The Anthologist

  • by Nicholson Baker
  • Narrated by Nicholson Baker
  • 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Anthologist follows Paul Chowder - a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He's having a hard time getting started, because his career is floundering; his girlfriend, Roz, has recently left him; and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. He has also promised to reveal many wonderful secrets and tips and tricks about poetry, and it looks like the introduction will be a little longer than he'd thought.
What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry: from Tennyson, Swinburne, and Yeats to the moderns (Roethke, Bogan, Merwin) to the staff of the New Yorker, what Paul reveals is astonishing and makes one realize how incredible important poetry is to our lives. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel.

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What the Critics Say

“Baker pulls off an original and touching story, demonstrating his remarkable writing ability while putting it under a microscope.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Because I Read Traveling Sprinkler First...

this felt like a prequel, but it is still wonderful stuff. I pity the people who gave this negative reviews: to be so tragically far from the ordinary and everyday and the minuscule that they cannot see the aching beauty in every atom of thought and breath and table cloth.
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- Douglas

Ramblings of a narcissist

Alas, while there are some nuggets of good ideas, they are buried in the omphaloskepsis of a writer who finds every thought that occurs to him equally fascinating, a belief in which he is sadly mistaken. The nuggets are thus rare and, in my view, not worth the effort of waiting for them to roll around. If you ran into this guy at a party, you'd quickly find an excuse to go talk to the cat.
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- Orson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-15-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio