A Box of Matches, Nicholson Baker’s new novel is slow to start, however the novel begins to grab the reader with its monotony, describing and celebrating everyday life through the thoughts of an everyday man. The main character Emmett, is a middle aged man with a wife and two kids, who believes that his time on earth is numbered. Trying desperately to counter act the flow of time Emmett wakes up before the sun everyday and writes his thoughts in the dark, after participating in his usual ritual of making coffee and lighting a fire in the dark. Reading like a journal, Emmett’s thoughts vary in scope, covering topics such as biting into apples and having his son crawl into bed with him after having nightmares. Although the opening line of each chapter, “Good morning, its (month) and it is (time)” becomes mundane and rather dreary, Baker still manages to make every day tasks heartwarming.

Joanna Davila can be contacted at

March 5, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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