01 January 2010

Book Review: The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell

Every once in a while, I decide to pick up something really outrageous and bizarre, and see how I would tolerate it. This is one such item.

Padgett Powell's The Interrogative Mood is a novel (?) about me. Yes, it is about me. I learned quite a lot about myself reading this novel. Now, how would that happen?

Well, what else do you expect in a book that is filled with sentences that are in the interrogative mood? Every sentence in this book is a question. The author does nothing but asks the reader questions, ranging from whether I am a vegetarian or not, to my opinion about butter-pecan ice cream, to my relationship with potatoes.

I guess the subtitle of this book was rather apt. The full title of this book was The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? Honestly, is this a novel? Probably not. There wasn't a plot. There wasn't a trace of a story, but instead, I think, this was simply a collection of questions, that one can ask someone else, and armed with the answers, one can construct a profile of the person answering them.

So, I guess this was indeed experimental literature. Is it literature? Maybe, for the 164 pages of questions that it had, I found myself giggling at times. I suppose the Powell's knack for words just worked that I never found myself annoyed at why I would be reading otherwise a very absurd and bizarre book. Would I recommend it? Maybe, only to those who want something different and at the same time possessing an open mind. 3 out of 5 stars.

See my other book reviews here.



(Wooden Ballerinas, from my Hirschhorn Museum Series)

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