A New York Times Notable Book of 2001
Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
In this inventive novel, octogenarian book collector Mr. Mee discovers the Internet with life-changing results. Told from the points of view of the guileless Mr. Mee, two eighteenth century French philosophers, and a middle-aged university professor, Andrew Crumey's book concerns the creation and mysterious disappearance of Rosier's Encyclopedia, an explosive text written more than two hundred years ago that purportedly disproves the existence of the universe. At times funny, often thought-provoking, and completely engaging, Mr. Mee is Crumey's most rewarding novel to date.
"Fans of Tom Stoppard and Michael Frayn will relish this novel's puzzles and paradoxes, its unfolding and ingenious designs....Crumey is a confident narrator, and his book has a heart as well as a brain. It is not only an intellectual treat but a moving meditation on aspiration and desire." Hilary Mantel, The New York Times Book Review
"In all three stories, the protagonists lose the mastery of their fates to that old devil Lust...and an epilogue in Proust's bedroom puts the bow, so to speak, on this brainy, comical package." Ray Olson, Booklist
"The playful preoccupation with alternative realities that dominated Scots author Crumey's previous fiction also informs this richly amusing novel....[W]onderfully obsessive characters....Rattling back and forth between two centuries, this agreeably serpentine tale speaks volumes about the folly of scholarly preoccupation and the unreliability of received wisdom, while never neglecting to entertain the bedazzled reader." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] learned romp...enriching, enlightening, and highly entertaining." Barbara Fisher, The Boston Globe
"Crumey has written another novel of ideas in the grand tradition of Calvino, Borges, and Kundera....[A] delightful romp....The novel isn't perfect its philosophical asides can be hard going...but Crumey's light treatment of hefty material should win the minds, if not the hearts, of his readers." Publishers Weekly
"Andrew Crumey's new novel Mr. Mee disturbs as it diverts, charms as it challenges. As the 'me' in Mr. Mee slyly suggests, this is a novel that ponders and plays with the mysteries of selfhood, consciousness, and reality." Merle Rubin, Washington Times
About the Author
Andrew Crumey is the author of three previous novels, Music, In a Foreign Language, which won Scotland's Saltire Prize for Best First Novel, Pfitz, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and D'Alembert's Principle. He lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.