The Interrogative Mood

Padgett Powell
Profile Books

The Interrogative Mood is a remarkable book. Com­posed entirely of questions, the premise seems arbitrary yet it is astonishingly insightful. Though this can be an exhausting read, the tirade of questions posed by the author, Padgett Powell, is compelling and mesmerising. The stream-of-consciousness style is riddled with humour and titbits of information.

The prose is beautiful and the questions admirably structured, touching upon all aspects of life from the mundane to the sublime, with a fair dose of the absurd. Powell fires off razor-sharp questions with a casual flair that belies the intensity and personal nature of some of the questions.

There is a sense of genuine shared experience throughout the book and it is frequently self-referential, building upon and advancing earlier decisions, answers and conceits. Powell is provocative and relentless, even questioning his own authority as interrogator. Brilliantly inventive and intelligent, The Interrogative Mood is a bewildering and fascinating story, Not only is it unique and strange, but this bizarre book will linger in your mind long after you’ve stopped reading.

Bryony Byrne