Paul Chowder is a poet, but he's fallen out of love with writing poems. He hasn't fallen out of love with his ex-girlfriend Roz, though. In fact he misses her desperately. As he struggles to come to terms with Roz's new relationship with a doctor, Paul turns to his acoustic guitar for comfort and inspiration, and fills his days writing protest songs, going to Quaker meetings, struggling through Planet Fitness workouts, wondering if he could become a techno DJ, and experimenting with becoming a cigar smoker. Written in Baker's beautifully unconventional prose, and scored with musical influences from Debussy to Tracy Chapman to Paul himself, Travelling Sprinkler is an enchanting, hilarious, and deeply necessary novel. 'I think the job of the novelist is to write about interesting things, including things that might not seem all that interesting at first glance, and to offer evidence that life is worth living' Nicholson Baker
Nicholson Baker was born in New York City in 1957 and grew up in
In his many works
of fiction and nonfiction (including Vox, Checkpoint and Human Smoke), he has written about John Updike, about
getting up early in the morning, about the inner life of a nine-year-old
girl, about a man on his lunch hour, about the beginnings of the Second World War, about sex, and many other subjects too numerous to list here. Travelling Sprinkler is his tenth novel and his fifteenth book. He lives in Maine with his family.
The New York Times
Goofy and elegaic, intricately patterned and moving
Baker's endearingly comedic, covertly philosophical love story mischievously celebrates song and silence, steadfastness and loving-kindness
The book is a delight: funny, tender and endearingly bonkers. A lesser writer dealing with a hapless, guitar-plucking, cigar-puffing poet on the slide in his fifties would be tempted to shovel trouble at him for comic or emotional effect. Baker does the opposite, imbuing Chowder not only with a feverish intellectual curiosity but with a generosity of spirit...Baker has a strange and interesting mind, and a life-enhancing wit to go with it. Travelling Sprinkler sees him at the top of his form.
Independent - Terence Blacker
He once again shows he's a master of gentle, obsessively detailed comedy. Terrific.
Daily Mail - Harry Ritchie
melancholic and sweet
Evening Standard - William Leith
Genial, softly upbeat, written as flowingly as if he were telling a friend about his day
Mail on Sunday