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A Box of Matches

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A Box of Matches Cover

ISBN13: 9780375502873
ISBN10: 0375502874
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"He is such an excellent writer, a master of descriptive detail with an unusual perspective on the world, that he can almost be forgiven for his tendency to focus on the mundane — almost. Emmett's life may seem rich to him, but it isn't rich enough to propel an entire novel." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A] short and tightly controlled meander through the hyper-dailiness of domestic life....Skilled. Often charming." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Baker specializes in quirky, small-scale novels that flout most of the accepted rules of fiction while at the same time retaining an old-fashioned, reader-friendly accessibility....Fans will love this book, but newcomers may find it too flimsy and insubstantial to take seriously." Edward B. St. John, Library Journal

Review:

"Splendid, comically melancholy....[Baker's] most affecting and satisfying novel yet." Newsweek

Review:

"Tender, melancholy...As Virginia Woolf did, Baker has genuinely transformed the way fiction can render our experience on the page. There nothing else like A Box of Matches out there." The Seattle Times

Review:

"Bravura writing....feels like a walk through Big Sky Country." The Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"Observation of such consistent intensity and minuteness rarely occurs in conventional fiction." Newsday

Synopsis:

Predawn thoughts of a living room fire form the basis of this wonderfully intelligent, poignant novel, and the first in five years by the bestselling author of "Vox" and "Double Fold."

Synopsis:

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 further 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.

About the Author

Nicholson Baker was born in 1957 and attended the Eastman School of Music and Haverford College. He has published five previous novels — The Mezzanine (1988), Room Temperature (1990), Vox (1992), The Fermata (1994), and The Everlasting Story of Nory (1998) — and three works of nonfiction, U and I (1991), The Size of Thoughts (1996), and Double Fold (2001), which won a National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1999 he founded the American Newspaper Repository, a collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century newspapers. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

emmejo, June 25, 2010 (view all comments by emmejo)
Every morning, very early, Emmett gets up and lights a fire. He makes coffee and uses this quiet morning ritual as a time to think about everything and anything. His family, people he has met, past events, future hopes, his pets, work; all of these are things that he thinks about and the subject of this book.

For a book with almost no plot this is remarkably engrossing! I spent most of a day on a camping trip being "anti-social" and reading in the tent because I couldn't seem to put it down for long. The characters feel so real and the chance to delve into this person's mind was fascinating. Reading this celebration and embracement of the ordinary and less than ordinary parts of life makes you realize just how special these little things can be!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375502873
Author:
Baker, Nicholson
Publisher:
Random House
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Middle aged men
Subject:
New england
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
150-101-686
Publication Date:
January 2003
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.34x5.52x.73 in. .64 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Box of Matches Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 192 pages RANDOM HOUSE TRADE - English 9780375502873 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "He is such an excellent writer, a master of descriptive detail with an unusual perspective on the world, that he can almost be forgiven for his tendency to focus on the mundane — almost. Emmett's life may seem rich to him, but it isn't rich enough to propel an entire novel." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "[A] short and tightly controlled meander through the hyper-dailiness of domestic life....Skilled. Often charming."
"Review" by , "Baker specializes in quirky, small-scale novels that flout most of the accepted rules of fiction while at the same time retaining an old-fashioned, reader-friendly accessibility....Fans will love this book, but newcomers may find it too flimsy and insubstantial to take seriously."
"Review" by , "Splendid, comically melancholy....[Baker's] most affecting and satisfying novel yet."
"Review" by , "Tender, melancholy...As Virginia Woolf did, Baker has genuinely transformed the way fiction can render our experience on the page. There nothing else like A Box of Matches out there."
"Review" by , "Bravura writing....feels like a walk through Big Sky Country."
"Review" by , "Observation of such consistent intensity and minuteness rarely occurs in conventional fiction."
"Synopsis" by , Predawn thoughts of a living room fire form the basis of this wonderfully intelligent, poignant novel, and the first in five years by the bestselling author of "Vox" and "Double Fold."
"Synopsis" by , 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 further 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.
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