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The Fermata

The Fermata

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The Fermata is a 1994 novel by Nicholson Baker
Nicholson Baker
Nicholson Baker is a contemporary American writer of fiction and non-fiction. As a novelist, he often focuses on minute inspection of his characters' and narrators' stream of consciousness, and has written about such provocative topics as voyeurism and planned assassination...

. It is about a man named Arno Strine who can stop time, and uses this ability to embark on a series of sexual adventures.


Arno Strine discovers he can stop time when he is a young man. He works on this power, and learns how to trigger and control these time stoppages. However, instead of becoming rich or a diabolic criminal, Strine becomes an elaborate voyeur. He stops time so that he can see women naked, and eventually creates scenarios that he can watch after he allows time to start again. But despite his enjoyment of this power, Arno wants a real relationship, and he overcomes his shyness to begin a relationship. When he finally consummates this relationship, his power to stop time passes to his girlfriend, whose own time adventures begin. Arno works on the story of this time power, under the title "The Fermata."

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