House of Holes by Nicholson Baker

so,  sometimes I like to highlight strange,  interesting and under the radar books and I’ve really outdid myself this time, House of Holes is easily the strangest novel I’ve ever read (rivaled only by the similarly titled House of Leaves)

I mean jeez, where do I even begin? I’m a little embarrassed to even be reviewing this book given the subject matter, but I’ve got to get my thoughts on this strange book off my chest

I guess the easiest way to describe this book is imagine if Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) made a porno with Caligula’s budget, yes I said porno, this novel falls into the category of “erotica” a genre I’ve always been curious about but until now never experienced and I picked a hell of a book to start with

House of Holes is surreal tale of a place called the House of Holes (obviously), it’s some kind of sex theme park for adults, except that it doesn’t follow the laws of reality, it’s kind of like a sexual Twilight Zone, a place where anything can happen and all your sexual fantasies can come true, guests are transported to the House of Holes Alice In Wonderland Style through literal holes, be they golf holes, cocktail straws, dryers or someone’s vagina, where they can experience such attractions as “the masturboats” and “pussysurfing the white lake”

if it sounds silly, that’s because it’s supposed to be, the novel is very funny, there’s a constant sense of humor throughout, most of it relating to the constant creative terms that Nicholson Baker comes up with for “penis” and “vagina” (some of which are laugh out loud funny) and other colorful sexual phrases like “jizm covered princess”, but if you’re expecting this book to make logical sense then you’ll be disappointed, that’s not really the point, it’s just a surreal sexual fantasyland, none of the characters seem to be surprised to find themselves transported to the House of Holes or any of the bizarre things that go on (and trust me some really, really bizarre stuff happens) and it’s never explained what exactly the House of Holes’ deal is, everyone just kind of goes with the flow

what can I say? this novel absolutely blew my mind, I have never read anything even close to this in my life, did it turn me on? yes, yes it did, in fact I was a little shocked at how sexy a book could actually be, I know that the “erotica” genre is generally seen as a feminine thing, the stereotype goes that men are supposed to like to actually see things and women are the ones that like to use their imagination, but there’s something to be said for using your imagination every now and then

it is beyond refreshing to read a book where sex is not depicted in any negative way, this is not some Bret Easton Ellis style tale of sexual immorality, it’s a world where sexual desire and pleasure is not supposed to be “shallow” or the characters “soulless” or anything, this is a world where all the pretensions come off, a world where the sexual nature of life that is always there below the surface comes to the forefront  and men and women are blunt and frank with each other about their true natures, the sex in this novel is graphic, but not grotesque

man, I almost found the book depressing because I wish the House of Holes was a real place, some people read the Harry Potter books and wish they could visit Hogwarts for real or whatever, me I wish I could visit the House of Holes

I find it ironic that the media has been paying so much attention to that “Fifty Shades of Grey” book, which from the sound of it is a bog standard BDSM tale that was once Twilight fanfiction of all things and has somehow become a best seller and largely ignoring this book, I guess the sexually liberated attitude of the book is a little too controversial or whatever, all I know is all those lonely housewives that read Fifty Shades of Grey don’t know what they’re missing


4 Responses to “House of Holes by Nicholson Baker”

  1. Baker is a great writer. He doesn’t just do erotica, but if you liked house of holes you should really read another of his called The Fermata. It also has sex on it’s mind and is very funny, but a very different book.


  2. I plan on reading Vox and The Fermata soon

    I started reading The Mezzanine, which I know is not erotica, but it’s his first book, so I figured hey, why not go back to the beginning?

    and well, it’s weird, I’ll give it that, but kind of boring, I’ll finish it at some point though

  3. Hey thecalhouns, your mother is a nasty std-infested skank whore.

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