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House of Holes Hardcover – 18 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Edition edition (18 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857206591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857206596
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'He occupies a strange place in the American literary scene: respected but offbeat, a great stylist with controversial or eccentric obsessions.' --Financial Times Magazine

'Baker does seem to capture what a world based on the fulfilment of frustrated desire might be like' --Independent

About the Author

Nicholson Baker was born in 1957 and attended the Eastman School of Music and Haverford College. He is the author of several novels, including The Mezzanine, Vox and The Fermata, and four works of non fiction, U and I, The Size of Thoughts, Double Fold (winner of the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award), and Human Smoke. He lives in Maine.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Imagine a cross between a hardcore porno and Alice in Wonderland, then throw in some excellent writing and some of the most imaginative descriptions of a man's penis you're ever going to read and you have Nicholson Baker's latest novel "House of Holes". Baker, if you're new to him, is a fantastically wide ranging writer who has written a novel about the hypothetical assassination of George W Bush, a non-fiction book about library cataloguing, two erotic novels, one of which was made famous by Monica Lewinsky after she handed a copy to Bill Clinton (the rest is history), a stream of consciousness non-fiction fan note to John Updike, and a history book highlighting the Allied leaders support of Hitler in the run up to WW2. In short, this writer's output is surprising to say the least.

The novel centres around an otherworldy luxury brothel called House of Holes which is located in some dreamscape where the visitors pay extortionate sums of money to have their wildest dreams fulfilled. How they get there is a variety of ways - through a straw in a drink, a washing machine, via the hole in the end of a penis, through someone's fingers when they make an "O" shape. Couple this with scenes such as the opening chapter where a disembodied arm seduces a young woman followed by a woman in a singles bar who lays a silver egg and you realise this is a novel where you don't know what's going to happen next.

Other examples are the ways in which customers are punished. Heads are taken off of bodies and then reattached later, meanwhile the headless bodies wander about as normal. Arms and legs are taken off, while genitalia is removed and replaced with the opposite sex's, and so on. All very trippy, I know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Wills on 16 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I enjoyed The Fermata. If you are easily offended (or even not so easily offended...) by scenes of a sexual nature it is probably not a good idea to read HoH. However, it is extremely well written and takes the reader through some very strange dreamscapes. I was surprised rather than shocked and mesmerised more than titillated by House of Holes. There is something refreshing about a 'no holds barred' piece of writing where the protagonists act out their part without any hang ups whatsoever. It is essentially a text of lucid dreaming. If you can imagine Jorge Louis Borges writing for a men's magazine you'll get the gist of it. On the other hand, if you are feeling prudish, it is a litany of vulgarity. Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TaraSuze321 on 26 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after hearing it discussed on Front Row R4. Loved the way Mark Lawson chose his words carefully when interviewing the author. House of Holes is a satire on porn genres and is really very funny. Best not to read on public transport as you will laugh out loud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MIKE on 4 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book offers the reader an enjoyable read. The author has adeptly written a humorous novel which is very readable and at times hilarious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graeme Kerr on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a funny, feelgood and highly erotic novel. It made me laugh, and Baker's use of imaginative vocabulary may well inspire me to pick up a pen and have a go myself.
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