Customer Reviews for

The Anthologist

Average Rating 3.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    A Delicious Novel about Poems - and Plums

    To the best of my admittedly slim knowledge, Nicholson Baker does not write poems - or plums, the narrator's term for free verse. But he obviously loves them. In fact, the book strikes me as a love story between narrator Paul Chowder, a poet who just can't seem to fulfill his commitment to write the introduction to a poetry anthology, and the poetry he fails to write about. Ironically, you could pretty much pluck a few pages of the book at random, and you'd have a brilliant introduction to a collection of 20th century poems. If it was up to me, The Anthologist would be required reading in 20th century poetry classes. A novel as a poetry text? Well, why not?

    Of course, the frustration for the reader is that Paul's sublime musings don't find their way into the anthology introduction he's supposed to be writing. Indeed, nothing finds its way into the anthology introduction. I keep wanting to reach into the pages of the book, grab Paul by his shoulders and shake, exclaiming, "You idiot! It's all right there! Just write down what you're thinking for heaven's sake!"

    Yet for all his infuriating inertia, I can't help but like Paul. Any guy who names his dog Smacko and dips his knees to the rhythm of ZZ Top as he peruses the contents of his refrigerator is okay by me.

    The only part I hate is the end of the book. Since it's about 90 pages away, I don't know what happens yet. I just know I hate it, because once I get there, I'll have to put the book away and read something else that probably won't be as good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2010

    Very Slow

    The author kept dropping subjects and picking up new ones without any logical explanation or transition. I lost track of characters and often didn't understand where certain characters came from.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting

    I bought this book on a whim, at a bookstore that was going out of business. This was one of the best impulse buys I've ever made. I'm not really into poetry, but after readying Paul Chowder lovingly struggle to write an introduction to an anthology he's compiled, I'm going to look for some of these poets and get into them.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hunter-gatherer of words

    good for the mind and heart, and soul. May not resonate with all...but if you are a writer (or would-be) - then recommend

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Superb Book

    I loved it; kept quoting it to people

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