I finished the “scummy little book” (termed by Leon Wiesltier in this review of it in the New York Times), Checkpoint, by essayist and novelist Nicholson Baker and what can I say but that it’s kind of scummy.
The United States is going through waves of nauseau at the country’s prospects under either presidential candidate and authors like Nicholson Baker just add more fried food to the stomach mix. In the book, Baker depicts two middle-aged men, one of whom is discussing offing the current President. The scene takes place in a hotel in Washington, D.C. around the Spring of this year. The men speak in well-rounded, interesting sentences and one character attempts to convince the other not to go ahead with the assasination. I won’t give away the ending, but suffice it to say that it contains no moral, aesthetic, or intellectual transformations and one comes away from the book feeling cheap and tawdry, as if one just spent the night in a cheap hotel talking about killing the President.
Whether this was exactly Baker’s intention, I don’t know, but Baker is a great writer who appears to have simply cashed in on the phenomonon of hating the present Administration, deserved as it may be.

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