Multiple Choice

Multiple Choice

Book - 2016
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"Named one of the best books of the summer by the Wall Street Journal, Elle, the Huffington Post and Purewow "Latin America's new literary star."--The New Yorker "Brilliant. Like a literary exercise for the mind, but strangely fun to decode."--Elle "The most talked-about writer to come out of Chile since Bolaño," (The New York Times Book Review), Alejandro Zambra is celebrated around the world for his strikingly original, slyly funny, daringly unconventional fiction. Now, at the height of his powers, Zambra returns with his most audaciously brilliant book yet. Written in the form of a standardized test, Multiple Choice invites the reader to respond to virtuoso language exercises and short narrative passages through multiple-choice questions that are thought-provoking, usually unanswerable, and often absurd. It offers a new kind of reading experience, one in which the reader participates directly in the creation of meaning, and the nature of storytelling itself is called into question. At once funny, poignant, and political, Multiple Choice is about love and family, authoritarianism and its legacies, and the conviction that, rather than learning to think for ourselves, we are trained to obey and repeat. Serious in its literary ambition and playful in its execution, it confirms Alejandro Zambra as one of the most important writers working in any language"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780143109198
Call Number: FICTION ZAMBRA 2016
Characteristics: 101 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: McDowell, Megan - Translator


From Library Staff

Do you pine for the standardized tests of childhood? This book is for you.

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Nov 25, 2019

This is a pretty cool way of doing poetry! I wasn't a huge fan, mostly because I couldn't relate and the stories just weren't for me. Overall though, it's an interesting book!

Dec 01, 2018

More poetry should be this fun.

Apr 20, 2017

Innovative and entertaining, if slight.

Dec 23, 2016

Failed cleverness.

Sep 15, 2016

"The structure of this book is based on the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test, which students took in December each year from 1967 through 2003 in order to apply to Chilean universities."
Brief, atypical novel (If you can call it that.) by Alejandro Zambra, who is both "Latin America's new literary star" (The New Yorker) and "The most talked-about writer to come out of Chile since Bolano" (NYT). Structuring a book like an exam is kinda clever, but the story itself was rather conventional, though still enjoyable.

Aug 09, 2016

Multiple Choice was a little hard going at first - you just get lists of words, in the form of multiple-choice questions on a standardized test (the “Excluded Term” section is first). But it quickly becomes poetic through the word choice, and repetition of certain words. Plus if you’re a certain kind of person, which I guess I am, you are compelled to try out each of the multiple choice answers, re-reading all of the words in different patterns and combinations in your head. Since these are “excluded term” questions, you are also thinking about how the meaning of the group of words changes when one is left out.

The question types evolve just as they do on the actual standardized achievement test given in Chile. The writing becomes more detailed and filled in, as we move to Sentence Order, Sentence Completion, and Sentence Elimination. It ends with Reading Comprehension featuring a less fragmented, more familiar essay form. After being set up with evocative but incomplete words, sentences, and paragraphs, this was the most moving section of the book.

The format of the book made me think about, at the same time, the effects of our choices on our lives; the effects of the events and statements we choose to include (or leave out) in the story of our lives, that we tell ourselves and others; the effects of what words, sentences, and paragraphs the writer chooses to include or leave out. A change from “and” to “or” and everything changes. This, related to parents and children, a country and its leaders.

Aug 08, 2016

What is all the hype about this so called book? It's literally a muliple choice test where you provide the answers. Experimental? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. Here's a quick review: YAWN


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