Double Fold is an intense, brilliantly worded narrative that is sure to provoke discussion and controversy.
Nicholson Baker's exquisitely researched, gorgeously oddball Double Fold brought me to tears more than once: Among contemporary literature I've rarely read so passionate a book, and it's not just Baker's cause, the rescue from destruction of books and newspapers in our libraries, that got me. It's the way he's so willing, over and over again, to creep out on a limb, to risk readers' ridicule, taking them to and past the point where they are likely to say, "This guy just cares too much."
And Baker does care far beyond the realm of what might be considered normal, which is precisely the point. Some people (librarians especially) are sure to accuse Baker of being too heated, of not having enough distance from his subject to write a balanced treatise. [But] Baker gives us something much rarer. His passion is bound up in the very fibers of the pages; it's as concrete as the binding. Baker could have written a wholesome, boring, respectable tome about how the fate of the nation's books and newspapers hangs perilously in the balance. As it is, Baker's research is tireless and sound, and yet the tone of Double Fold is its own best argument: It's as close as a book can come to a living, breathing being.