It didn't matter that I hadn't written a book that had won a National Book Award, hadn't written a book of any kind, and didn't know how to golf: still, I felt strongly that Updike should have asked me and not Tim O'Brien.
He justifies this reaction with a remarkably intricate series of associations between his life and Updike's, starting with the major impact a golf joke in an Updike essay once had on him. When Baker reads in the paper that his local cops offer to X-ray kids' candy for razors, he plausibly imagines the droll "Talk of the Town" piece Updike might have spun from the item, glumly noting that Updike's piece would have been better. He even teasingly confesses that U and I constitutes "a little trick-or-treating of my own on Updike's big white front porch." By the time he actually meets his hero (at Rochester's Xerox Auditorium!) in 1981, Baker has transformed him into a character in a Baker story. Quite a trick--and a treat.
In his elegy for Yeats, Auden wrote that a great poet's words are modified in the guts of the living, but Baker proves what really happens: at best we misremember and mangle, shamelessly remaking the master in our own image. --Tim Appelo
This book caused me to laugh aloud. It's a new kind of "criticism," doing a piece a about a writer, Updike, without reading very much of his work. Read morePublished on April 18, 2012 by Sylvia Carter
I enjoyed Baker's MEZZANINE book more but I do appreciate his sharing in U and I typical problems author that authors face like "Have I used this idea before in print?"Published on June 30, 2011 by Glenn A. Harper
One of the most original - and honest - pieces of literature in the history of the planet, to date, at least. Read morePublished on January 20, 2010 by Irl Barefield
That may be true for most books, but it's doubly true for this one.
This book appealed to me because the author and I share a common interest (though in the case of... Read more