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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 10:53 pm:   

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=536594

"The Mezzanine" contains the best and funniest couple of chapters on shy bladder and office men's room etiquette that anyone will ever write.

He wrote a gripping horror story about a potato.

And now this.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:31 am:   

from the above link:
Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are described as "rusted hulks" and "zombies" who have "fought their way back up out of the peat bogs where they've been lying, and they're stumbling around with grubs scurrying in and out of their noses and they're going, 'We - are - your - advisors.'"


LMFAO!!!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:09 am:   

I liked the Mezzanine, wasn't much fond of Vox,. Baker pisses me off, because I was thinking of writing a book kind of like the Mezanine, and once that territory is staked out, you have big trouble registering yr claim. Hell, he does better'n I would, anyway. It really wan't my thing. I look forward to seeing this one. Should be fun. I saw him talking briefly about it on CNN.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:54 am:   

Vox was his big bestseller so I never read it.
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Martin
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 03:31 am:   

Yeah, Vox is a little disappointing, especially if you come to it after the others. At least its not outright bad like The Everlasting Story of Nory. The above sounds brilliant.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 10:29 am:   

Ugh. It wasn't. I'm really irritated it even managed to be marketed as a novel. It's a one-act play. The parts quoted above are the best parts, and they all come at the beginning. Big disappointment.
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Martin
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 03:22 am:   

No, it wasn't. Here's my micro-review:

Jay rings up Bob and asks him to come over to his hotel room. Bob, worried about his friend, drives over. Jay informs him he wants to kill Geroge W Bush. He has some rather unorthodox ideas for achieving this end:

"I've got a huge boulder I'm working on that has a giant ball bearing in the centre of it so that it rolls whereever I tell it to. And it's indestructable. It's made of depleted uranium and it's a hundred tons of metal that just rolls, baby. So that's an option."

Bob is understandably not so keen on the idea:

JAY: First I need to know whether you are in or out.
BOB: What? I'm out, I'm so out.
JAY: Are you with me or not?
BOB: I'm not with you. Not with you.

As that quote suggests the book is presented as a transcript, as with Baker's earlier Vox. Given solely dialogue to go on the pleasure of the novel is reading between the lines, imagining the two men as Bob tries to talk Jay out of his desire. In this it is better than Vox but not amongst my favourite Baker novels, those like Room Temperature and The Mezzanine that wander where ever his fancy takes him.

It's the first novel I've read that namechecks Talking Points Memo and at first you think maybe Baker should have just got himself a blog. However although his meanders are predominantly political Baker isn't particularly interested in putting forward an argument. Jay and Bob are both lefties (one the voice of reason, the other the lunatic fringe) but as with his other novels he is just riffing. At times it is very funny but too often it's like eavesdropping on someone's pub politics debate, when such interminable conversations are only palatable when you can stick your own oar in.

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