gave a very famous Bill ,now if that story is true I had no doubt Bill knew what was on Monica’s mind after reading this book it wouldn’t be a book you’d give to the other sex without expecting a reaction  from the person you had given the book too .the book has a wonderful new cover from Village green design that have done the four new covers for these books .

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. parrish
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 16:45:59

    I read this awhile ago & loved it, agree that It’s a little bit on the risque side, but didn’t find it offensive, If you liked this try The Anthologist by him, the subjects different (poetry) but the style his own.


    • winstonsdad
      Aug 13, 2011 @ 16:06:58

      I didn’t it is one of those books better read at home and not out and about thou ,I will try anthologist at some point thou Gary I love the sound of it ,all the best stu


  2. Rikki
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 19:34:13

    Interesting to see this here, as after reading “Love virtually” Vox was recommended to me, too. Will give it a try.


  3. gaskella
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 20:13:55

    I’ve had this in the pile for ages. Being newly single again, I can read it alone at home without any embarrassment! He’s a bit of a stylist isn’t he? – every book seems totally different. I’ve read the one narrated by a schoolgirl – Everlasting story of Nory, and also have the one about a box of matches in my TBR.


    • winstonsdad
      Aug 13, 2011 @ 16:08:34

      Yes I think he is very daring in style and willing to try different approaches ,which I like ,hope you enjoy it and sorry to hear your single again ,all the best stu


  4. Sarah
    Aug 13, 2011 @ 11:36:49

    I have Mezzanine in the pile, and I enjoyed The Anthologist. Great description of the style of Vox, Stu. I am getting the impression, as Gaskella observes, that he is a very versatile writer. I enjoy the surprise of reading such authors…

    I will add this one to the virtual TBR. After trying, and failing, to read Anais Nin, consensual sex between adults will not be a problem!


  5. Bina
    Aug 13, 2011 @ 13:40:32

    Sounds really interesting, I love when authors throw you into the story without any long explanations 🙂


  6. Gavin
    Aug 13, 2011 @ 19:30:54

    I just finished The Anthologist and loved it. Now I want to read all of Baker’s fiction.


  7. Caroline
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 08:50:24

    I got Vox after having read a lot about it. Later I bought the Anthologist nd didn’t even make the connection… He seems to be a very versatile writer indeed. I need to read it soon.


  8. Kinna
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 11:49:13

    Sadly, I’m yet to read a novel by this author though I’ve heard loads about him in recent years. Thanks for the review.


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August 2011


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