The novel is a plotless, stream-of-consciousness examination greatly detailing the lunch-hour activities of young office worker Howie. His simple lunch of popcorn, a hot dog, cookie, and milk, and buying a new pair of shoelaces are contrasted with his reading of a paperback edition of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. Baker’s digressive novel is partly made up of extensive footnotes, some several pages long, while following Howie’s contemplations of a variety of everyday objects and occurrences, including how paper milk cartons replaced glass milk bottles, the miracle of perforation, and the nature of plastic straws to float, vending machines, paper towel dispensers, and popcorn poppers.
I stole that plot description directly from Wikipedia. I have no shame. Actually, what I have is no patience for novels that are plotless, stream-of-consciousness examinations of some simpleton. Can you believe it, this book was praised for its “focused prose, and fierce attention to detail.”
Thanks, but I prefer a story. I want something to happen. I have enough of my own stream-of-consciousness thoughts streaming, I don’t need those of some fictional Mediocre Fred.
Gee, I seem to have hit a little pile of b-o-r-i-n-g books this week. Oh well, you win some, you lose some, and sometimes it’s a tie score.