The Pequod Review:
The plot of The Mezzanine is irrelevant — it covers a single hour in the life of Howie, a low-level corporate grunt — but the book's brilliance is the way in which Nicholson Baker fills the narrative with precise and elaborate descriptions of neglected everyday activities. Whether it is the posture of escalator riders, the usefulness of earplugs, the anticipatory excitement of airport luggage carousels, or the thoughtful design of toilet paper (“Perforation! Shout it out! The deliberate weakening of paper and cardboard so that it will tear along an intended path, leaving a row of fine-haired white pills or tuftlets on each new edge! It is a staggering conception, showing an age-transforming feel for the unique properties of pulped wood-fibre.”), his observations are consistently witty and perceptive.