I have just finished reading then restarted reading Mezzanine. After I reread it, I went through again, with a pen and left notes in the margins. And not only did I leave notes in the margins, but pictures as well, and also single word phrases that are mostly circled within a smooth oval that some how represents an idea, or a thought. These smooth oval ideas mostly have arrows pointing to them or connecting to them like the squiggly tail of sperm. These ideas are fight against a river of ideas, and they all want to be heard. This is what it was like reading Nicholas Baker’s novel Mezzanine.
Irresistibly-readable, why? I don’t really know. I spoke a little to my friend Wesley about it, even picked up the book and read aloud, whole entire sections, in where the central character, really the only character, a fairly modern office worker, examines the little things is life, and I really mean the little things. He tries to figure out, relate to and understand things such as, “why does the straw in my soda float?” he comes up descriptive, highly detailed checklists for the best ways to end office conversations, or to keep them going. All of these boomeranging ideas are conducted during a single day, and single event. Baker’s character has broken his shoelace and is on a mission to purchase and new one. The book is full of footnotes, almost one footnote per page. Every footnote is a branching idea that reaches out and relates to the reader. Almost as if, every word Baker writes reminds him of some childhood nostalgia and in turn will remind you the reader of a childhood incident that you thought was long buried in the burden of getting your fat ass out of bed and off to work. Read the book or die.