By Troy Patterson
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:50 AM EDT
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A Box of Matches

B-
type
  • Book
genre

Emmett, a thoroughly pleasant middle-aged textbook editor, starts rising from bed at 4 a.m. to sit by the fire, sip coffee, and calmly mull over the passing of time. At one point, he literally contemplates his navel: ”I rolled the lint into a tube….” In what passes for high drama, he comes down with the flu. The Mezzanine, Baker’s 1986 novel, is a masterpiece of the miniature, an absorbing comedy built from observations on doorknobs and shoelaces. Emmett’s musings in A Box of Matches — on pet food, train horns, windshield-wiper fluid — are similarly modest but lack any sustained connection with the world at large and offer only the tiniest of pleasures.

A Box of Matches

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Nicholson Baker

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