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  • Vox
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars13
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2004
This is the first novel of Bakers ive read.It is also the first ever erotic piece of work i've read, so it is fair to say i did not know what to expect.The book focuses on dialogue between two people engaged in erotic chat.The details are sharp,graphic and do not leave much to the imagination!!!However, as a female who just reads for pleasure, i did not find it pornographic.Indeed it was very tastefully done, and i enjoyed the interjection of the awkward moments of embarassement as they shared their intimacies and fantasies together.For some reason , i seemed to find it very americanised, and although a novel idea when first published, would seem old hat now with the growing popularity of
phone and cybersex.I did find parts of the dialogue unneccessary and cumbersome , making me want to scream out and say "hurry up and get on with it"!.However, it was an enjoyable easy read and did not take long for me to finish it.Baker certainly is able to paint pictures with his verbiage though and it certainly makes me want to read more of his work. This is not the sort of book i would lend my granny but i have urged my husband to read it!!!
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2007
A man and a woman meet on an adult chat-line. They discuss their sexual fantasies. They might speak again, there again, they might not.

This is kind of cute, kind of funny, kind of sexy but not very, certainly not pornographic. Read it once, on your own, just in case there are any bits that really do turn you on; then read it again on public transport, watch who's watching you: a fun game to play :-)
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on 6 December 2007
Some people seem to like this book, and Nicholson Baker's work in general, but there seems to be as many turned off by his style. I'll be the first to admit, it's not for everybody.

That it's about sex, and a phone conversation, is less important than how it reads. If you like minutiae, if you like the incessant, piercing curiosity of a mind fascinated by detail (and I mean fine detail, like discussions about the texture of a camberwick bedspread and how it feels to your fingers) then you could easily lose yourself for a couple of hours with Vox - it's a short book, you can read it in just an evening. I've even laughed out loud to this and a couple of his other novels, they're largely similar in writing style (though the subject matter changes of course). The characters are likeable too.

You might just find the whole thing tedious however - and that's not a criticism of the book, it's just to acknowledge different people are 'turned on' by different things. In the same way that some people just like the sound of an orchestra, but can't stand electric guitars, so it is with Nicholson Baker. Nothing wrong with you if you don't like him, nothing wrong with him either.
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Nicholson Baker is a writer in detail - and having read Room Temperature and The Mezzanine I was looking forward to Vox. The title doesn't warn you, but this is all about phone sex. It's quite short, only 169pp, and not offensive in any way. In fact it's quite funny - and unfortunately totally unbelievable. Jim is fixated on female masturbation, Abby, among other fetishes, gets off on significant monuments related to U.S. history. It just wouldn't happen that two people so finely attuned would find themselves on the other end of the phone with their ideal phone-sex partner. I did get a little bored around halfway through when they were talking around the sexual act and telling each other stories, but one has to admire the stamina and, I suppose, outlay in effort and the dollars supposedly expended. I admired it chiefly for Abby's remark in the closing pages, "That was - that was - man," she said, "I saw the great seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when I came."
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on 17 October 1999
The scenarios in this book are both sexy and entertaining. It describes both the intermittent moments of awkwardness and the sometimes bizarre leaps of imagination common to us all in search of sexual gratification. Warm and funny.
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on 31 January 2001
While not quite the mind-altering classic that is Baker's earlier 'The Mezzanine', 'Vox' still has much to recommend it. A wonderfully simple scenario, two slightly unbelievably clever and articulate protagonists, and the truly life-affirming frankness with which sex in all its guises is discussed. Once again Baker has forcibly uncovered areas of life little talked about, described them with his unique combination of photographic precision and aching emotional attachment, and in the process made them somehow glorious.
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on 14 October 2015
A strange book that gets more absorbing as you read it. Tons of fun.
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on 25 January 2016
Hardly any sex. Boring.
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on 29 October 2000
Having also read Fermata by Baker, I was aware of the manner in which he is able to describe everyday events with a precision that opens up the characters to the reader. This book, whilst erotic, is not pornographic. Merely, it illustrates the lengths to which some people will go to find a partner. Whilst not exactly a gripping tome, it is a pleasant read.
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on 2 November 2014
No problems.
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