Monday, October 14, 2013

The Anthologist

I hesitate to review/recommend this book, at least in October. The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker, is a novel about poetry, and poetry month isn't until April. Still, I enjoyed it, having checked it out without knowing its subject matter.

The narrator of this quick read is a sometimes poet currently trying to write the introduction to an anthology of poetry he has collected. Unfortunately, he's distracted by his girlfriend leaving, his laundry, his finances, the birds outside, and pretty much everything else in his small world. He does take time to teach us things about poetry, and if he gathered together all of his ramblings, he'd have a fine introduction--he'd just have to leave out all the self-deprecating pieces.

Poetry lovers will appreciate the language, the history lessons, and the narrator's own appreciation of the art. Non-poetry lovers will appreciate the story of a man trying to keep his life on track while it seems everything flounders.

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