U AND I : A TRUE STORY

U AND I : A TRUE STORY

By: BAKER, NICHOLSON

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Nicholson Baker is most famous for Vox, the phone-sex novel Monica Lewinsky gave President Clinton, but the vastly superior U and I contains Baker's o wn dirty little secret: an obsession with John Updike. Not since Salieri in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus has one man's genius so publicly tormented another . Baker's ambition is a naked thing shivering with sensitivity, like a snai l bereft of its shell. Yet his book about himself thinking about Updike is as hilariously self-knowing as it is excruciatingly sincere. And Baker is n ot mad (not quite). He does have a few things in common with his idol: fict ion precociously published in The New Yorker, psoriasis, insomnia, a keen e ye for everyday minutiae, and a mischievously felicitous prose style. He is , however, funnier. Hunting for Updike at The Atlantic's 125th anniversary party, he gets brutally snubbed by Miss Manners--U and I is a fine comedy o f literary manners--and cheers up when Tim O'Brien chats with him. But when O'Brien mentions that he golfs with Updike, Baker is hurt: It didn't matter that I hadn't written a book that had won a National Book Award, hadn't written a book of any kind, and didn't know how to golf: sti ll, I felt strongly that Updike should have asked me and not Tim O'Brien. He justifies this reaction with a remarkably intricate series of associations between his life and Updike's, starting with the major impact a golf joke in an Updike essay once had on him. When Baker reads in the paper that his local cops offer to X-ray kids' candy for razors, he plausibly imagines the droll "Talk of the Town" piece Updike might have spun from the item, glumly noting th.

Title: U AND I : A TRUE STORY

Author Name: BAKER, NICHOLSON

Categories: Biographies & Memoirs,

Publisher: Vintage: 1992

ISBN Number: 0679735755

ISBN Number 13: 9780679735755

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Very Good

Seller ID: RWARE0000003779