A Book Review?

Can you imagine? Who would think to write a book where every sentence is a question? Have you read anything before by Padgett Powell? Do you find him as wickedly funny and remarkably clever as I do? Out of curiosity, have you paged through the author’s latest novel at a book store and decided not to buy it? In fact, can The Interrogative Mood even be considered a novel? Have you ever judged a book by its cover and been terribly mistaken?

Do you use exclamation points when you write letters? Do you find elegant the hypothetical question? Are you forever asking yourself how you are? And do you really care? Are you ever bored with your interior dialogue?

Do you religiously wash all your vegetables when you bring them home from the store? Do you prefer paper or plastic? Have you ever wished you could just ride off into the sunset, with or without your horse? Are you amused by the smallest thing sometimes? Have you ever heard voices in your head? No, really?

Can you explain relativity to a child? Can you even explain your relatives to your children? Have you ever considered taxidermy as a profession? Are you bothered by non sequiturs? Do you have a high tolerance for nonsense? Are you troubled by Spell Check? Do you ever miss the big picture? Do you often get the point? If there really were a genie in your bottle, and he could grant you just one wish, what would it be? And would you then change your mind? Does the inquiring mind really want to know? Exactly how much?

Would you read a book that pushed your buttons like this? Would it wear you down? Would you question the premise or abandon it mid-sentence? Would you turn to the last page to see how it ends?

Would the real Padgett Powell stand up and take a bow?

For better review go to:
Book Review - 'The Interrogative Mood,' by A Novel?By Padgett Powell - Review - NYTimes.com


  1. Would I be able to sort out my thoughts enough to comment intelligently? How would I feel if the answer were no? Is this sort of question asking addictive? Am I looking for a fresh addiction? Where do I go from here? Where have I, in fact, been? Is summer really over? Should I read the next post? Is it ungrammatical or at least ill-advised to end a sentence with a question mark? ?

  2. Hypothetical answers include but not necessarily conclude in the following:
    Couldn't say.
    Yes... very!
    Toledo (just a suggestion.)
    On a lovely blog on the Lake.
    Not until Sept 21.
    You did and I thank you.
    Yes, yes, I know.
    And yes, indeed, You are quite correct to question the double mark. Better advised wording would have been "Would you question the premise or abandon the book mid-QUESTION?" I deliberated there, then chose to forego the grammatical sense, in order to avoid repeating questions in the sentence. Follow?

  3. I did watch/listen to the YouTube video. And I found this passage from a Village Voice review:

    “You don’t so much read [The Interrogative Mood] as let it shove and jangle you into unexpected and highly pleasurable states of mind. Powell is a master of nouveau Southern lyricism....How this book works is beyond me, but, miraculously, it does.”

    Cool. And it's out October 5.


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