- By Nicholson Baker


  • Title: Vox
  • Author: Nicholson Baker
  • ISBN: 9780679742111
  • Page: 393
  • Format: Paperback
  • Vox A man and a woman strangers to each other residents of distant cities have both called an adult party line Finding each other s voice attractive they soon switch to a private one to one connectio

    A man and a woman, strangers to each other, residents of distant cities, have both called an adult party line Finding each other s voice attractive, they soon switch to a private, one to one connection Their seduction through conversation begins hesitantly and then becomes erotic.

    1 thought on “Vox

    1. There's such a diversity of opinions concerning this book that I can't bring myself to take sides. Instead, I presentYour cut-out-and-keep do-it-yourself Vox reviewing kitThis (ground-breaking/tedious/overhyped/short) novel does for phone sex what (Last Tango in Paris/Lady Chatterley's Lover/Death in the Afternoon/The Bell Jar/Ben Hur) did for (sodomy/gamekeepers/bullfighting/suicide/chariot-racing). The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for policy reasons [...]

    2. Vox… Sounds almost like an expletive It’s Latin for voice… But also a US news website… A children’s book I read to my then eight-year old… Vox pop… Ultravox… and so back to voice.This short book reads as the transcript of the conversation between two strangers, Abby and Jim, who connect, one-to-one, via a sex line in the early 1990s. The brain is the sexiest organ, and the voice is a conduit from one mind to another: pitch, timbre, accent, and intonation determine the hearer’s [...]

    3. I liked this. Right now it’s 11.51PM (later when the review is complete) and I would rather be munching a shellfish platter than writing this review, but here goes. (That was not an innuendo, in case you were worried. However, it is a little known fact that men are attracted to oysters as it’s the closest they can get to cunnilingus in food form. I was told this at a marine snack-shack in Orkney). So. Two people dial a sex chat line, switch to a private room, and have a natural conversation [...]

    4. Do you know why emoticons exist? The theory in psychology is that a large portion of communication is nonverbal and an even larger portion of this is actually specifically facial. So what happens when you take seeing someone out of the picture? "I liked your voice" "What are you wearing" "which hand" and that sort of thing. I am left to wonder if perhaps phone sex party lines might be the reason men can no longer read body language. Gentleman, crossed arms means don't approach. This book is inte [...]

    5. What surprised me about this book was just how boring it was. I'd purchased it in college, after having gotten to know (as much as one can know someone you can't trust) over several months of almost daily calls the random phone sex caller at my college. And, as happens in this book, our talks ranged in subject from his religious views (which I found quite odd, considering how he'd found me) to philosophy to my negative views of myself. And so my expectations were very high when I found out about [...]

    6. I’m sure this high rating probably reflects poorly on me, but I don’t care. I enjoyed the hell out of this smutty little book. Perhaps it’s only modesty and some form of self-conscious restraint that prevent me from awarding it the final star. The structure and dialogue reminded me of Richard Linklater’s Beyond Sunrise. Both have this awkward, yet somehow too-perfectly scripted flow, but nevertheless possess an endearing, unashamed honesty, which, despite the unrealistic nature of the fa [...]

    7. VoxIf you are a slang and vocabulary junkie who can read inappropriate adult material, then I very highlyrecommend Nicholson Baker as your new favorite author. I laughed so hard out loud and alone while reading this book. I learned so many new terms for body parts and acts of sin from Vox.Of course, ten years after the book came out, they're more common terms. Not between you and I, of course. We're too polite when we speak on an adult chat line to each other.Vox is a very short book, less than [...]

    8. I have to give the author credit for bravery, for writing something this poorly and having no compunction or fear about putting it out there for all eyes to see and minds to ponder. It would be like me putting the first drafts of my own aborted novels out there; works that I simply couldn't bear having anyone look at. I learned a few things: that the discoloration of genitalia on Roman statues is due to people cumming on them, and that guys hang around the frozen food section of the store to see [...]

