The Mezzanine is the story of one man's lunch hour. It addresses the big questions of corporate life, like: Why does one shoelace always wear out before the other? Whose genius lies behind the folding spout on the milk carton? Whatever happened to the paper drinking-straw? Nicholson Baker's hilarious debut novel documents the thoughts of an ...
The Mezzanine is the story of one man's lunch hour. It addresses the big questions of corporate life, like: Why does one shoelace always wear out before the other? Whose genius lies behind the folding spout on the milk carton? Whatever happened to the paper drinking-straw? Nicholson Baker's hilarious debut novel documents the thoughts of an office worker as he day-dreams on the escalator, on his way to buy shoe-laces. Sparklingly original, intelligent and digressive, it paved the way for authors such as David Foster Wallace and Joshua Ferris and introduced one of the most controversial and acclaimed authors in America today.
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Publishers Weekly, 1990-02-09 Baker's first novel, The Mezzanine , was hailed for its minimalist conceit--the story of a lunch-hour sortie to buy shoelaces--and its exhaustive cataloging of objects encountered and thoughts entertained. For readers impressed with the precision of Baker's descriptive powers but chilled by its clinical rigor, this second novel will deliver a welcome warmth. Occasioned by a 20-minute bottle-feeding of his infant daughter ``Bug,'' narrator Michael Beal, a young house-hus- band, transforms the sounds and textures of an autumn afternoon into an absorbed--and absorbing--reverie: ``The Bug's nostril had the innocent perfection of a cheerio a tiny dry clean salty ring, with the odd but functional smallness . . . of the smooth rim around the pistil of the brass pump head that you fitted over a tire's nipple to inflate it.'' In a refreshing bit of candor, the narrator baldly states the author's goals: ``I certainly believed, rocking my daughter on this Wednesday afternoon, that with a little concentration one's whole life could be reconstructed.'' In a classic pairing of form and content, meditations on the images of infancy develop into mature, if somewhat ingenuous, reflections on the transit to adulthood. This is a small masterpiece by an extraordinarily gifted young writer. (Apr.)
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