Traveling Sprinkler

Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker (Blue Rider Press, 2013).

I only knew Nicholson Baker as the author of non-fiction works like Double Fold, but it turns out he is a novelist, and a pretty good one. This most recent novel, Traveling Sprinkler, is actually a sequel to The Anthologist, which I will have to hunt down and read. The main character, a poet (whose works are being put in anthologies for students to read) is faintly reminiscent of Robert Frost. He lives in rural New Hampshire and attends Quaker meeting to try to cope with the present day and all its dysfunctional news. An intelligent, artistic middle-aged man, he hopes to write the love song which will persuade his ex-girlfriend to take him back. As a poet and former professional musician he is actually fairly well qualified for the task – all he needs is a crash course in modern electronic recording techniques.


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