    9. So the entire novel is a phone conversation held between a man and a woman who found each other on a sex hotline. It's supremely unsexy, so if you're looking for porn, look elsewhere. But it is at times an interesting conversation to eavesdrop upon. I've seen other reviewers who say things like, "the conversation isn't very lifelike" or "there's far less Christian Grey in this than I'd prefer", to which I'd say: "I don't think you get it". Nicholson Baker is a weird dude who likes to tap into th [...]

    10. After finishing up Double Fold, Baker's fantastic treatise on the phasing-out of paper (and therefore invaluable and irreplaceable archives) at important libraries here and abroad, I had to go back and revisit Vox, his very well-received phone sex novel. The book consists in a phone sex conversation between Jim and Abby, two adults who serendipitously meet through what is probably a more explicit version of LavaLife (anyone else see those late-night commercials?). This, I know, sounds like a lam [...]

    11. This is a book I expected to find precious and overly high-concept and ended up enjoying immensely, and thinking about for a long time after I was done. It is basically a transcript of a phone-sex conversation over the course of several hours, written down with absolutely minimal frills (no descriptions beyond the conversation, no verbs beyond "said" or "asked," no adjectives or adverbs to describe the voices of the two participants). And yet Jim and Abby (whose names I remember although they're [...]

    12. I really loved this and at first I wasn't sure what to expect but even though it was very short it was very thought provoking. It is very pornographic but very intelligent. I didn't want it to end, I wished the two characters would keep talking on the phone for ever. It had a great voyeuristic appeal to it and it kind of reminded me of a Woody Allen movie. Most of all it was just pure fun.

    13. Ok, so I am done with the book. And I am glad to report that the book has a "happy ending" as you are bound to expect of a book like this.---------------------I am already getting enough ribs for carrying around this book.So right off the bat, I have to say, yes this is smut. But remember no pictures. And if you are looking for a turn on, you are much better off reading blogs or turning to the Internet than this book.In any human interaction or even a solo experience, there is the moment when it [...]

    14. this guy my writing teacher explained his books as basically huge magnifying glasses. one of his books, i believe, takes place entirely on one person's escalator ride from one floor to another. there's another book where someone picks lint out of his belly button for the entire length of the book. in this book, this guy calls a 900 number and has phone sex. that's the entire book. so we're talking a time span of a few hours at the very most. what's interesting though (and the book is entirely di [...]

    15. I actually really enjoyed this. I only picked it up at first because its one of the gifts Monica bought Bill. I'm kind of a star fucker when it comes to this kind of thingBut its really a small accomplishment about over-intellectualizing sex and trying to preserve distance as well as having that distance thrust upon you by social- technological- constraints.I mean, is there anyone out there in internet land who can really feel what I'm earnestly trying to say about all these books you might or m [...]

    16. I'm only half through this book right now, but it's absolutely ridiculous. It was actually on the "Staff Recommendations" table at my public library, and I figured it had to be amazing since it was erotica on a main table in the middle of the library.I was so wrong. Everything about this book is contrived and irritating. Has Nicholson Baker never had a telephone conversation in his life? Because that's the only possible excuse I can come with. The dialogue (and the whole book is dialogue, soo) i [...]

    17. What must've made this so zeitgeisty and fresh in the early 90's is kinda what makes it so fun now. On one hand it's tied to a time where people used adult chatlines, there's stuff about renting x-rated videos, even photocopying your peen seems somehow dated, and i loved how time specific that is. I also LOVE that Monica Lewinsky bought this for Bill Clinton, the BALLS of that! It was defo heavily hetero, and I didn't think it was as sexy as The Fermata or as hallucinogenic and funny as House Of [...]

    18. I read this book years ago - it's a quick read and merits a re-read so I can write a better review. Phone sex operators make money by keeping people on the line for as long as possible. The main characters engage in long, meandering conversations that are somewhat realistic but it's not really about the sex in the end, is it? It's more of a conversation by the author with himself on a variety of subjects, using the two characters to play out the different possibilities. My copy has a hot pink co [...]

