The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell
A Novel?

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Synopsis

“If Duchamp or maybe Magritte wrote a novel (and maybe they did. Did they?) it might look something like this remarkable little book of Padgett Powell’s.”

—Richard Ford


The Interrogative Mood is a wildly inventive, jazzy meditation on life and language by the novelist that Ian Frazier hails as “one of the best writers in America, and one of the funniest, too.” A novel composed entirely of questions, it is perhaps the most audacious literary high-wire act since Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine or David Foster Wallace’s stories; a playful and profound book that, as Jonathan Safran Foer says, “will sear the unlucky volumes shelved on either side of it. How it doesn’t, itself, combust in flames is a mystery to me.”

 

About Padgett Powell

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Padgett Powell is the author of five novels, including The Interrogative Mood and Edisto, which was nominated for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Little Star, and The Paris Review, and he has received a Whiting Writers' Award and the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches writing at MFA@FLA, the writing program of the University of Florida.
 
Published September 16, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Interrogative Mood

Kirkus Reviews

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Is a novel without plot, dialogue, setting, narrative momentum and characters (except for the person asking the questions and the person/reader to whom they are asked) a novel at all?

Aug 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

The New York Times

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agent’s whimsical memoir, an epistemological study, a grammar guide, a dating primer or a book that playfully and provocatively asks so many questions — funny, sad, informative, rhetorical, prurient, maudlin, political and absurd questions — that under its spell you’ll more clearly envision a bet...

Oct 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

The Guardian

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Is my review of a novel composed entirely of questions itself going to be composed entirely of questions?

Nov 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

The Guardian

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What if I told you that, as unlikely as it may sound, reading this book – Padgett Powell's The Interrogative Mood – was one of the most intriguing and pleasurable experiences I have had this year?

Nov 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

Publishers Weekly

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Powell (Mrs. Hollinsworth's Men ) is in playfully provocative, top form in this slender book fashioned solely as a series of questions beginning with his limpid first: “Are your emotions pure?” and ending with his prickly last: “Are you leaving now?

Aug 03 2009 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

BC Books

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How many screwdrivers do you think is necessary for able-bodied normal household maintenance?” Is this the most original book I’ve read this year?

Oct 07 2009 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

BC Books

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I’m more intrigued by his ability to write 165 pages of continuous questions in a highly readable and entertaining format.

Oct 07 2009 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

The Bookbag

Summary: Padgett Powell challenges our perceptions of fiction with a book that explores what it is to be a novel.

Oct 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

Tampa Bay Times

What if somebody wrote a book that consisted entirely of questions — 164 pages of nothing but questions?

Oct 09 2009 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

“Of the children you may have known who were afraid of clowns, did they strike you then or later, as well-adjusted children or disturbed?” I did not want to read this book particularly.

Jan 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

London Review of Books

In a letter of 1852, when he was working on Madame Bovary, Flaubert told his mistress Louise Colet that what he really wanted to write, what he saw as ‘the future of Art’, was ‘a book about nothing’, ‘a book without external attachments, supporting itself by the internal force of its style’.

Feb 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

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