Fiction Nicholson Baker A Box of Matches

ISBN 13: 9780099448389

A Box of Matches

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9780099448389: A Box of Matches

A man gets up earlier and earlier each day, dresses in the dark, makes his coffee and lights the fire with a box of matches. Then he rummages through the thoughts that crowd his head and preoccupy him. Here is mid-life domesticated man, whose thoughts veer brilliantly from love and marriage, to firelighters and suicide, in the twinkling of an eye. This is Baker at his best, humorous and observant, revealing the underlying truths about the ephemerality of life, the joy of small things, the darkness just the other side of everyday life - all human life in a box of matches.

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Review:

One man's simple, colloquial meditations on his past, his family, and his life's daily minutia are the substance of Nicholson Baker's A Box of Matches. Feeling that life is passing him by, Emmett, a middle-aged medical textbook editor, decides to wake up early each day to sit by a fire in his country house and record his thoughts in a diary. "Good morning," Emmett begins, "it's January and its 4:17 a.m., and I'm going to sit here in the dark." From this vantage point, Emmett reflects stream-of-consciousness style on whatever occurs to him, no matter how mundane: his recent trip to Home Depot, how he met his wife, the habits of the family duck. Routines, such as how he makes his morning coffee in the dark or picks up his underwear with his toes, are described with childlike reverence and directness. All told, nothing much happens in A Box of Matches, which seems to be the point. Baker is more interested in the idea that for many, life is made up of such apparent trivialities, and that only by pausing to appreciate them can anyone gain any lasting satisfaction. Baker emphasizes this through the moments of understated wisdom and joy that Emmett derives from ordinary occurrences, such as the daylight through the window: "a simple light that goes everywhere but with no heat, aware that it is taken for granted and content to be so." This is the philosophical equivalent of a one-joke premise, however, and there are moments when Emmett's naiveté and laundry list-like narrative wear thin. Likely understanding this, Baker has wisely kept things short. A curious, often charming novel, A Box of Matches will inspire some readers, while inspiring frustration in others. --Ross Doll

From the Inside Flap:

Emmett has a wife and two children, a cat, and a duck, and he wants to know what life is about. Every day he gets up before dawn, makes a cup of coffee in the dark, lights a fire with one wooden match, and thinks.

What Emmett thinks about is the subject of this wise and closely observed novel, which covers vast distances while moving no farther than Emmett?s hearth and home. Nicholson Baker?s extraordinary ability to describe and celebrate life in all its rich ordinariness has never been so beautifully achieved.

Baker won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper. He now returns to fiction with this lovely book, reminiscent of the early novels?Room Temperature and The Mezzanine?that established his reputation.

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Nicholson Baker
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ISBN 10: 0099448386 ISBN 13: 9780099448389
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A man gets up earlier and earlier each day, dresses in the dark, makes his coffee and lights the fire with a box of matches. Then he rummages through the thoughts that crowd his head and preoccupy him. Here is mid-life domesticated man, whose thoughts veer brilliantly from love and marriage, to firelighters and suicide, in the twinkling of an eye. This is Baker at his best, humorous and observant, revealing the underlying truths about the ephemerality of life, the joy of small things, the darkness just the other side of everyday life - all human life in a box of matches. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099448389

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A man gets up earlier and earlier each day, dresses in the dark, makes his coffee and lights the fire with a box of matches. Then he rummages through the thoughts that crowd his head and preoccupy him. Here is mid-life domesticated man, whose thoughts veer brilliantly from love and marriage, to firelighters and suicide, in the twinkling of an eye. This is Baker at his best, humorous and observant, revealing the underlying truths about the ephemerality of life, the joy of small things, the darkness just the other side of everyday life - all human life in a box of matches. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099448389

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2004. Paperback. A man gets up earlier and earlier each day, dresses in the dark, makes his coffee and lights the fire with a box of matches. Then, he rummages through the thoughts that crowd his head and preoccupy him. Here is mid-life domesticated man, whose thoughts veer from love and marriage, to firelighters and suicide, in the twinkling of an eye. Num Pages: 192 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 195 x 130 x 13. Weight in Grams: 144. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099448389

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Book Description Vintage, 2004. Book Condition: New. 2004. Paperback. A man gets up earlier and earlier each day, dresses in the dark, makes his coffee and lights the fire with a box of matches. Then, he rummages through the thoughts that crowd his head and preoccupy him. Here is mid-life domesticated man, whose thoughts veer from love and marriage, to firelighters and suicide, in the twinkling of an eye. Num Pages: 192 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 195 x 130 x 13. Weight in Grams: 144. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099448389

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Box of Matches, Nicholson Baker, A man gets up earlier and earlier each day, dresses in the dark, makes his coffee and lights the fire with a box of matches. Then he rummages through the thoughts that crowd his head and preoccupy him. Here is mid-life domesticated man, whose thoughts veer brilliantly from love and marriage, to firelighters and suicide, in the twinkling of an eye. This is Baker at his best, humorous and observant, revealing the underlying truths about the ephemerality of life, the joy of small things, the darkness just the other side of everyday life - all human life in a box of matches. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099448389

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Book Description Vintage, 2004. paperback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780099448389 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE01344072

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