The Mezzanine Paperback – 12 Jan 1998
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From the Inside Flap
Turns an ordinary ride up an office escalator into a meditation on our relations with familiar objects--shoelaces, straws, and more. Baker's debut novel, and a favorite amongst many of us here.
About the Author
Nicholson Baker is the author of eight novels The Mezzanine, Room Temperature, Vox, The Fermata, The Anthologist, A Box of Matches, Checkpoint, and The Everlasting Story of Nory and four works of nonfiction, including Human Smoke. He lives with his wife and two children in Maine.
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Top Customer Reviews
Not only is this book a pleasant change from the normal "paint-by-numbers" approach to story formulation, one is surprised at the simple humour that can be found in the apparently simple acts that our subject performs during his day.
When I read about the author of this book in a newspaper I looked up the first work which was mentioned in the article, "The Mezzanine", I read descriptions and it sounded exactly like what I would enjoy in a book. What I love about media, whether it be photography, film or now books, what I like is to immerse myself in the ordinary, but not my ordinary, someone else's ordinary. I adore films such as Lost in Translation for example, and this book fit the bill to give me pleasure.
I was right in what I suspected, I read the book in only a couple of days, as it is very small, 135 pages in the edition I read. It's structure is unique, at least unlike anything I have read, with long, floating foot notes that wander from the source and become small stories in themselves, whilst the main story itself continues on. I was laughing to the point at tears at some of the chapters, especially his lengthy discussion of men's bathroom etiquette in an office situation... hilarious!
I would recommend this book to anyone that loves to immerse themself in, as I said, someone else's normality, their every day lives, but an every day life that is not your own. This book submerges you in the mind of the main character, and you feel as though you are along for the ride of one of his lunch breaks - it's really great.
If you want to start thinking about the detail of what you do, and the why of you doing it, then this book will give you the chance to realise your dream.
If you want to read about a lawyer who nearly gets murdered by his client, John Grisham is down the hall.
I guess one way to approach it is to ask yourself how your own brain works, and realise what it is you spend your day thinking about - the sort of stuff you find interesting. It's a very personal question, and your answer will be particular only to you, because other people's brains don't work the same way. Question: Do you find it fascinating to think about the tiny, fine details of things, such as why one shoelace wears out before the other (why not both at the same time, since you walk on each foot the same amount?); or gents wash-room ettiquette ?
If you're that type of person, then you will find Nicholson Baker an auther who shares your curiosity - and he uses his books to hold forth on the minutiae of life - the sprockets in celluloid film; candlewick bedspreads; the day-dreams we have - and he does it in a highly funny way. Me: I find his books fascinating and he makes me laugh, and if you like this book, try "Vox", "The Fermata" and "A Box of Matches".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting elongated description of everyday things, if that's what you want. Guess it may have too many words for a lot of people.Published on 31 Dec. 2013 by Amazon Customer
This is the first time I am disappointed - I ordered a new copy of the book "The Mezzanine". What I received was a very well-used copy. Read morePublished on 1 Sept. 2011 by ulla tarras
I bought my first one of these when I was at university had to buy another because the first one was so worn out. Read morePublished on 11 Jun. 2011 by Ginger
The Mezzanine (Granta Paperbacks)
Read this book! You will be enriched by detail and astonished by your empathy.
Proust with Asperger Syndrome. Baker describes one work lunch-hour with dizzying detail, and an array of huge, memory-saturated asides about the little, technical things in life:... Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2008 by Daniel Bor
It's a strange concept to be sure but reading about the main character's lunch hour is certainly a smart and, initially at least, engaging concept. Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2004 by mitch_mitchum