House of Holes

House of Holes

A Book of Raunch

Book - 2011 | 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
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A fuse-blowing, sex-positive escapade. Baker returns to erotic territory with a gleefully over-the-top novel set in a pleasure resort where normal rules don't apply. In charge of day-to-day operations is Lila, a former hospital administrator whose breast milk has unusual regenerative properties.
Presents an explicit new tale of carnal improprieties and comic raunchiness set in a surreal but familiar world of fantasy sex.
Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781439189511
143918951X
Branch Call Number: FIC BAKER
Characteristics: 262 p. ; 23 cm.

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staceyb123 Sep 26, 2015

Really out there! It's like someone who took a hit of acid and E and wrote a book!! However, I could see this being a mini series on a porn channel

MrXander May 22, 2014

A surrealist porn-parody by a respected writer seemed a nice palate cleanser after the more serious reading I'd been doing.
For the first 50+ pages (my usual cut off point with books) I was somewhat amused; why it gets two stars.
Somewhere approaching page 100 the whole thing started to just drone on.
The "surrealism" became sadly predictable, the erotica dulled by a surprisingly constricted hetero-normative imagination, and the creativity of the writing itself reduced to little more that an unimaginative series of juvenile names for genitalia.
I persevered. You don't need to even begin.

j
jmikesmith
Jun 05, 2012

Imagine, if you can, a a novel that combines the fantasy of Alice in Wonderland, the plot structure of the old TV show "Fantasy Island", the erotica of Penthouse, and the social satire of Gulliver's Travels, and you might have an approximation of House of Holes. The House of Holes is a pleasure resort of indeterminate location. It can only be reached indirectly, through magical tunnels, hedges, drinking straws, laundromat dryers, golf course holes, and assorted other apertures. You can have pretty much any sexual experience you want there. And the guests want a wide variety of experiences, which are described in comical, over-the-top language and explicit detail.

There's little plot to speak of. Each chapter is more or less a stand-alone vignette of some guest's experience (early chapters deal with how the characters get there). There are a few recurring characters and one or two situations that do carry through the assorted stories. The sex scenes start out fairly standard but quickly get more and more bizarre as the book progresses. Interestingly, there is less and less direct contact between men and women with each subsequent scene. And I think that's the main point.

This book seems to be satirizing modern society's obsession with sex and particularly the prevalence of soulless, love-less porn. In a bit of a role reversal, men are the sex objects here, to the point that some men allow their heads to be removed in payment for their time at the resort (in a safe, reversible way) so that their bodies can be used by women guests. The men get sex without having to think about it.

I think Baker is saying that sex is great, but without love and personal contact, it's just a tangle of arms, legs, and genitalia.

Bearrington Apr 01, 2012

Thoroughly enjoyable! I found this book both hilarious and highly entertaining.

I ended up reading numerous excerpts to my friends!

This book is obviously not for everyone though.

h
hajt3
Mar 03, 2012

crazy, sexy book, skipped the middle part, have enough of the sex, crude sex as only a man can write.

d
dirtbag1
Feb 29, 2012

Once you find the author's voice the humour shines through. I found this book a sexual version of Alice in Wonderland if it were told by Aldous Huxley. If suggestive language is not for you, best to avoid this book. This book will make you want to look at his other works. A funny well written book.Definitely thinking outside the box.

austinmurphy Jan 30, 2012

I either love Baker or hate him. I loved "The Mezzanine", "Vox", and "The Anthologist". I hated "The Fermata", "The Everlasting Story of Nory", and now "House of Holes". It's at least refreshing to know that there's a writer out there who's so outlandish and unique that he always inspires a strong reaction, positive or negative.

b
burleighsmith
Jan 12, 2012

I see this book needs a defender. One who doesn’t think “silly” and “literary” is incongruent. I agree it’s a little tiring, but isn’t that the nature of word play. With little plot or character development, a lot rides on being endlessly clever with language. I like that Baker’s written a book that is almost unquotable and one that must challenge readers to promote it with “word-of-mouth.” My defense is this: fantasy is the heart of much (all?) fiction. With HOUSE OF HOLES, Baker lampoons the overwhelming presence of the ideology of sex as man’s primary panacea. He just pushes the already pervasive metaphors and fantasies (I’m referring to my gender’s creative output) into the realm of the marvelously silly and sublime.

c
crlawrence
Aug 21, 2011

Awful! My 16-year-old son could have written it with a thesaurus and a stack of Penthouse magazines. I bailed after a chapter and a half. Ick. Ick! ICK!

r
ravensview
Aug 10, 2011

G&M review - porn, but nicely done. Third? from this author - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/house-of-holes-by-nicholson-baker/article2120900/
So so

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dirtbag1
Feb 29, 2012

dirtbag1 thinks this title is suitable for 40 years and over

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walkermom
Jan 02, 2012

walkermom thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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