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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humble pleasures, 26 Mar. 2004
This review is from: A Box Of Matches (Paperback)
I picked this up at random in a bookshop and discovered, in the first two pages, one beautiful simile (about a fire) and one profound truth (about socks).
So I bought it, and enjoyed it thoroughly. It's always a pleasure to read a book that, rather than striving and failing to be the Great American Novel, instead meets its own humbler goals. "A Box Of Matches" is full of fresh and meditative observations on a quiet domestic life. The narrator's obvious love for his wife and children (who spend most of the book either asleep or padding around discreetly in the background) saves the book from sliding towards solipsism, and his pets in particular are beautifully drawn. It's not entirely true to say there is no plot - over the course of the book Emmett's comforting suicide fantasies melt away, and one can try reading between the lines for a better understanding of who he is.
But really it's Baker's gifts for imagery and anecdote that make every page a pleasure, dare I say the literary equivalent of basking in front of a warm fire.
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,161,759