Book review: The Way the World Works, By Nicholson Baker


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"Miniaturist" is the word customarily applied to Baker, and it seems spot-on for the introductory essays in this glittering collection: kite string, warnings on airplane wings etc.

But there isn't anything miniature about his attack on "book dumping" by libraries (the technical term is "weeding"). Topics don't come bigger than his defence of pacifism during the war.

One feels relieved that a majority of Baker's countrymen did not feel the same in 1942, but we should be gratified that such an intelligent, articulate stylist is applying himself to the essay form.