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Checkpoint/checkpoint [Paperback]

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Item Number 210596  
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Item description for Checkpoint/checkpoint by Nicholson Baker...

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. Jay has summoned his old friend Ben to a hotel room not far from the nation's capitol. During the course of an afternoon, they will share a delicious lunch and will open a bottle of wine from the hotel minibar. They will chat about everything from Ben's new camera to Iraq to the unfortunate fate of a particular free-range chicken. Jay will explain to Ben why and how he is planning to commit a murder that will change the course of history; he will explain how he plans to assassinate the president of the United States.

Description in Spanish: Te presento a Jay. Te presento a Ben. Concelos.

Jay ha quedado con su viejo amigo Ben en una habitacin de hotel, no lejos del Capitolio. En el transcurso de la tarde compartirn una deliciosa comida y abrirn una botella de vino del minibar. Charlarn de todo tipo de asuntos, como la nueva cmara de Ben, Irak o el desafortunado destino de un pollo en libertad. Y Jay le explicar a Ben exactamente cmo y por qu est planeando asesinar al presidente de los Estados Unidos de Amrica.El escritor ms original de su generacin, la novela ms audaz hasta la fecha.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   120
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2004
Publisher   Alfaguara
ISBN  842040022X  
ISBN13  9788420400228  

Availability  0 units.

More About Nicholson Baker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Nicholson Baker is the author of ten novels and five works of nonfiction, including The Anthologist, The Mezzanine, and Human Smoke. He has won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Hermann Hesse Prize, and a Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Maine with his wife, Margaret Brentano; both his children went to Maine public schools.

Nicholson Baker currently resides in the state of Maine. Nicholson Baker was born in 1957.

Nicholson Baker has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Vintage Contemporaries

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Baker, Nicholson
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary

Reviews - What do customers think about Checkpoint/checkpoint?

a friend stopping a friend  Jan 12, 2006
This is a very politically motivated book where two guys get together and one has a plan to assinate the President. What transpires are the goals of both guys--one to stop his friend from his sick plan, the other to carry out his sick plan. A pretty good fast read.
Not clear what this was meant to accomplish  Jan 4, 2006
This book is billed as a novel, but it's really a short story told entirely in dialogue form -- there's a guy who's threatening to assassinate George W. Bush, and his old high-school buddy is trying to talk him out of it. The would-be assassin, Jay, seems to be delusional: I don't think we're supposed to believe that his intended plans (or weapons) could possibly work. At the same time, he's very well-informed about recent events, especially the Iraq war. I suppose that combination makes him potentially an interesting character, and the book might work as a character study -- but if that's the intention, it's too short; we don't have enough to go on to really understand this guy, and we certainly don't get anything like a thorough political assessment of the Bush Administration (or even just the Bush Administration's crimes). So I'm not sure what the book really means to provide. I like Nicholson Baker's writing, but I don't know..... maybe too little is expected of novelists these days. This isn't a bad read, but it seems dashed-off and insubstantial -- certainly not the novel that will be looked back on as defining this era.
Horrible and boring  Oct 8, 2005
I read this in 2 hours. It's a boring, short book (in script form). There's no real fowarding of the plot, and the character are annoying. Even if you hate Bush, you wont like this book.
Not a political book  Aug 27, 2005
I think that people who try to take the political content of this book seriously are missing the point. The point of the book, like any good novel, is not in scoring political points but exploring the lives of the people involved in the novel. Because the political point of view of the two protagonists is contemporary, it's hard not to react to the political statements being made. Not surprisingly, then, many reviewers have considered the book as a political tract and have commented on how valid the political analysis is (maybe it helps to be Canadian).

But that's not the point: The point is seeing two people living in the United States in 2002/2003. While the protagonists do, occasionaly, make points that real political commentators make, they also make absolutely loony points. Like a David Mamet or Harold Pinter play, the pleasure in this book is the dialog (the book is all dialog), the characters, and their relationship.

When reading this book it might be worthwhile to take the long view: Assume that the protagonists are living in the time of Louis XIV and are considering assissinating the king. In that frame of mind, you wouldn't care about the politics and would only interested in the people. On that basis, I enjoyed the book. What is impressive to me is how much the author reveals about the characters and their values through the incidentals of the character's conversation. We see two people who really have given up on any hope of influencing their country's direction (or even the direction of their own lives) and who can not tell the difference between fact and supposition. They have come to the point where the only difference they believe that they can make in the public sphere is through some spasmodic dramatic action.
Not too much too it, but timely and worth reading  Aug 1, 2005
Generally, I find the two-guys-sitting-in-a-room-talking format for works of fiction to be uninteresting. It just doesn't exercise the imagination much. Nothing really happens; there's not really a story. And in this case, I think many readers will themselves have recently engaged in conversations very similar to the one depicted here, making many of the same arguments and expressing many similar feelings. The book does score some points with me, insofsar as it might help raise certain issues from obscurity into everyday discourse (eg maybe some things about napalm in Iraq, or about the Pentagon Papers). It also works hard to depict the empathy that we sometimes know we ought to have for each other human being, but nevertheless are unable to achieve. Both characters, and Jay especially, feel the pain of certain events acutely. Imagine if we all did.

It's a very brief, quick read, most likely one sitting. Worth checking out.

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