Liam Guilar's Reviews > The Mezzanine

The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
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's review
Dec 25, 2011

liked it
Read from December 25 to 26, 2011

The book is endorsed by that well known writer of hilarity, Salman Rushdie, "A Seriously funny book." which may be a joke in itself.
It reminds me of being trapped at a table with someone who is determined to share their detailed and intricate memories of shoes and after the chairs have begun to bleed with boredom, and the cutlery has got up and walked away, some part of the brain dissolves and you find yourself in an hallucinatory space where the worst thing that can happen. the thing you dread most, is that the speaker will stop talking about shoes and start on something else.
The big draw back is not that nothing is happening, but that the prose is dull. It takes off at times but mostly it reads like a compilation of those books of Fifty two facts you didn't know you didn't want to know until we told you them...
So if the purpose of one kind of art is to make the ordinary seem extraordinary this book does it well. Shoes, drinking straws, bags, public toilets and escalators may never seem the same again. Original: possibly, quirky, definitely, though it reminds me of "Notes From the Over ground" by Roger Green (who also wrote the superbly titled and genuinely odd "Hydra and the Bananas of Leonard Cohen"; entertaining, maybe, it feels a bit forced at times. But Hilarious? Funny?

I kept thinking that Beckett would have done this so well it would have been laugh out loud funny.

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