Read Talk by Corey Mesler Online


Corey Mesler's novel is set completely in dialogue. And to steal the thunder from one of its blurbs, you're going to be surprised at "just how sexy a novel made out of dialogue can be." (Frederick Barthelme) You're also going to be surprised at how mesmerizing such a novel can be as you fill in descriptive detail even as you read/hear the central character Jim, hip and briCorey Mesler's novel is set completely in dialogue. And to steal the thunder from one of its blurbs, you're going to be surprised at "just how sexy a novel made out of dialogue can be." (Frederick Barthelme) You're also going to be surprised at how mesmerizing such a novel can be as you fill in descriptive detail even as you read/hear the central character Jim, hip and bright owner of a metropolitan bookstore, quipping with his customers, philosophizing with his wife and artist friend, instructing and learning from his children -- and heating afternoon stew pots of audacious linguistic sexiness with his erstwhile, almost lover. In the end, all the talk amounts to much more than talk: it builds meaning. Aristotle may have defined us as "political, " "featherless, " and "bi-pedal"; Mesler defines us as TALK....

Title : Talk
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780942979862
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Talk Reviews

  • Alan
    2019-03-28 19:12

    So different from the last book I read - George and Rue - which was about poverty, murder, racism in 1930s/40s freezing Canada. This is so much lighter and about male middle aged angst amongst the fairly well off in modern day Memphis. And for that I was grateful - I needed a contrast and this was ideal. 'Talk' is, as the title suggests, all dialogue and is elegantly executed, a fine piece of work. It is accurate and funny about how people talk to each other and how the tone and content change depending on who you are talking to, wife, pal, mother (on the phone - the reader only hears one side of the conversation), child and possible lover. Very good.A few caveats though - dangerous to go into eroticism (dirty talk) as this works or not according to your proclivities, although it was OK by me. Some goodreadians might not appreciate the 'male menopause' mithering, indeed from the my mid-50s vantage point the forties seem an outpost of youth, however I do remember feeling something similar then. Definitely a list man in operation here, actor's best films, best fiction etc. pepper all the talk. As a librarian I was fine with that, and especially pleased by the literary references, particularly to Henry Green, my favourite author. One of the side pleasures of the book was the working-in-a-bookshop incidents with customers wanting a book without knowing author or title or subject matter (it was mentioned on Oprah), or a book with pages cut differently. Again as a librarian it all chimed with me (it was yellow).all in all a pleasure.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-20 19:21

    I loved this book. I loved it for lot of reasons. It's written in a unique style, but exactly like real conversations flow without a lot of superflous detail. It's smart, really smart, there were words in there I'd never even heard before, but I sure know what they mean now! It's witty, and it's sexy, but most of all it's humorous, and all those things together make up a really great book. I read it all at once, because once I started it I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen, and I wasn't disappointed by the ending. Really, really great writing.

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-23 15:17

    I really liked this book! I was engaged the entire time and I loved how stories emerged through dialogue alone. I will read more of his work.

  • B. Hale
    2019-04-20 23:09

    It was just way too boring for me (shrugs shoulders)

