Beach Reads for (Almost) Everyone
High-Quality Smut …
The avuncular New England novelist Nicholson Baker has been known to work blue—his phone-sex novel, Vox, was, infamously, a gift from Monica Lewinsky to President Clinton. For more than a decade, though, Baker has been keeping his pants on, writing instead about poetry anthologists, World War II, and the plight of old newspapers. But in House of Holes, due out in August, he returns to his roots with his dirtiest work yet: a 200-plus-page tour of a sex-fantasy theme park without a proper plot or central characters. It may be the raunchiest novel ever published by a major American house. Below, a few of the more modest passages.
“What if I said, ‘Be honest, why are you here?’ ”
“I guess I’m here to see women naked.”
… “How much nakedness do you want? Be honest. So few people are able to tell the truth.”
“Let’s see.” Pendle took a deep breath and then poofed it all out. “I think I need 24 horny nude women at the same time.”
“Twenty-four?” said Lila. “I don’t often tell people this, but you know that a man can really only handle one horny nude woman at a time. Maybe two. Even with two, it’s like that trick where you have to circle your head and pat your stomach. Do you want to reconsider? Think.”
Wade woke up in his hotel room and pressed W, for woman, on the Sex Now button of his remote control. Then he dozed off. About ten minutes later, he heard the door open—the woman had a keycard, he supposed. He heard her slip off her slippers and her bathrobe in the dark and get into bed next to him. He could tell from the way she moved in the bed that she was naked.
“Hi. Wow, that was fast,” he said.
“Hello, my name is Koizumi. I’m a sculptor.”
She was amazed. It was like the penis had a telescoping action—the more she taunted and reviled it, the more it kept adding intermediate sections. It was like a subway improvement project.
From House of Holes, by Nicholson Baker. Copyright © 2011 by Nicholson Baker. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., N.Y.