Book Spotlight–1/30/2011

The Fermata by Nicholson Baker

I read this book a decade ago and it still lingers in my mind as one of those rare cases in which a mainstream author executes a highly SFnal premise and ends up with a genre novel that actual genre readers may find compelling. The rampant sex probably also has a lot to do with it.

Arno Strine has the unique ability to drop into “the Fold,”—stop time and interact with the frozen world around him. So he does what most men with such a gift would probably do: undress women.

The time-based premise that compelled me to read The Fermata didn’t prepare me for its extreme sexual content. But it’s a flowing, enjoyable read and Arno’s chatty, first person narrative tempers even his lewdest moments with an oddly refreshing honesty. Good or bad, The Fermata is sure to make an impression.

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