Checkmate

A book about killing the president proves a snooze

Hey, we know–it's universally acknowledged, okay?–that Bush has been a disaster, but tonally and morally rudderless novels from outraged Leftists that fantasize about how cool it might be to kill the man ain't gonna do anybody a damn bit of good–it makes the Left look incapable of legitimate response to power, which feeds the Right's glee. And it makes American fiction writers look as politically numskullish and out-of-it as European and Third World writers think they are. It might make Baker feel a little better, but that's no reason to foist it on the world.

Checkpoint: A Novel by Nicholson Baker; Knopf. Hardcover, 128 Pages, $15.95.

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