Sunday, May 27, 2012
The Books: The House of Holes by Nicholson Baker
Rarely have we been treated to such a romp. This book is a gaffaw. Baker is taking he piss out of the porn industry whilst celebrating all the trapping of this genre in a book about good clean pornographic fun. Everyone is ready for sex all of the time, just the mere suggestion of anal and the girl is kneeling and spreading her cheeks wide before we can grab a hold of our pecker. Pecker, Peeny Wanger, Blood Pumping Truncheon - Baker grabs every euphemism he can find and then rolls around in the lot of them. Even when transgressing, a married woman calls her husband on the phone to find out if it is ok for this strange man to stuff her full of dick meat given that he has such an awfully pretty penis. There is just no malice in this book. It is terribly inventive and celebrates sex in all it's good honest heterosexuality.
My only slight issue with Holes is how terribly Hetero it is. Girl on girl is fine, but the girls only begin to touch each other when a man is watching. If there are two girls alone (and naked) in a room together they will be lamenting the lack of good hard dick. Holes is a heterosexul man's fantasy. In reality, if the girls and guys were this horny all the time they wouldn't be waiting for a person of the opposite sex to enter the room, they would be falling wildly into a tangle of her 'frilly doilies' rubbing against her 'carry on luggage' and he would certainly be putting his 'Malcolm Gladwell' into the other fellow's house of holes.
What Baker does for my own work is to encourage me to invent a new language for sex. I share his belief that sex is indeed funny and I, like Baker allow my characters to indulge without a sense of shame, but I tend to hide behind niceties when I come to naming things. With a nudge and a wink Baker has encouraged me to be a little more playful in the expression of sex itself.