At once intellectual sleuth and class clown, Nicholson Baker is a radical in the word’s mathematical sense: He gets to the root. His capacity for dissection covers such arcane topics as model airplanes, toenails, and the obscure books spotted on the shelves of furniture catalogs. Most compelling is his analysis of what we’ve lost as our libraries have discarded card catalogs for online databases. Yet Baker’s no knee-jerk technophobe.
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