  • Burke's Bookstore Book
    2019-04-21 17:16

    “Corey Mesler’s Talk is a brilliant tour de force of a novel, witty and wise and zingy with the zeitgeist. This is indeed an auspicious fiction debut.” Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Good Scent from a Strange Mountain“Corey Mesler’s novel-in-dialogue Talk is a smart, funny, harrowing look at the way language at once defines us and fails to sustain us. The conversations that comprise this beguiling work are mercurial, diabolically deceptive, able to change from consolation to confinement at the turn of a phrase—phrases, incidentally, turned as neatly as a key in a lock. With a pitch-perfect symphony of voices recalling the experiments of Nicholson Baker and William Gaddis, Talk is a bittersweet gospel for our time.” Steve Stern, Jewish Book Award winner for The Wedding Jester“Not surprisingly, Jim-the middle-aged protagonist of Corey Mesler’s Talk: A Novel in Dialogue—talks and talks. He talks about sex, desire, the movies, his anxieties, parenthood, love and books. Does all this add up, he wonders, to a life? To “the” life he wants to live? Jim’s answer is complex, but the reader’s never is. On each page of this honest, precise and utterly believable book, I wanted to say to both the author and his narrator, ‘Yes, of course. Go on. Go on’.” Debra Spark, author of The Ghost of Bridgetown“Talk is original and evocative. Mesler has a sharp ear not only for how we say things, but, more importantly, for what the words really mean. A unique reading experience.” John Grisham“Corey Mesler’s novel Talk is a terrific read, a real pleasure for book lovers and lovers of contemporary fiction. Written entirely in witty, sometimes dour dialogue, Talk cycles through the details of a bookseller’s personal life, a life that looks just about like everyone else’s—melancholy and affection, temptation and redemption, love and death in equal measures. Talk is a marvelous look at the contemporary culture, riddled with lovely asides and its fair share of jokes, almost every one of which is as affectionate and engaging as a joke can be. And you’ll be surprised how sexy a book made out of dialogue can be. It’s a wonderful, funny, touching story. Buy it and read it and you’ll be glad you did.” Frederick Barthelme, author of Moon Deluxe“Corey Mesler is not afraid to tackle the big issues of contemporary life in this provocative and engaging novel—a talking cure for our times, though nothing is resolved, really, as in life. A refreshingly realistic, intelligent and sexy novel.” Lee Smith, author of Oral History“Talk is the best thing I’ve read in so long I cannot get over it. It’s just so right, so now, so sexy…” Margaret Skinner, author of Molly Flanagan and the Holy Ghost“It is a bit of Beckett, sprinkled generously with Mamet…In the end…this book is a well-crafted exploration of a life of ‘quiet desperation’.” Doug Ibbetson, Ibbetson Review“The entire book is written in conversation, yet within five pages, the reader’s mind begins to fill in all the background info, and the story springs to life complete with all the senses engaged. The other remarkable aspect of this book is that you’ll be amazed to read lines you would swear only lived in the private world of your thoughts.” Richard Hunt, City Beat (Cincinnati) “Art is in one corner, the ‘edge of alone’ in the other. Making this book is Hedge against Edge…One thing hard: [Jim] manages to complain about the culture and remain interesting. And funny. This is a big difficulty and hard to surmount. One thing human: his resistance is amusing but his guilt is very real…Painful agony of realism…yet what ridiculismo! Talk rings wholly true.” Marly Youmans, author of The Wolf Pit“It’s an accessible book, but it’s not stupid…The pauses, the hems and haws, the jazzy rhythm—those things drive the book along, make it sort of addictive really. Mesler skates right through, skimming atop all this talk with the knowledge that there’s a reality behind it all that nevertheless feels shadowy, deceptive, ephemeral but palpable, too. For this is a bedtime story, ultimately, a story about marital sex and monogamy and the imaginative ways one goes about keeping all of that aloft. And it’s also its own thing, not just the sum of its imposing pedigree…it’s a story about a specific world view (ahem: vision) that emerges from a specific place and from a specific historical moment…Splendid.” Marshall Boswell, author of Trouble with Girls“I so loved Talk—it is new and unique, hot and immediate—I could not put it down…one of the best books of the year, and I have touted it as such to my friends and fellow writers.” Suzanne Kingsbury, author of The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me”Talk: A Novel In Dialogue by Corey Mesler (owner of one of the country's oldest (127 years) independent bookstores, Burke's Book Store, Memphis, Tennessee) is the uniquely presented and compelling tale of a bookstore owner undergoing a mid-life crisis. Spiraling fears, impulses, and out-of-control demands all weave a story in dialogue in this no-frills narrative, which reads much like an old time radio play. A singularly fascinating and unique account, Talk: A Novel In Dialogue takes the reader from beginning to end through a full-attention, literary whirlwind! Highly recommended reading. A singularly fascinating and unique account.” --Midwest Book Review“Talk…asks difficult questions about loyalty, sexuality, happiness and love. Mesler draws the reader in with an intimate, conspiratorial tone…An inchoate spirituality permeates the book. Jim is caught between wanting to believe that there is an order to things, a predestined plan, and feeling anxious in the face of the seeming randomness of the universe…Mesler must be commended for the ambitious form of Talk, and moreover, for the novel’s thoughtful, honest and poetic exploration of the human heart in conflict with itself.” --Melissa McIntosh Brown, The Memphis Commercial Appeal“Talk is an