Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Books: Vox by Nicholson Baker

Vox is an extended flirtation. A sexy telephone call that lasts a whole book. As a flirtation, there is an exploration of how people relate, a sussing out of what one or the other of the characters finds sexy. This is sometimes surprising, but our protagonists are careful to respect and run with each other's fantasies. There is a particularly sexy scene in the book where we hear a scene where a couple watch a porno together. They hide their genitals under a shared blanket and the man becomes increasingly aroused by the small movements of the blanket and the slight changes to the woman's breath and the flush of her skin. This is perhaps one of the sexiest passages I have ever encountered and the lessons it teaches us are about hiding instead of revealing. It also does not fulfill our expectations. Neither of the characters leaps over modesty to ravage the other. After a moment of orgasmic abandon the couple return to being relative workplace strangers. This book is worth reading even if it is just for that passage, but it also shows us how we can cleverly use dialogue. There is almost nothing in this book that isn't dialogue. An amazing feat from a very clever author.

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