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The Mezzanine

by

The Mezzanine Cover

 

Staff Pick

The Mezzanine was the first work I read that questioned some pre-packaged notions I'd digested about the soullessness of corporate culture. Well, I'm still wary of all those fluorescent lights and motivational speeches, but Baker can make drinking-straw hinges seem profound.

This fiction/meditation, whose narrative spans the length of time it takes the young protagonist to ride an escalator to the mezzanine of his office complex, proves once and for all that one can elaborate to near-infinity on absolutely any topic — and if one is brilliant, like Nicholson Baker, the result can be hilarious and meaningful. Most of the book is embedded in footnotes, a gimmick which really works for its sprawling (and charmingly neurotic) voice. A classic.
Recommended by Sandra G, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Readers follow the journey of our hero up the escalator and learn why straws don't sink in milk cartons; whether the hot air blowers in bathrooms are really more sanitary than towels; the physics of shoelaces; and how the most trivial of objects can lead to the deepest revelations of the human heart.

About the Author

Nicholson Baker has published five novels — The Mezzanine, Room Temperature, Vox, The Fermata, and The Everlasting Story of Nory — and two works of nonfiction, U and I and The Size of Thoughts. He lives with his wife and two children in Maine.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Cathy from Olympia, Washington, October 20, 2006 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
To me, this quirky novel reads more like a memoir. Among various random thoughts, protaganist Howie muses about escalators, straws, ice cube trays, and why "after two years my right and left shoelaces could fail less than two days apart." Howie devotes pages and pages to shoelaces, shoe tying technique, friction on shoelaces caused by shoetying and walking....

The novel includes frequent and lengthy footnotes. Yes, footnotes! For example, in the footnote that begins on page 121 and ends on page 123 (Vintage ed.)--"... footnotes are the only form of graphic digression sanctioned by centuries of typesetters. And yet the MLA Style Sheet I owned in college warned against lengthy, "essay-like" footnotes. Were they NUTS? Where is scholarship going? (They have removed this blemish on later editions)."

The Mezzanine is definitely not your average novel!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679725763
Author:
Baker, Nicholson
Publisher:
Vintage
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Men
Subject:
Men -- United States -- Fiction.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries (Paperback)
Series Volume:
0000
Publication Date:
19900116
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
7.98x5.30x.39 in. .36 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Mezzanine Used Trade Paper
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Product details 144 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780679725763 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Mezzanine was the first work I read that questioned some pre-packaged notions I'd digested about the soullessness of corporate culture. Well, I'm still wary of all those fluorescent lights and motivational speeches, but Baker can make drinking-straw hinges seem profound.

This fiction/meditation, whose narrative spans the length of time it takes the young protagonist to ride an escalator to the mezzanine of his office complex, proves once and for all that one can elaborate to near-infinity on absolutely any topic — and if one is brilliant, like Nicholson Baker, the result can be hilarious and meaningful. Most of the book is embedded in footnotes, a gimmick which really works for its sprawling (and charmingly neurotic) voice. A classic.

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