accomplished piece of work. I enjoyed every minute of it and reveled in whole sections of it.” --Phyllis Tickle, author of The Shaping of a Life“I love Talk—it has so much warmth and humor. It has Bruno Schulz. It’s a smart book and I hope it gets the audience it deserves.” --Miles Gibson, author of Mr. Romance and The Sandman“I've finished TALK, a delightful read. Mesler truly has an ear for dialogue. The book is so intimate I get the feeling I'm eavesdropping on private conversations. It's a wonderful story, creatively told. I've never read anything quite like it.” --Rex Burwell“[Talk] made my writing spine tingle with appreciation: idea and execution. Fierce and flat-out funny. Truly a pleasure, start to finish.” --Kat Meads, author of Not Waving“As its title suggests, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue is both written entirely in dialogue and concerned with establishing a meaningful ‘dialogue with the world.’ Mesler opts for a minimalist and streamlined approach to speech, closer to an Americanized Henry Green… The microrants that Jim, the novel’s in medias life-crisis protagonist, delivers throughout the book are directed at the dreck of popular culture and frequently revolve around sex and women… his observations on contemporary life are often witty, quirky, and amusing and help to balance a portrait of a character that at times may seem a bit of a womanizer and a solipsist. In this respect the novel has the charm of The Tao of Steve, with a Woody Allenesque quality. Yet the question remains: Is this all just talk? Is Jim simply a self-obsessed neurotic, or are his complaints legitimate? By illustrating through Jim’s struggles how dialogues with the self, others, and the world may be the only way of grasping meaning in our lives, Mesler says that it is and isn’t all just talk.” --Ralph Clare, in The Review of Contemporary Fiction“What a smooth, bright, sophisticated piece of work—and how gutsy, too—all that damned fool stuff like furniture that everybody else fusses with that you ignore,” --David Markson, author of This is Not a Novel and Springer’s Progress “So few writers can achieve good dialogue and Mesler hits every note on key. I always knew exactly who was speaking…and he kept such tension among a remarkable set of characters.” --Cary Holladay, author of Mercury “The author, in this debut offering, uses imagery, wit and humor to bring his tale to life. As you turn the pages, you wonder - are you a participant in the conversation or an eavesdropper?...Mesler managed to captivate me so much that I finished the entire book in one evening. His mastery of dialogue should inspire many writers to avoid expounding with descriptions when conversations adequately create the characters and situations that are the focus of a story.” --Angela Landreth, Bookloons “In a word, wow. I was struck by the bravery of the book and the sheer bedrock intelligence behind it. It’s hard to write in such a learned way and make it accessible but Talk does it. There is more intelligence and humanity in it than in anything Woody Allen ever did, to my tastes.” --Cynthia Shearer, author of The Celestial Jukebox“The Memphis atmosphere creates in its artists a unique blend of intellect and sexuality and that mysterious thing called funk, that thing called soul. I see it in Talk…in Hustle and Flow…We do deep thought, existential angst and all that but we're all players. The vaudeville of the mind as Gordon Osing would say.” --Thomas Belcher, author of Parcheesi Blues“Corey Mesler's TALK takes the all-dialogue technique pioneered first by Henry Green and later (and more famously) by William Gaddis and reshapes it for the lovely and dirty New South. Reading the book is like eating amphetamines, and yet the conclusion still detonates a number of unexpected surprises. Another reviewer mentioned VOX, and yet TALK is so much warmer: the lovers in Mesler's book actually share a bed, and this brand of intimacy extends to the reader.” --Marshall Boswell, author of Trouble with Girls“I really enjoyed Talk. It was refreshing to read something that moved so quickly, and with such wit. I find so often the 'funny bits' in novels tend to be ruined by exposition and over explanation. With the dialogue, there was no way to draw attention to the lines, and so I felt I got more out of the conversations because I was more actively involved as a reader in trying to decipher the tone, sarcasm etc. Refreshing to read something outside the regular formula of a fiction novel.” --Jennifer McCartney, author of Afloat. “I love writing that's sparse and full at the same time. And I love how much empathy and warmth the characters had for each other. It's such a lovely book in lots of different ways. The pacing was just perfect, I loved the way you ended it, loved the little scenes from the bookshop, the abortive affair. Its a real art to balance comedy and gravity, and you pulled it off with great panache. Ended it just at the right moment, left the reader wanting more, but satisfied.” --Nikki Magennis, author of Circus Excite “Now yes, it was all talk and you know we were going to be a sucker for that, and yes its funny, and interesting, but man, could Corey write about more things we love? Coffee. The Simpsons. Ethan Hawke. The Twilight Zone. Kafka. Penny Hardaway. Watching sports with the sound off so you can read. Not to mention that fantastic Thurber quote - "Don't get it right, get it written." How sweet is that? Very. We plan to live that quote. What a great book, all awesome.’ --Ben Tanzer, author of Lucky Man

  • Anji
    2019-04-12 18:35

    Outstanding. I love it when I find a book that I can say is both wonderful and unique. Corey Mesler is an amazing writer.

  • Dan
    2019-04-01 16:32

    Unique and very good. Who'da thunk "a novel in dialogue" woulda worked so well?

  • Ben
    2019-04-11 22:10

    Just nails what near middle-age male dwell on and talk about.

  • Corey
    2019-04-05 21:34

  • Corey
    2019-03-27 16:37