House of Holes
By Nicholson Baker
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781439189511, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
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Shandee finds a friendly arm at a granite quarry. Ned drops down a hole in a golf course. Luna meets a man made of light bulbs at a tanning parlor. So begins Nicholson Baker’s fuse-blowing, sex-positive escapade, House of Holes. Baker, the bestselling author of The Mezzanine, Vox, and The Fermata, who “writes like no one else in America” (Newsweek), returns to erotic territory with a gleefully over-the-top novel set in a pleasure resort, where normal rules don’t apply. Visitors, pulled in via their drinking straws or the dryers in laundromats, can undergo crotchal transfers . . . make love to trees . . . visit the Groanrooms and the twelve-screen Porndecahedron . . . or pussy-surf the White Lake. It’s very expensive, of course, but there are work-study programs. In charge of day-to-day operations is Lila, a former hospital administrator whose breast milk has unusual regenerative properties.
Brimful of good-nature, wit, and surreal sexual vocabulary, House of Holes is a modern-day Hieronymous Boschian bacchanal that is sure to surprise, amuse, and arouse.
Nicholson Baker is the author of nine novels and four works of nonfiction, including Double Fold, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, and House of Holes, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The New York Review of Books. He lives in Maine with his family.
“Truly uproarious . . . Baker is one of the most consistently enticing writers of our time.” —Sam Lipsyte, front cover of The New York Times Book Review
“Wild and hallucinatory . . . Full of fearlessness, cheerfulness, wit, and brio.” —Meg Wolitzer, The Washington Post
“House of Holes is as funny as it is filthy. . . . When he is not writing about sex (and also when he is), Baker is one of the most beautiful, original, ingenious prose stylists to have come along in decades.” —Charles McGrath, The New York Times Magazine
“A sexy, disturbing, funny book: It may also challenge the usual reader of literary novels with its sheer dazzling excess of imagination.” —Kate Roiphe, Slate
“Awe-inducing . . . A joyful, almost Chaucerian book . . . Had Dr. Seuss been a slightly insane pornographer, he might have written a book like this.” —Tom Bissell, GQ
“A funny, frisky novel that brings sexy back in a way that Justin Timberlake never dreamed . . . Reminds us that books can be fun and sexy, that literature can have just as much raw energy and liberating chaos as a good f*ck.” —Mark Haskell Smith, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Brilliant, absurd, puerile, depraved, and completely enthralling.” —Steve Almond, The Boston Globe
“A world of universal arousal is common enough in pornography, but Baker has fully realized its comic possibilities . . . [He] can conjure fantastical sexual scenarios and unspool yards of charmingly filthy dialogue.” —Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books
“Amazing and indispensable.” —Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News