Saturday, 23 October 2004


I've just finished reading Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker. It's about a guy who wants to assassinate George Bush. The title comes from this story. It's a short read (115 pages) in the form of a dialogue between two men. Although I read a lot, I not a big fan of fiction but I really enjoyed this book.


  1. I have a vague memory of seeing a review of this on Newsnight. I am always attracted to short books. I'll order this from the library. I have never wanted to read anything by that Susan G so I felt reassured by your review. I find that all books with a philosphical bent are very difficult to get through. Though they are the main non fiction that I read. I was reading two non fiction recently. One was Laff a biography about a pupil in St Mirin's in the late 50's. Interesting to know about the school and Paisley then but I found it a bit disappointing. Has anyone read it? The other is "After the terror" by Ted Honderich in which I am only at about page 50 after 4 weeks. But one of the things I like about fiction is that facts come out of the blue sometimes and you learn something that you didn't expect. I recently read "The Quiet American" by Grahame Greene. It is about Vietnam just before the American intervention. In it there is a conversation with a French pilot and I was surprised to learn (though maybe I should have known it) that they were dropping napalm on the north Vietnamese. I had always thought it was a solely American tactic.

  2. Yes, Gerry, it was reviewed on Newsnight Review a few weeks ago. That's where I heard of it. Co-incidentally, the book points out that the US continues to use a more advanced form of napalm in Iraq (this one burns better and - equally importantly - is not called "napalm").