Only Mark Dunn, author of the acclaimed Ella Minnow Pea, would attempt to write a novel entirely in footnotes-and succeed so triumphantly. Ibid is the off-the-wall fictional biography of Jonathan Blashette, a three-legged circus performer and deodorant entrepreneur. Dunn, a character in his own novel, is Blashette's esteemed biographer. But when Dunn's editor destroys the manuscript in an unfortunate bathtub accident, all that remains are the footnotes, which they arrange to publish in a consummate portrait of Blashette's strangely hilarious life story, one that offers some infinitely interesting morsels of American cultural history. Of course, as endnotes go, these are the tidbits, the marginalia: snippets of commentary, correspondence, court transcripts, song lyrics, and even a recipe for Boston baked beans. But in the topsy-turvy world of Ibid, the footnotes tell the truest story of all.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
MARK DUNN is the author of Ella Minnow Pea and Welcome to Higby. Originally from Memphis, he now makes his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's difficult to find a comic novel that can make me laugh out loud. Even so in period. Mark Dunn's book of footnotes (the author includes letters to and from his editor explaining what happens to the manuscript) is as funny and meticulously crafted as "Ella Minnow Pea". Like good actors transforming a clichéd rom-com into something special, Mark Dunn takes a specific literary device and transforms what could be a gimmick into a great book. Anyone sitting next to me was annoyed by how much I kept laughing out loud. I lovde the attention to detail, and how the jokes seemed of the period, and not anachronistic. Any books of footnotes has to be compared to "Infinite Jest", and so, I was hoping that the footnotes would have been at least as epic as those, since they comprised the whole "novel". Still, I was brought back to the times when I first discovered other humorists, and I am glad Mark Dunn is now among them. I think I would have given it five stars if there were more structure. Yes, it's a book of footnotes, but, I think it still could have given you a better sense of the missing book, in order to make it masterful.
Mark Dunn has done it again with an incredible follow up to his 'Ella Minnow Pea.' Like EMP, Ibid's story is also told in a creative manner. In this case, purely by footnotes. During the first chapter I was a little confused and wondered if this type of story telling would work, but after reading a couple of chapters I was hooked to this creative method of story telling. In a way we are getting bits and pieces of Jonathan's life but not the whole picture. In a way this is great because we are reading the 'footnotes' to his life, the stuff that the author did not deem important enough to actually be in the manuscript/story. So in a way, the 'insignificant' footnotes become incredibly important in the readers being able to understand Jonathan's life.
Original and witty. Just what we've come to expect from this wonderfully clever author.