Saturday, May 1, 2010

The anthologist

The Anthologist The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm never sure what to call the phenomenon of starting a book and giving it 5 stars right away, noting pages,
finding inspiration for new writing, and then mid-way, lose interest, and can't wait to finish it, not because I am being pulled by it, but just want the experience to end. However to call this, attention-span challenge due to overdose of desire to read more than eyes and mind can absorb, and then extricate my reader's responsibility and be objective about the book itself... is perhaps not as easy as it could be.

The tone of the book is chatty, slightly ADD, which can be both intriguing and annoying. Certainly Baker has a lot of knowledge, and you will end up with a mosaic of information about poetry and be able to construct a fine reading list. However, the final chapters seemed to fizzle and I would have been happy to end on the last sentence of Chpt. 10 -- "I think I'll do a quadruplet rhythm, a love-has-gone-and-left- me- rhythm: one gray-green bead and then three other beads of near-random colors, and then agray-green bead again."

I found the few examples in musical notation to be more an interruption and distraction. It's part of his delight in showing off, and his rambling manner. In spite of perhaps a negative comment here and there, I do recommend this book.

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