3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 3. März 1999
First, I should begin by saying that my girlfriend gave me this book to read (ordered me to read it, in fact). "The answers to any questions you still have about what makes women 'tick' are right inside," she said, before remarking that she didn't know how a man could have written this on his own.
Now, Nicholson Baker is not only a writer, but an artist as well ("Vox," an earlier novel was also fabulous). His stellar command of the English language, so impressive in fact that I hope some of the words he cleverly 'created' for use in "Fermata" are accepted into modern speech and literature, allows Baker to write an entire novel about a subject that might otherwise get dull in a short Penthouse Forum "article." Having just finished "Fermata," I am still unsure as to how Baker managed to write it. Just when I felt that each phase of the book must surely be coming to a close, Baker managed to take it one, two, even three steps further. And in doing so, he proved that even the most taboo subjects can in fact be funny, exciting, erotic and just plain dirty all at the same time.
For those who accuse Fermata as being little more than stylized pornography, I would reply that you just didn't get it. While I must admit my astonishment that a mainstream publisher actually printed this daring book, I am very thankful they did. The censorship of even one word from this incredible novel would truly, truly have been a shame. Nicholson Baker successfully added a literary energy to even the most graphic chapters (i.e. part two of Marian the Librarian), making this a novel a MUST READ for anyone who thinks they have "read it all!"
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 4. Juni 2000
Ever wonder what a porn novel written by Andy Rooney would look like? Me neither. But with "The Fermata" Nicholson Baker has provided us with an answer to that question anyway. Like Rooney, Baker's narrator is endlessly digressive and fascinated by by the minutiae of nearly everything he encounters: the workings of a cassette tape, the difference between the way a woman sounds when she pees and the way a man sounds when he pees, the workings of a centrifuge. Like Rooney, Baker is a good writer, and so he manages to make these musings entertaining most of the time and sometimes even profound-sounding. But long before you reach page 100 you'll begin to appreciate the wisdom of "Sixty Minutes" producer Don Hewitt's decision to allot only two or three minutes a week to Rooney's ramblings. At book-length, such digressive and destinationless diatribes -- even when the subject is sex -- tend to become deadeningly dull. One could argue that this is just another example of Baker's genius: He has written a book about the stoppage of time so slow that the reader often feels as though time for him really HAS stopped. A literary example of form following function. But don't let this observation keep you from reading the book. Taken in small doses, "The Fermata" can be hugely enjoyable. In fact, Baker is a better writer than Rooney, so you should be able to spend much more time with him than just a couple of minutes per week. But when you're done reading "The Fermata", you may end up asking yourself, a la, Rooney: "Dija ever wonder why Nicholson Baker, a writer who seems to be fascinated by just about everything, has never managed to interest himself in the plotting of a novel?"
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 9. Juli 1998
I bought this book based on the recommendations and reviews I read at Amazon. A first for me. I thought the central idea of someone being able to stop time was fascinating, and I thought the focus on sex was inevitable, and potentially amusing, so I bought it.
Big mistake. The author displays an enviable vocabulary, and rather a lot about his sexual predilictions. In my opinion the central idea is completely wasted on this narcissistic and aimless novel. I didn't care about the central character, and after reading 2/3 of the book, I lost hope that anything interesting was going to happen.
I think the author has talent, certain passages reminded me of Iain banks, but he needs to be more selfless and disciplined in plot development to produce a novel to capture my interest.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 15. März 2000
Nicholson Baker is a master at taking what seems unusal, bizarre, or even ordinary (as in "The Everlasting Story of Nory") and make it interesting, fascinating and exciting. What Arno does during his "Fold" time is at once creative, enticing, and sweet. And Arno has an amazingly convincing way of justifying what seems immoral, to the point where I can actually wish to be one of the women he undresses and plays around with during one of his "Drops." Not for the inhibited, but this book is a must read for anyone who has ever asked him or herself "if I could freeze time and do whatever I wanted..."
