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The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? Paperback – Sep 27 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (Sept. 27 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061859435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061859434
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #434,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 42 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Is this a novel? Nov. 27 2009
By mhpc - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whatever this book is or will be recognized to be, it is one of a kind. Literally every sentence in the book is a question. What amazed and delighted me is that it's actually a good read! Not just because it is witty, captivating, touching and beautifully written... there are more examples of all that. I was reminded more than once of Holden Caulfield. I could well believe that this is him badgering you with all these questions. (and in view of Salinger's easy access to lawyers I hasten to add that this is purely my own private impression, and in no way is the author responsible.)

I believe here is a new way of storytelling, and a very interesting and rewarding one. When I got over my initial surprise (and yes, impatience) I found that instead of sort of trying to answer the questions, my brain started to go with the flow... much as I would go along with a strong, intelligent and convincing voice, not unlike those of Nabokov's Charley Kinbote or Martin Amis' John Self. But even among these giants Powell more than holds his own. The Interrogative Mood literally forces your brain to make up its own 'story', and in that sense offers a truly different and new reading experience. Much more than previous lame experiments in 'interactive' storytelling, this book needs a good reader to make it happen, to make it complete. Be that reader and you will never forget it.
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Can I ask a few questions, too? Feb. 28 2010
By Stuart Dolnick - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What's the point? Is it the reader's task to somehow make sense out of a series of random questions? Is novelty enough, or should a new form justify its existence by actually accomplishing something?

How did the writer know when to start a new paragraph? Isn't a paragraph supposed to have a topic sentence? Is it up to the reader to interpret the significance of the paragraph structure, too? If a paragraph on page 20 changed places with one on page 100, would you be able to tell? Can you think of any other book where you could do that and get away with it?

Amy Hempel, were you really referring to this book when you wrote that this is a "precise and beautiful novel"? In what way is this a "novel"? Do novels require characters and plot? What,exactly, did you find precise and beautiful?

Are you still interested in reading this book? Does your library have a copy? Would you really consider buying it?
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Most Thought-provoking Book I've read in Years Oct. 30 2009
By Eros Faust - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It would be tempting to think that just by experimenting with literary style, and using only questions to write an entire book, would be gimmicky and the effect of the gimmick would wear off. It doesn't. Powell has packed so many thoughts into his interrogatories that each question stimulates you to high quality thought.

I recommend it.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
:-) Nov. 19 2009
By A. Stevenson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading this book. Witty, ridiculous, droll, disarming, laugh-out-loud, original. A peek inside the author's mind: Ye gods, fella! I really loved it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
How did this get published? Because it's funny! April 23 2010
By thing two - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was put off by the idea that someone could get away with writing a 'book' of just questions. As I started reading it I thought "What, no plot? No character development? How did this get published?" I can now answer this question ... because it's pretty darned funny!

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