The Mezzanine

Nicholson Baker | Nonfiction, 1986 & 2010

142 pages


It was funny!  Yes, this is not a guest blogger!  I, Andrea, found this book funny.  It is allegedly the story of one escalator ride up to the Mezzanine where our narrator works, but of course that in and of itself would not create a book.  So, instead, he goes back to his past, his childhood, to relay stories about the most mundane things.  He begins by exploring the CVS bag in his hand, which has shoelaces inside and takes him back to learning to tie his laces.  We move on to explore a multitude of items and actions, including, but not limited to, glass milk bottles and the brilliant discovery of coated cardboard with a little V that you make at the top; learning how to turn a t-shirt right side out; the grooves of LP records, and the grooves made by ice skates; how to put on deodorant when you are all dressed; Lorna Doones in the vending machine; the evolution of drinking straws, etc., etc.

We first learn his name when someone greets him as he is peeing at a urinal in chapter 10.  It is Howie.  Howie is OCD, analytical, and/or has an amazing memory for the little, intricate, repeatable stuff of life.  This is all about the little stuff of life.

The Mezzanine has many footnotes, which were quite enjoyable, except a bit hard to navigate in an ebook. Because there was no plot, but only rambling observations, the book became a little tedious for me.   Still, Baker is quite a clever writer.  And I did laugh often!

Book # 20 during stay-at-home.


2 responses on “The Mezzanine

  1. mary cary Crawford

    Interesting! Will add to my when-the-library-reopens list….which is getting very long.

    1. Andrea Sigetich Post author

      My “Coronavirus” list is very long, too, and I will have to prioritize it!