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The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

by

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? Cover

 

Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Are you happy? Do we need galoshes? Are bluebirds perfect? Do you know the distinctions, empirical or theoretical, between moss and lichen? Is it clear to you why I am asking you all these questions? Should I go away? Leave you alone? Should I bother but myself with the interrogative mood?

The acclaimed writer Padgett Powell is fascinated by what it feels like to walk through everyday life, to hear the swing and snap of American talk, to be both electrified and overwhelmed by the mad cacophony — the muchness — of America. The Interrogative Mood is Powell's playful and profound response, a bebop solo of a book in which every sentence is a question.

Perhaps only Powell — a writer who was once touted as the best of his generation by Saul Bellow and among the top five writers of fiction in the country by Barry Hannah — could pull off such a remarkable stylistic feat. Is it a novel? Whatever it is, The Interrogative Mood is one of the most audacious literary high-wire acts since Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine. Powell's unnamed narrator forces us to consider our core beliefs, our most cherished memories, our views on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In fiction as in life, there may be no easy answers — but The Interrogative Mood is an exuberant book that leaves the reader feeling a little more alive.

Review:

"A delightful stylistic flight, and as engrossing as staying up late at summer camp considering every goofy or brilliant question that comes into your head. Padgett Powell is one of the best writers in America, and one of the funniest, too." Village Voice

Review:

"[A] peculiar and mind-popping experience.... Most novels take us away from ourselves, into the lives and minds of other people. The Interrogative Moodgoes boldly in the other direction — and really, wouldn't you like to talk about yourself?" Amy Hempel

Review:

"Hypnotic...Jazzy meditations that wrestle with life's important questions." St. Petersburg Times

Review:

"Can you picture the rabble-rousing literary offspring of Flannery O'Connor and Donald Barthelme? Does the prospect of reading a lawlessly lyrical, comic novel composed entirely in The Interrogative Mood pique your curiosity?" Luc Sante

Review:

"This book will sear the unlucky volumes shelved on either side of it. How it doesn't, itself, combust in flames is a mystery to me. Padgett Powell has given us a wake-up call." Ian Frazier

Review:

"A remarkable collection of philosophical inquiries, stimulating either/ors and good-faith measures the gap between where we are as a species and where we belong. The Interrogative Mooddemands to be read deliberately, for it is courageous and entertaining and interested in the essential mysteries of self and society." New Yorker

Review:

"[An] ingenious provocation, devious and deeply hilarious riff, perfect party game, not to mention the most entertaining personality test ever devised. But above all it is another brilliant work of fiction, in some ways Powell's best, by one of the few truly important American writers of our time." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"You don't so much read [The Interrogative Mood] as let it shove and jangle you into unexpected and highly pleasurable states of mind. Powell is a master of nouveau Southern lyricism....How this book works is beyond me, but, miraculously, it does." New York Times Magazine

Review:

"A supreme literary stunt." Rick Moody

Review:

"[This novel] represents superior value in a crumbling economy. Its pages do not tell a story — they tell thousands of stories, all of them starring you. Powell pokes and prods, soothes and slaps you. By the end you will feel as rich as Haroun al-Rashid on the thousandth night." Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land

Synopsis:

Playful and profound, The Interrogative Mood is a bebop solo of a book in which every sentence is a question. In it acclaimed novelist Padgett Powell — a writer once touted as the best of his generation by Saul Bellow — force us to consider our core beliefs, our most cherished memories, our final views on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In fiction as in life, there may be no easy answers — but The Interrogative Mood is an exuberant book that leaves the reader feeling more alive.

Synopsis:

“If Duchamp or maybe Magritte wrote a novel (and maybe they did. Did they?) it might look something like this remarkable little book of Padgett Powells.”

—Richard Ford


The Interrogative Mood is a wildly inventive, jazzy meditation on life and language by the novelist that Ian Frazier hails as “one of the best writers in America, and one of the funniest, too.” A novel composed entirely of questions, it is perhaps the most audacious literary high-wire act since Nicholson Bakers The Mezzanine or David Foster Wallaces stories; a playful and profound book that, as Jonathan Safran Foer says, “will sear the unlucky volumes shelved on either side of it. How it doesnt, itself, combust in flames is a mystery to me.”

About the Author

Padgett Powell is the author of four novels, including Edisto, which was nominated for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, the Paris Review, Esquire, and other publications, as well as in the anthologies Best American Short Storiesand Best American Sports Writing. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches writing at MFA@FLA, the writing program of the University of Florida.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061859434
Subtitle:
A Novel?
Author:
Powell, Padgett
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20101005
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.17 in 18.24 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? New Trade Paper
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$13.99 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Ecco - English 9780061859434 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A delightful stylistic flight, and as engrossing as staying up late at summer camp considering every goofy or brilliant question that comes into your head. Padgett Powell is one of the best writers in America, and one of the funniest, too."
"Review" by , "[A] peculiar and mind-popping experience.... Most novels take us away from ourselves, into the lives and minds of other people. The Interrogative Moodgoes boldly in the other direction — and really, wouldn't you like to talk about yourself?"
"Review" by , "Hypnotic...Jazzy meditations that wrestle with life's important questions."
"Review" by , "Can you picture the rabble-rousing literary offspring of Flannery O'Connor and Donald Barthelme? Does the prospect of reading a lawlessly lyrical, comic novel composed entirely in The Interrogative Mood pique your curiosity?"
"Review" by , "This book will sear the unlucky volumes shelved on either side of it. How it doesn't, itself, combust in flames is a mystery to me. Padgett Powell has given us a wake-up call."
"Review" by , "A remarkable collection of philosophical inquiries, stimulating either/ors and good-faith measures the gap between where we are as a species and where we belong. The Interrogative Mooddemands to be read deliberately, for it is courageous and entertaining and interested in the essential mysteries of self and society."
"Review" by , "[An] ingenious provocation, devious and deeply hilarious riff, perfect party game, not to mention the most entertaining personality test ever devised. But above all it is another brilliant work of fiction, in some ways Powell's best, by one of the few truly important American writers of our time."
"Review" by , "You don't so much read [The Interrogative Mood] as let it shove and jangle you into unexpected and highly pleasurable states of mind. Powell is a master of nouveau Southern lyricism....How this book works is beyond me, but, miraculously, it does."
"Review" by , "A supreme literary stunt."
"Review" by , "[This novel] represents superior value in a crumbling economy. Its pages do not tell a story — they tell thousands of stories, all of them starring you. Powell pokes and prods, soothes and slaps you. By the end you will feel as rich as Haroun al-Rashid on the thousandth night."
"Synopsis" by , Playful and profound, The Interrogative Mood is a bebop solo of a book in which every sentence is a question. In it acclaimed novelist Padgett Powell — a writer once touted as the best of his generation by Saul Bellow — force us to consider our core beliefs, our most cherished memories, our final views on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In fiction as in life, there may be no easy answers — but The Interrogative Mood is an exuberant book that leaves the reader feeling more alive.
"Synopsis" by ,

“If Duchamp or maybe Magritte wrote a novel (and maybe they did. Did they?) it might look something like this remarkable little book of Padgett Powells.”

—Richard Ford


The Interrogative Mood is a wildly inventive, jazzy meditation on life and language by the novelist that Ian Frazier hails as “one of the best writers in America, and one of the funniest, too.” A novel composed entirely of questions, it is perhaps the most audacious literary high-wire act since Nicholson Bakers The Mezzanine or David Foster Wallaces stories; a playful and profound book that, as Jonathan Safran Foer says, “will sear the unlucky volumes shelved on either side of it. How it doesnt, itself, combust in flames is a mystery to me.”

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