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David KirbyLike characters in such earlier Baker novels as The Mezzanine and Room Temperature, Chowder isn't afraid of the trivial. Indeed, in this witty satire of literary culture, he confers importance on just about whatever pops into his mind by letting his thoughts billow and accumulate. As he natters on about the poor quality of today's brooms or what he'd do if he had a ponytail ("which I don't"), he grows on the reader the way Humbert Humbert or Holden Caulfield does. Or Stuart Smalley, the weepy optimist Al Franken played on "Saturday Night Live." Paul Chowder is endearingly goofy, in other words, like other fictional poets: Percy Dovetonsils, say, from the old "Ernie Kovacs Show," the martini-sipping versifier who lisped "Leslie the Mean Animal Trainer."
—The Washington Post