    19. Baker just gets odder the more I read of him. This is supposed to be a single conversation between a man and a woman who both call into a phone sex line. It does get pretty steamy in parts, but they spend an interesting amount of time talking about their thoughts and such even beyond any sex stuff. A romance definitely brews in all the weirdness. You gotta love Baker, because nobody else I've seen writes stuff like this.

    20. Nicholson Baker's knowledge of household goods and product design, made me feel as if I have lived my life in total ignorance of objects and their possible roles. Something about the enthusiasm and rush with which the male narrator showers the dialogue with ideas, reminded me of Linklater characters in Slacker. The 90s were a fine decade after all.

    21. i'd be willing to bet that nicholson baker got the idea for this book one day while simply staring closely at the word VOX. at the individual letters, at the whole word. it's all right there. kinda had to be done.

    22. Have you ever wondered what it'd be like if Nicholson Baker could have phone sex with Nicholson Baker? Well friend, this book is the punishment you most certainly deserve.

    23. Disappointing. I read this before the Monica-Bill affair btw. I'm a fan of Baker's but I found the book tepid and wanting, given the subject & set-up.

    24. The cover says: "A brilliantly funny, perversely tender and technically breathtaking erotic novel." Inside the cover it says: "The most overtly feminist sex novel that anyone has attempted in years. I say feminist because the female character is on par with her male partner erotically. She is articulate, lusty, supplied with normal female caution but, just as normally, feminine curiosity and desire."It was very foolish of me to put any stock in a description of feminism relying on stereotypes of [...]

    25. This book details a single conversation between two people on a phone sex chat line. Neither party is a professional, rather they are both just ordinary everyday people who made the choice to call the line, liked the sound of each other's voices in the group area, and decided to switch to a single private line where they talk only to each other. This is where the book begins.Though the purpose of their call is for each of them to climax, they end up getting into a long conversation in the proces [...]

    26. Vox is a highly entertaining novel from the highly observant author Nicholson Baker. If you’re familiar on how his first novel The Mezzanine was just about an office employer’s lunch expedition to buy new shoe laces, you’ll have an idea how this brilliant author makes a premise that sounds a bit thin and boring and makes it highly entertaining and informative.Vox is about a 165-page length conversation about Jim and Abby, who meets over the phone when they both dial one of those enticing a [...]

    27. I enjoyed this book more for what it attempted rather than for what it actually achieved. As a careful delineation (and even negotiation) of the trials and pitfalls attached to human emotional (and just as presciently, physical) connections the book falls a bit short, not due to lack of authorial skill but more due to Nicholson Baker failing to develop his ideas just a bit further than what he gave us.However I would definitely be lacking as a reader/reviewer if I didn't make mention of the incr [...]

    28. Over breakfast this morning my wife told me that it’s National Masturbation Month and so I suppose it’s appropriate that the first book I read this month was Nicholson Baker’s Vox. It’s a book I’ve been aware of for many years—I remember flicking through a copy in John Menzies in 1992 when it first came out—but avoided it and I’ve only read it now after reading three other books by him because I’m becoming increasingly interested in dialogue novels. In that respect the book did [...]

    29. I first read this book maybe 10 years ago, after an Is Not Magazine contributor did a really interesting review of it. I'd already read The Fermata and thought of Nicholson Baker as a gleefully honest chronicler of the most perverse erotic pleasures. My reason for re-reading Vox is that I was writing an essay about ASMR and the difficulty of conveying sensory experiences (which are felt) in an audiovisual medium where they must also be represented. My experiment in the essay was trying to use ye [...]

    30. Vox could reasonably be described as postmodern; like, for instance, JR, it's composed entirely of dialogue. Unlike JR, it's not difficult to read, contains no contempt for its characters or for humans in general, and makes no attempt at erudition. This is incredibly refreshing.And despite the fact that Vox's dialogue takes place entirely between two people on a phone sex hotline, I submit that it's less about sex and more about forging a powerful connection between two strangers. Large parts of [...]

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