Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003

A Box of Matches by Nicholson Baker

Further proof that great novels don't have to be titanic, towering tomes.A Box of Matches is an almost plotless book about a middle-aged man who gets up every morning before dawn, stares into the fire, and thinks about things: his life, his marriage, his daughter, his pet duck, his small mistakes, his small successes. Each page glows with humor and deft observation, but one senses a wasteland of pain and loss outside that tiny circle of warmth.