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The Everlasting Story of Nory Hardcover – 30 Apr 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 30 Apr 1998
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; 1st edition (30 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701166908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701166908
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,084,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Baker has created a world in which imagination still gets the better of its new roommate, reason. . . . [The Everlasting Story of Nory is] a map of the 9-year-old mind, drawn perfectly to scale." --Daily News

"Baker turn[s] his celebrated powers. . .on the strange inner life of an American girl. . . . Nory is as large as life and twice as
natural." --The New York Times Book Review

"Thoughtful and daft, sure-footed and tentative. . . . [The Everlasting Story of Nory is] pitch-perfect." --The Wall Street Journal

"Tender, insightful, and hilarious." --Harper's Bazaar --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Our supreme fabulist of the ordinary now turns his attention on a 9-year-old American girl and produces a novel as enchantingly idiosyncratic as any he has written. Nory Winslow wants to be a dentist or a designer of pop-up books. She likes telling stories and inventing dolls. She has nightmares about teeth, which may explain her career choice. She is going to school in England, where she is mocked for her accent and her friendship with an unpopular girl, and she has made it through the year without crying.
Nicholson Baker follows Nory as she interacts with her parents and peers, thinks about God and death-watch beetles, and dreams of cows with pointed teeth. In this precocious child he gives us a heroine as canny and as whimsical as Lewis Carroll's Alice and evokes childhood in all its luminous weirdness. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 4 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
'The Everlasting Story of Nory' is a masterpiece, or I'm DBC Pierre's uncle. The critics who dismissed it as whimsical had forgotten what it is actually like to be nine years old. Only an entirely serious adult could write such a faithful account of a child's mind. The respect for psychological realism and contemporary experience is extraordinary - see, for example, Nory's thoughts on her local cathedral's corporate-sponsored stained glass. Littleguy, her baby brother, is a comic character who deserves his own spin-off series. Best read very slowly - not missing the misspellings - and more than once.
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Format: Hardcover
This novel is told from the point of view of a nine-year old American girl spending her first term in an English school. It's a sweet concept and the author has a good ear for how young girls talk and write - complete with mis-heard words and spellings.
Sweet it is, but it lacks a coherent story arc, apart from Nory's growing friendship with bullied Pamela. It would have been nice to set it against the run up to an event such as a school play to give some pace. Mostly it's just a day by day account together with Nory's rather weird stories she makes up in her mind, and a little repetitive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good product speedy service
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By A Customer on 12 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have read other books by this author which were both novel and interesting, but this was extremely tedious - it would be better marketed for children...there is no story, just a meandering journal written from the viewpoint of a young schoolgirl. It certainly felt everlasting....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars 31 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The colorful wisdom of Nory. 24 July 1998
By Pippilina Efraimsdottir Katzenjammer Mackrelmint - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Fans of Nicholson Baker will probably be disappointed to find that this book containss aboslutely nothing about sex! The Everlasting Story of Nory is more akin to Madeline than The Feramata, because it is a story about dreaming, wisdom and creativity in the world of 9 year old kids.
The Everlasting Story of Nory is a refreshing reminder of how important it is to stay creative, young, and open minded. Baker documents the life of Eleanor (Nory) Winslow, a nine year old American girl who is spending a semester at an English school.
Like most 9 year olds, Nory dreams of things that most adults are too jaded to consider-- like creating a museum of plastic sushi, or being a pop-up book engineer.
As adults we may take ourselves too seriously, or trivialize the lives of children-- but Baker runs time in reverse and brings the adult reader back to fourth grade, to a land of run-on sentences and malapropisms, where the lives of insects and adventures of stuffed ! animals are more significant than politics or money or other phenomena that adults hold so close to their hearts.
If there is a darker theme beneath this story, I haven't been able to find it. Rather, Nory is about the distinct flavor of happiness that disappears when we become teenagers and adults. Warning: this book may compell you to act like a 9 year old.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to early Baker charm 15 April 1998
By Barrington S. Mann III - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For those who remember the charm of Nicholson Baker's first two fictional novels The Mezzanine and Room Temperature, Everlasting Story of Nory brings back that innocent rambling charm. Told thru the eyes of his 9 year old daughter Mr. Baker takes us thru the amazing imaginary and real world of pre-teen life. In his rambling style he brought back many funny memories of the quirks of the social mannerisms of children. For those who were partially turned off by the sexually explicit Fermata and Vox, this is pure G rated fun. Also, don't forget to check out his recent book of essays "Lumber", which is a fun read until the last lumbering chapter!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as much fun as an actual 9 year old! 15 July 2000
By Karen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Nicholson Baker's literary abilities are praised all over the place - I'd like to praise his obvious parenting abilities. This book shows that he both remembers his own childhood and is paying intense, loving attention to his children. We get a great book - his kids get a great dad.
This book is insightful, brilliant, etc - it's also USEFUL if you have school age children in your life. When they can't talk yet, we know they're not rational; but it's so easy to forget that children look like they have a lot more figured out than they sometimes do. Hang out in the inside of Nory's mind for awhile, and remember how confusing and scary and wonderful and BIG the world was when you were small.
The book also presents a textbook example of parents allowing a child's good sense to guide her in a moral dilemma. Again, of course the literary value of the book is more important, but how fabulous to read a book with such a flawlessly moral tone as well.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A children's book for grownups 23 Aug. 1998
By Michael Godwin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
How rare it is to find a novel that is simultaneously so sweet and so brilliant. It was also a reminder of the ways in which children are confronted with moral choices and challenges to their character in contexts and situations that most of us dismiss as insignificant ... or simply have forgotten. I found myself cheering for Nory more than once. I think a lot of people may not know how to take this episodic narrative written by an adult yet from a child's point of view -- that's because there never has been anything like it before.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars *Almost* a great book 13 May 1998
By Andrew S. Cruse - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Nicholson once again demonstrates his masterful use of the English language in making the mundane fascinating. Fans of The Mezzanine and Room Temperature will not be disappointed.
The major let-down of The Everlasting Story Of Nory is that it never quite coalesces into the novel that it wants to be. Where Baker's previous novels have succeeded in being both meandering streams of consciousness as well as complete stories, TESON falls short of the mark. TESON reads more like a collection of short stories than a novel. (The Martian Chronicles come immediately to mind. The stories are certainly closely linked, but by no means comprise a novel.)
Despite that failing, however, The Everlasting Story Of Nory remains a delightful read.
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