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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does this book deserve 5 stars?
Is this book a novel? Is it a work of non-fiction? Is it even a book? What would you say if I said this was just a list of questions? What if they are humerous, interesting, thought provoking questions? Does the book warrant the hype it has received? Will you read it in a day like I did but think about it for many days afterwards? Is the format a conceit too far? Do you...
Published on 22 Nov 2010 by Big Jim

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Interrogative Mood
A most amusing book which you can dip in and out of at will. Well worth taking the time to read and then use it for quotes etc., I have enjoyed the book and now it goes as a present to a member of the family.
Published on 14 Dec 2010 by Mr. Robert Griffen


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Interrogative Mood, 14 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. Robert Griffen (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
A most amusing book which you can dip in and out of at will. Well worth taking the time to read and then use it for quotes etc., I have enjoyed the book and now it goes as a present to a member of the family.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does this book deserve 5 stars?, 22 Nov 2010
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
Is this book a novel? Is it a work of non-fiction? Is it even a book? What would you say if I said this was just a list of questions? What if they are humerous, interesting, thought provoking questions? Does the book warrant the hype it has received? Will you read it in a day like I did but think about it for many days afterwards? Is the format a conceit too far? Do you wish you'd had this idea first and made a fortune out of it? Is it worth the money? Why is this the first review of the book on Amazon UK when the book's been out a fortnight? Is this even a review? If so, isn't this a predictable and indeed pretentious way to do the review? Is the book worth buying? How many stars have I given this book? Am I taking this concept too far? Who said "yes" to the last question?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and profound fiction of questions, 11 Oct 2011
By 
Paul Bowes (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
The most obvious point to be made about 'The Interrogative Mood' is that it is composed entirely of questions. Gilbert Sorrentino used the same formal device in 'Gold Fools' (1999) ten years before Padgett Powell, and at much greater length; so Powell can't even claim stylistic novelty. His book (subtitled 'A Novel?') has to stake its claim to the reader's attention on other merits.

There are many different types of question. What they all have in common - even the rhetorical question - is the assumption of someone to whom the question is addressed. Powell can't know who his readers are, and so what any given reader might respond to any given question. It isn't clear whether his unnamed questioner has a particular addressee in mind. So 'The Interrogative Mood' works by posing to unknown interlocutors successions of questions that seem more or less arbitrarily divided into sections that in a more traditional work might correspond to chapters. Some of these questions invite direct responses that are never forthcoming - unless the reader chooses to provide them. Some questions follow from others, but most do not - although as the reader progresses, certain patterns of recurrence make themselves felt.

Some of these questions are funny, some metaphysical, others disconcertingly personal or eccentric. Slowly, the vague outline of a guiding personality behind the interrogation - someone who may be more serious in his intent than at first appears - surfaces, only to submerge again with a new non sequitur.

The novel is an almost infinitely flexible form. Whether 'The Interrogative Mood' is in any meaningful sense a novel is beside the point. Its tone reminded me of a number of American postmodernist writers, notably the late Donald Barthelme, whose best work was in the form of short stories that often have a similar balance of superficial humour and underlying anxiety and discontent.

'Are you a sweater person?' After a while in Powell's company, an innocent question seems to disclose hidden depths. One sees that the mere possibility of the interrogative mood opens up a universe of uncertainty and regret.

This is a book I wanted to reread almost immediately on finishing it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shouldn't everyone?, 27 July 2011
This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
This strangely intriguing book The Interrogative Mood is the author's journey through somewhere using questions only. Some of the questions are simple and some descriptive of the author's own knowledge and understandings. One feels compelled to keep reading and yet to go too fast means not spending time reflecting on your own answers to these soul-searching questions. It's definitely a book you can read more than once - though perhaps the second time would be more dipping in and out.

As an educator, the thought has crossed my mind that it would be a good exercise for my students to fill several sides with questions that come to their minds because if reading it has an effect on the reader then surely writing such a text will have a profound effect on the writer. The questions are personal because it is the writer who has come up with them and so, this time, I was not put off by the constant references to the references the author makes to things that only people from his background might know about.In the end I decided that everyone should write such a book. Why? Because in the end I believe it gives the writer as well as the reader a different insight into themselves than other forms of writing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing, 3 Dec 2010
This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
I heard about this book on radio four and expected to be moved but was still surprised at how it worked... Apart from being a bit "american" it helped me to decide on my next life adventure! It pins you down and demands and answer... read it...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One minute bamboozled, the next haunted, 2 Jan 2011
By 
emma who reads a lot (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
The Interrogative Mood is a fiction made up entirely of questions, but I had imagined that like a 'conventional' novel it was going to have a narrative. In fact it's much stranger than that and less pin-down-able. The questions are put to you, the reader, to answer, and many are thought-provoking, some are silly, some are odd enough to suggest something of the mind of the questioner. But I never really got to the bottom of what was happening, and although the overall effect was interesting (and my mind would wander back to the questions over the next few hours) I didn't end up moved.

Is a book simply made up of questions a thinking tool, an open-ended piece of poetry, or a pleasant waste of time? Possibly all three.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The King's New Clothes, 8 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
This is a short, 160 page book. Every one of those pages is covered in text that consists only of questions. Some thought provoking, some memory jogging, some related to earlier questions, but nothing but questions. No answers.

I read 30 pages, keen to see where all this questioning might get to, but eventually I had to flick forward. A dip into a few random pages, including the last, revealed more of the same. Nothing but questions.

Some (the critics quoted on the cover for example) might see this as clever, new and engaging. I saw it like being trapped in a lift with Rain Man suffering from ADHD. You don't want to be rude, but eventually you'd punch his lights out just to get a bit of a rest.

Some may believe the answer to life can be found in the endless tossing of a coin and some obviously think this book is deep and meaningful, life changing even. I thought it merely asked more questions than it answered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A profoundly unsettling experience, 6 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Paperback)
One may think that this is a gimmicky idea for a book - a bombardment of the same sentence mood - but this is fascinating work. At turns facile and mundane, at others, devastatingly disquieting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very clever, addictive book. Sometimes lost on a UK audience?, 3 Jan 2014
By 
Miss Lawrence (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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A Novel? Not quite, but this book certainly provided me with some light entertainment, that I really didn't think I'd get from a book that comprised solely of questions. Essentially the book takes you on a thought provoking journey of nonsense...

OK I'm not really selling this book am I?

The fact is, the book is cleverly written, quite scarily gets inside your mind and pokes fun at your answers but the questions asked, also give you pause for thought, some make you NEED to look up the answers online; some do not have a correct answer! It takes you through a series of emotions such as guilt, laughter and concern.

"Have you ever heard the saying, life is a sandwich of activity between two periods of bed-wetting?"

"Do you know what the longest military siege in history was?"

"If one of three planes was destined to crash, killing either the entire football team, the entire marching band or the entire cheerleading squad and you had to decide which plane was destined to crash, which plane would you select?"

The above questions are just a few examples, mostly the questions are cleverly laid out, to follow on from the last or a previous question.

This book would have received 5 stars from me, but many of the American references were lost on someone from the UK who doesn't follow US television or sports.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very raw wit, 4 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Interrogative Mood (Hardcover)
Definitely a very good piece of literary writing and worthy of praise. The language flowed well and I particularly liked the unexpected, staccato like nature of the sentences. Humorous, entertaining and intellectually stimulating, with some sharp, challenging and derogatory political statements; if a little crude and raw at times. I like the way the author is not afraid to hold back his lines of thought. Delivery service - no problem.
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The Interrogative Mood
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell (Paperback - 10 Nov 2011)
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