Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style” as Want to Read:
99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  103 reviews
99 Ways to Tell a Story is a series of engrossing one page comics that tell the same story ninety nine different ways Inspired by Raymond Queneau s 1947 Exercises in Style a mainstay of creative writing courses Madden s project demonstrates the expansive range of possibilities available to all storytellers Readers are taken on an enlightening tour sometimes amusing always ...more
Paperback, 207 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Chamberlain Bros.
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 99 Ways to Tell a Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 99 Ways to Tell a Story

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  710 ratings  ·  103 reviews

Sort order
Mar 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
This is Raymond Queneau's "Exercises in Style" reimagined as 99 variants of the same visual narrative. It's the kind of project that (I suspect) will leave most people scratching their head and asking WTF, but that will prove irresistible to a certain very specialized subset of readers. You know who you are. I'm not saying it's a given that you attend Comicon, have an unsettling mastery of Star Wars arcana, or work in Information Technology. On the other hand, the reader most likely to enjoy Mad ...more
Mark Hebwood
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix
Let me start by quoting from the blurb:

Inspired by Raymond Queneau's 1947 work of the same title, which told a simple story in ninety-nine different styles and genres ... Madden does the same but in different styles of comics - Marvel superhero, R. Crumb, Herge, even as a map or the Bayeux Tapestry.

Well, Matt's work may not have been quite as original as this statement suggests. In 1963, Gallimard published an illustrated edition of Exercises de Style, which contained drawings by Jacques Carelma
Mar 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Queneau-lite, for people who can't be bothered to read the French original; Madden draws 99 one-page cartoons, all presenting variants on this basic story:

[image error]

Some of the ideas are very funny! I particularly liked Manga, Superhero, Bayeux Tapestry, Map, Political Cartoon, How-To (he explains the process of drawing a comic strip) and most of the parody/homage pieces in honour of famous graphic artists. The Crumb parody is spot-on:


A few entries do give the impression of being there to mak
Elliot A
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a required reading for my digital storytelling course. I think I can see why it’s listed as mandatory, primarily to provide an overview of the various artistic styles of comic strip drawing, but beyond that it doesn’t hold much importance to most students in this class, since most assignments do not require the submission of comics. If that was the case, my limited skills would have me fail the course miserably.
The book was informative and explained many various styles of drawing comics
This is an absolute gem of a book that I stumbled across in my university library. I thought it looked whimsical and unique and so I just had to pick it up - and I was not disappointed at all. This was charming, funny, hysterical and definitely made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. Matt takes one scenario and twists it to fit different prompts and buzz words, which gives the story hilarious and refreshing twists. Some of them are so absurd that they don't quite make sense, but that makes ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Very interesting, very funny and just inspiring. Matt Madden has written the most boring one page comic story - he gets up to go to the fridge, his wife calls out to ask him the time, and when he gets to the fridge he can't remember what he wanted. Sorry, I've given the plot away. Having shown you the story, he then goes on to show you it another 98 ways, using different comic genres, different artistic styles, different styles of particular comic book artists, different view points... reading i ...more
Mark Schlatter
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Madden starts with a simple, almost banal, comics page that portrays him getting up from his desk, telling his wife what time it is, walking to the fridge, and then forgetting what he wanted. And then, he repeats that page 99 times in different styles. Sometimes he uses a different genre (superhero, manga, ...), sometimes he does a pastiche (Krazy Kat or Little Nemo in Slumberland), but often the changes are more formal (changes in perspective, panel type, or art style). My favorite page is call ...more
Rahul Jain
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Constraining yourself in the most ridiculous of ways can yield creativity in weird ways. I would recommend reading it in hardback - the fun arises in observing how every interpretation of the comic is different from the original template (and yet the same).
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is an imitation and homage to Raymond Queneau’s legendary Exercises in Style. Both works in turn reflect the tradition of books of etudes that teach and explore composition and keyboard techniques running from Bach at least to Shostakovich. Like Exercise in Style, 99 Ways To Tell a Story takes a very small incident: a man in what is evidently a two-story apartment leaves his workspace to go to the kitchen. He is interrupted by someone upstairs asking him what time it is. He then reache ...more
David Ramirer
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
eine wunderbare variation auf die 'stilübungen' von raymond queneau in comicform.
matt maden geht mit bestechend spielerischem ernst an die sache heran und zeigt - nicht weniger überzeugend wie sein inspirator - wie viele optionen es im comic gibt.
der einzige schwachpunkt besteht meiner ansicht nach in den hommagen, die sich in dem werk finden. diese sind zwar sehr gut umgesetzt, verlassen aber den klar umrissenen rahmen des werks, weil sie das fass zu weit auskippen... andererseits aber, es gäbe
Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Serendipitous find as I searched Amazon for books related to one of my favorites: Exercises de Style de Raymond Queneau. The premise, take the same 2 events, and retell them in 95 different ways, varying the style each time. This version is all about graphically, visually, retelling the same story. In my quest to get more visually intelligent about graphic novels, this was definitely a step in the right direction.
Christina "6 word reviewer" Lake
Stunning experiments in graphic storytelling. Eye-opening!
Rosaleen Lynch
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Does what it says... presents the same one page story 99 different ways. It's inspiring, witty and just plain clever. Thoroughly enjoyable read.
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A skilful and witty experiment in style that is also thought provoking, informative and fun.
Akemi G.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An exploration in pictorial and narrative expressions, after Exercises in Style. Other comic artists, such as Bill Watterson, have done some experiments like this, but this author took it seriously and made a book. Wonderful.