am 18. April 1998
Let's imagine what it would be like to read a full-bore pornographic novel written by any of the most famous American authors; John Updike's would be explicit but grimly unsexy -- late middle-agers having one last wheeze in the sack; Phillip Roth, who has certainly done his best to pornographify even his most respectable National Book Award-contending novels, has nothing new to offer except look-what-a-dirty-old-Jew-I-am! tee-heeing; Don De Lillo's would be pedantic, full of long-winded mid-stroke ruminations on how sex and love are cheapened by the evil Media Age; David Foster Wallace's would be thousands of pages long and no one would be able to read it.
So maybe it's a good thing someone like Nicholson Baker has taken on this task instead. I can't think of any one man or woman more well-suited to the art of smut than this anal retentive to end all anal retentives. Read The Mezzanine? Now imagine all that loving attention paid to shoelaces and escalators and library cards and the planar interstices of Chinese take-out cartons -- imagine all that masturbatory detail in service of REAL masturbatory detail, imagine that famous love for minutiae being lavished on something worth lavishing on, like, say, for instance... boobs! Well, that was the idea at any rate, and one which cranked up the temperature on my hot pants high enough for me to shell out the baksheesh ( even if four years after the fact -- hey, I was 16 when it was published; I didn't read literary pornography then, I sat in front of my T.V. watching the scrambled Playboy Channel ). But the end result turned out to be -- and there's no other word for it -- an anti-climax.
A lot of reviewers will tell you that the true pleasure of this book comes not from erotica, but from esoterica; that Baker's odes to the female mons pubis are all very well and good, but his tender-hearted digressions on stuff like transformer sets and nail clippers and rubber-band machines are well and gooder.
If you're going to write a titillating novel with a gimmicky concept, then write the damn thing and no bones about it. Nicholson's prose goes down as easy as you like, but this is a man seriously bereft of big ideas -- I know that's the point, he's someone who lives and breathes in the details, but I mean this idea of stopping time to undress women... I swear to God, I once heard Arnold make a joke to that effect on Diff'rent Strokes. It is not an original concept. Of course, Baker would say, yeah, but no one ever took it to the extreme I did. Got me there. Then again, when I was six or seven I had fantasies of aliens beaming down to earth, herding me and the world's choicest women into vast squares of ranch land in New Mexico, stripping us naked, and forcing me to breed with the tearful girls en masse while searing my buttocks with laser guns. But I never wrote a three-hundred page book about it. Uh-oh, I just heard a crackle. The coils in Nicholson Baker's brain are heating up! I'll be expecting ancillaries, you cretin.
am 30. Oktober 1998
Like his previous books The Mezzanine, Room Temperature, and Vox; Mr Baker's bejewelled fingers glide effortlessly across his keyboard to produce yet another highly comical, detailed, and wonderfully crafted piece of work. And yet, I can't help but feel that his talents would be better served if he would write a story in a less specialised genre. Sci-Fi, Sword and Sorcery perhaps? He would make a wonderful addition to writers in those fields such as C J Cherryh, and Iain M. Banks. Another Fritz Leiber? The aforementioned titles demonstrate that he has all the knowledge and skills to hand. Sub sections in the Everlasting Story of Nory would be totally consistent with this possibility. Give it a thought Huh?
Fermata highlights: The tri-lastic MIT Machine, Marian the Librarian mows the lawn, and her UPS-man encounter, The Strine Inequality, Dr. Orowitz- Rudman and the MRI scanner, And Arno's kindred spirit - Joyce.
Well written though The Fermata is, it does tend to drag towards the end. N.B. could have ditched the very extended Adellle section with Arno in the fantasised Motel encounter. Good though it was, it didn't pace the book too well. Other readers have bemoaned the lack of an obvious plot, of which there is precious little. I think his books are akin to Iain Bank's stylised Use of Weapons; a story is there all right, but formed from a bunch of Vignettes cleverly welded together. So don't get hung up over the plot, read the book and just enjoy it. There's plenty to.
am 24. Dezember 1996
The Fermata, by Nicholson Baker, can be considered a rather unique view from the author himself about the hard task of writng ficction.
