Vox (Nicholson Baker novel)

First edition (publ. Random House)

Vox is a 1992 novel by Nicholson Baker. Unusually for a literary novel, Vox enjoyed several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.[1]

Reception[edit]

On release[edit]

On the release of Vox, Publishers Weekly declared it was "unaccountably self-indulgent" and that "Baker's inestimable gift, evinced in the other books, for describing the indescribable with absolutely spot-on flourishes are nowhere to be found in Vox."[2] For The Village Voice, it "simply ushers us into the back pages of a glossy magazine", whereas The New York Times Book Review found it "a compelling and irresistible take, a tour-de-force illustration of the fantasy inherent in eroticism."[3] For James Kaplan, writing in Vanity Fair, "the book achieves between its two geographically distanced protagonists the kind of intimacy that all of us, from Bible-thumpers to leather fanciers yearn for. Vox is that rarest of rarities: a warm turn on".[4]

Later[edit]

Writing in The New York Times in 2011, Charles McGrath declared Vox to be a "phone-sex novel so steamy that Monica Lewinsky gave it as a gift to Bill Clinton."[5] Baker's editor in the 1990s, David Rosenthal commented that "when Vox came in, I thought it was both hilarious and horny [...] I kept thinking, 'Where on earth did this come from?'"[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arthur Michael Saltzman Understanding Nicholson Baker - 1999 Page 190 157003303X -"Vox. Some have indicted Baker for venal sins as much as for carnal exposures. Whether Baker "sold out" his highbrow elegance for popular and financial success has been debated by reviewers. What remains incontrovertible is the fact that both Vox and The Fermata enjoyed several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, a distinction that relatively few "literary" novels attain. Current Biography notes that Random House, counting on the novel's "broad appeal," came out with ..."
  2. ^ "Vox". Publishers Weekly. 1 January 1992. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  3. ^ O'Mahony, John (11 January 2003). "Profile: Nicholson Baker". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  4. ^ Kaplan, James. "Vox". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  5. ^ a b McGrath, Charles (4 August 2011). "Nicholson Baker's Dirty Mind". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.