The first story Template has eight panels, and there are three direct quotes and one indirect quote that shows the protagonist's thought. Then the author shows his variations.

My favorites are:
* Subjective: how the 1st POV is like in comics
* Voyeur: reminiscent of Hitchcock
Vinayak Hegde
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, graphic-novels
The author and graphic artist Mat Madden takes a simple script and then illustrates drawing in 99 different styles. This shows how the same script can be depicted in different ways whether using different styles of drawing, minimalistic work, inkwork, noir, superheroes or any of the other myraid different styles in drawing, typography, storyboarding and narration.

The book serves it's purpose but many of the styles seem very forced. The styles could had notes but there are a few at the end (A few
Soobie's scared
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Soobie's scared by: Archivio Del Fumetto D'Alta Quota "Paolo Cossi"
L'aveva consigliato Paolo Cossi. Così mi son messa d'impegno e l'ho letto.

Ecco, forse non è uno di quei libri da leggere dalla prima all'ultima pagina. Anche perché dopo un po' comincia ad essere un po' ripetitivo, visto che è sempre la stessa storia raccontata in novantanove modi diversi. Chissà, forse avrebbe fatto faville come libro da bagno.

Ammetto che non l'avevo preso in considerazione all'inizio. Di Madden avevo letto Alla deriva e non mi era piaciuto per niente. Avendo poi letto anche u
Alberto Garcia Ariza
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brillante en muchos sentidos. Un ejercicio de creatividad muy enriquecedor. Quizás no todos los estilos están explorados en profundidad. Por ejemplo, la página dedicada al comic de superhéroes no explora la narratividad asociada al género y se limita a poner mallas y capas a los personajes. Donde sí es más interesante es en los ejercicios con limitaciones formales, por ejemplo, en viñetas horizontales, en punto de vista único, etc.
Muy recomendable y además gana muchísimo si se acompaña de la lec
Abián Torres
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
El planteamiento es sencillo, pero brillante: una misma historia contada de 99 formas, cada una concentrada en una sola página y con un estilo diferente (Todos de cómic). Un buen libro para aprender, para contrastar, y también para reír.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best graphic novel of all genre. It looks like just another comic how-to textbook. And it is indeed a good one. But what made this book a genius is that the author utilized all these 99 different formats of graphic novel to tell a humorous, yet philosophical story.
Nick Nguyen
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Amusing introduction and illustration of self-referentiality. A good introduction to the multiple choices that are available for graphic storytelling.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Few stories, I couldn't understand. A short description would have helped. Overall interesting perspectives on how to tell a story.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
A creative graphic novel about how to tell and story and the multiple perspectives of storytelling.
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspirational! It reminds me of Oblique Strategies.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me parece una publicación muy interesante
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very useful
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this book is creativity to the extreme
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
An entertaining book based on a brilliant concept skillfully and imaginatively executed. This book deserves more attention than it has received.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It was boring and I did not learn much from the book.
Andrea Rossi
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice and well executed excercise in style, but gets a bit boring after a while.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • City of Glass: The Graphic Novel
  • The Midnight Meat Train
  • 5 Is the Perfect Number
  • Writers Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction
  • Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor
  • Welcome to the Dahl House: Alienation, Incarceration, and Inebriation in the New American Rome
  • You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!  (The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks, #2)
  • The Book of Leviathan
  • Little Things: A Memoir in Slices
  • Edmund and Rosemary Go to Hell: A Story We All Really Need Now More Than Ever
  • The Adventures of Hergé
  • Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!
  • Invisible Ink: My Mother's Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist
  • Get a Life
  • Curses
  • Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay
  • Studs Terkel's Working: A Graphic Adaptation
  • Writers on Comics Scriptwriting, Vol. 1
MATT MADDEN is a cartoonist and the author of 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style. Together, they are the authors of Drawing Words & Writing Pictures.