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Ibid: A Novel (2004)

de Mark Dunn

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3051284,731 (3.32)16
When the only copy of his manuscript - a biography of a three-legged circus performer-cum-entrepreneur - is lost by a careless editor, writer Mark Dunn accepts an offer to publish the only surviving text - the footnotes. With great playfulness, Dunn writes himself into this full-length novel.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Let me preface this by saying I'm a huge fan of the Author's Ella Minnow Pea. Due to the middling reviews on this book I very nearly removed it from my list. I'm so glad I didn't.

But, you might say, you only gave it 3 stars. True. Let me explain.

Dunn's creative concept is this: to tell a story completely in footnotes. He succeeds... partly. Is the story told? Yes. Did he effectively spoof historical works? Absolutely. Are some good laughs had along the way? Sure.

However, just like I would any historical notes section, I skimmed the majority of the text. Either that is a sign of it's brilliance or it is a sign of it's failure to create content that is intriguing. I, pessimistically, chose the latter because I would prefer not to read it again. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
A gimmick novel, but the gimmick is pretty amusing. ( )
  AldusManutius | Jul 5, 2020 |

I have been looking forward to reading Ibid: A Life by Mark Dunn. It is the imaginative biography of Jonathan Blashette, a three-legged man. After opening with several letters between the author, his editor, and his brother, that explain what happened to the actual manuscript, the entire story consists of the endnotes (the use of "footnotes" is obviously a pun) to the missing fictional biography.

I found Ibid hilarious, and really did laugh out loud several times. It tackles, tongue in cheek, the addition of all sorts of real historical references while obliquely telling Jonathan Blashette's life story by inference, through endnotes. Using real historical references and people to tell the story made Ibid even more successful and accessible for me. Most of the endnotes themselves are quite funny.

While telling a story through endnotes seems like it might be awkward, I thought it really flowed smoother than most of my experiences in reading endnotes and was a fresh take on another way to tell a story. The fact that many of the footnotes were long and rambling segues added to the humor.

My one suggestion would have been to make some of the endnotes more closely resemble those you see in other biographies. Often biographers will discuss the problems with previous biographies or mention discrepancies between them - but that's a minor quibble. All in all, I really quite enjoyed Dunn's Ibid, although I also know it will not be a good choice for everyone.
very highly recommended; http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/
( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
It is an interesting concept for a book and has many amusing moments - but overall - interesting peripheal people who hook up with the main character through events in the 20th century and really do not much of anything. Forest Gump meets Jerry Seinfeld (without the charm of either). Not high on my list of recommendations.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
HAHAH! This was amazing. I LOVED Ella Minnow Pea, and this was not a disappointing second read. ( )
  amaraduende | Mar 30, 2013 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Even though it seems unlikely that a story told in footnotes would flow smoothly, this one does.
adicionado por Katya0133 | editarLibrary Journal, Lisa Nussbaum
 
The book reads as if Dunn had a brilliant time writing it, but readers may find the going tougher.
adicionado por Katya0133 | editarPublishers Weekly
 
Humorous, quick like the wind.
adicionado por Katya0133 | editarKirkus
 
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
Footnotes let us hear the missteps of biases, and hear pathos, subtle decisions, scandal an anger. - Chuck Zerby, The Devil's Details
The author may, therefore, include in the notes such things as lists, poems, and discursive adjuncts to the text. - The Chicago Manual of Style
I just love footnotes, don't you? - Diana Gabaldon, The Outlandish Companion
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For my wife Mary who rocks my world
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When the only copy of his manuscript - a biography of a three-legged circus performer-cum-entrepreneur - is lost by a careless editor, writer Mark Dunn accepts an offer to publish the only surviving text - the footnotes. With great playfulness, Dunn writes himself into this full-length novel.

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