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A Box of Matches

A Box of Matches

Author(s): Nicholson Baker

Location(s): Maine

Genre(s): Novella

Era(s): Modern



A man gets up earlier and earlier each day, dresses in the dark, makes his coffee and lights the fire with a box of matches. Then he rummages through the thoughts that crowd his head and preoccupy him. Here is mid-life domesticated man, whose thoughts veer brilliantly from love and marriage, to firelighters and suicide, in the twinkling of an eye.

This is Baker at his best, humorous and observant, revealing the underlying truths about the ephemerality of life, the joy of small things, the darkness just the other side of everyday life – all human life in a box of matches.

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Lead Review

The narrator gets up each morning and free associates his observations of life, which he duly records. This is wonderful punch packing prose….

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