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Download The Anthologist Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,122 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nicholson Baker Narrator: Nicholson Baker Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Anthologist is narrated by Paul Chowder—a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He’s having a hard time getting started, because his career is floundering; his girlfriend, Roz, has recently left him; and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. He has also promised to reveal many wonderful secrets, tips, and tricks about poetry, and it looks like the introduction will be a little longer than he’d thought.

What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry: from Tennyson, Swinburne, and Yeats to the moderns (Roethke, Bogan, Merwin) to the staff of the New Yorker, what Paul reveals is astonishing and makes one realize how incredibly important poetry is to our lives. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A slyly intelligent rant about the crazy paradoxes of artistic careerism, and a casual and hilarious series of lessons on poetry.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Startlingly perceptive and ardent…Chowder is possibly the most appealing narrator Baker has invented.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “You become so engaged by Chowder’s narrative voice…that his loneliness and his valiant attempts to cope with despair creep up on you. When they do, you’re moved by this sincere, funny, sad man.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Baker is a hybrid of past and future. His style has a meditative echo, like a man in a cave walking toward a light on the other end.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A witty satire of literary culture.”

    Washington Post

  • “Baker pulls off an original and touching story, demonstrating his remarkable writing ability while putting it under a microscope.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Derek Baldwin | 2/9/2014

    " Solipsism, Nicholson Baker, is thy middle name. Quite good fun, and at last I understand what iambic pentameter is! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Josh | 2/7/2014

    " I could not give much of a defense for why this book should exist or why it's worth reading beyond the fact that it pleased me. That's all I've got. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Karyn | 2/6/2014

    " This author is very eccentric and fun. Can't believe how fun he made it to read about poetry. Unfortunately, the book stalled out about 2/3 of the way through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Andie | 1/25/2014

    " One of the most unique books I've ever read. I found Paul Chowder to be an astute, vulnerable, hilarious, insightful, and very sympathetic narrator, as he struggles with writing the introduction to an anthology, as well as lost love, mouse droppings, and slicing open his finger. This was the first book in ages that inspired me to get out a pen and underline, star, and otherwise make note of beautiful paragraphs, lines, or even word combinations that I knew I'd want to look back on later. It was also a nice crash course on poetry, about which I know very little, and which I don't even really like... but honestly, this book approached it in such a refreshing, vivid way, that I might be inclined to actually look into the poetry of many of those discussed. "

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About the Author
Author Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker has published numerous novels, including the New York Times bestseller Vox and The Mezzanine. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award. A regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, Baker lives in Maine.