The character's singular points of view while the word is stand by, or on "Strine Time" are a metaphor on how a writer does capture a singular moment from ordinary lives and transform them into a work of art which origin comes from his own imagination.
On the other hand the novel plot does not consider such capture a casual matter. While some writers say that they usually write unintentionally, that is, writing to them simply happens by chance or they are naturally gifted; Arno Strine, who happens to be a typist, in other words, must write to have something to live of, struggles very hard in order to get some inspiration.
His personal battle to find good things to write about is made easier by a gift that has nothing to do with writing itself. Arno wrote because he wanted, since any of us would do many other things if we were gifted like him.
The real question is: Was Arno Strine a writer or he became a writer due to his own efforts?
That is the great question that the books leaves us with no answer. Despite all the erotic appeal that Baker uses, this book cannot be seen as a mere erotic or pornographic literature.
There is a writer's brain and soul in great struggle throughout the novel, which therefore is worth reading from a metalinguistical point of view on writing
am 31. August 1999
If you're a fan of Hard Science Fiction, GET THIS BOOK. It'll blow you away. Bakers descriptions about stopped-time are breathtaking. Every question I had about the "Fermata" was answered in this book, as I was reading it. Baker doesn't miss a beat. I was worried that it might lean more on the Adult Content and less on the Science, but I was wrong. It was a good balance. His physics about the "Fold" couldn't have been handled any better, and the Author really took the time to explain in detail what everything was like, while his character "Dropped". Not to mention the very creative ways he would go about initializing the "Drop" itself.
I was suprised he was able to squeeze so much into that many pages. Every paragraph was intriguing. Baker didn't waste one word. I applaud Baker's bravery in writing this book. The Science Fiction world is a better place because of it, and I hope he writes some more in this feild. This book is a breath of fresh air, and I hope it sets new standards.
As far as the adult content goes, it got pretty heavy in parts, in fact, he puts new meaning in the phrase: Hard Science Fiction. But it all makes perfect sense in this book. It is almost natural. Baker's really got a good bead on human behavior, and I think this book explores some of the truth in us, whether we like it or not.
am 24. Juli 1997
OK, so VCR's have given us Pause Buttons, and
the ability to watch soap operas at night. Great. Some folks call this "time-shifting", but the author has a better idea for this concept. If we could ever find the REAL "Universal Remote" under the couch, we could put the world on Pause. This book carries the idea of life as a VCR to the nth degree, and beyond. The author had a musical background too so there is a musical metaphor angle (Fermata=Pause). The first half is very funny, very clever, very "tongue in cheek"(!) and light. BUT the wheels come off in the second half, so you might want to fast-forward through the numerous, and extended (ouch!) dildo reveries. This flight of fancy comes crashing down in the second half, like Icarus, like the parabola symbol for the musical Fermata symbol that graces the cover and the chapter headings. Note bene, N.B. is a great talent, but is he wasting some of his time (maybe he has extra supply?) on the "creative rotting" (porno) sections of the book?
am 29. Juli 1996
Although critics have written that Baker is too good to be writingthis sort of erotic/pornographic fiction, I beg to differ.
Baker has managed to do what so many writers of erotica cannot do-that is, escape the depths of pornographic slime. He does this in two ways. First, Baker's linguistic pyrotechnics make it difficult to remember at certain points that one is reading what most conservatives would consider smut.
Secondly, at the end of a selfish and antihumanist plot, the ending is both humanistically poignant and stylistically magnificent. The loss of Fermata powers come at the only moment of true human contact, at the only point where love enters and lust departs. As for the the stylistic magnificence, I will leave that for the reader to discover.