Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Multiple Choice” as Want to Read:
Multiple Choice
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Multiple Choice

by
3.85  ·  Rating details ·  3,047 ratings  ·  573 reviews
Multiple Choice is unlike anything Ive ever encountered before. . . . Reading this book is a wonderfully disconcerting and unforgettable experience. Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name
 
There is no writer like Alejandro Zambra, no one as bold, as subtle, as funny. Multiple Choice is his most accomplished work yet. This book is not to be missed. Daniel Alarcón,
...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Penguin Books (first published December 1st 2014)
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 Multiple Choice, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Multiple Choice

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,047 ratings  ·  573 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Multiple Choice
Elyse  Walters
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Did you have 'Test Anxiety' when you were in school?
A Yes
B No
C Sometimes
D Always

This teeny-weeny book could take an hour to read --- or weeks. Your choice. You might feel a little intimidated by this tiny pale blue fiction-nonfiction-poetry-all of the of the above-none of the above, book, by Chilean author Alejandro Zamora.
Or....
You might settle in -and have an awesome and amazing time. Your choice.

If you hated taking multiple-choice tests in school, you have a chance to experience taking
...more
Fabian
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A magnificent collision between Dadaism & literature. A radical experiment that depicts a solemn reality behind much artifice & minutiae. It is risky. Overall: one great find for me at the Denver Public Library! (as per usual)
Rebbie
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Very clever indeed! It was a super fast read, although highly enjoyable. I especially love the silent stance the author is taking with the absurdity of (some? all?) standardized testing.
Lee Klein
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
My first Zambra, other than an interview I translated last year. Quick, clever, painless, joyful, melancholic, unpredictable, clear, cool, refreshing, effervescent -- and therefore like refrigerated lemon-lime seltzer, I guess. At worst felt like a little collection of stories padded by a great formal gimmick, one that I feel like I've seen before (maybe in Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts) but I can't remember; ...more
David Schaafsma
Did Alejandro Zambra actually create a novel in the form of a standardized test?!

A) Yes, he sure did, modeled on the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test which he himself took in 1993, with 90 multiple choice questions, some of them based on stories included in the test
B) No, Im kidding.
C) Chile? That sounds like too cool of a place to have standardized tests!
D) None of the above
E) All of the above

Correct answer: A

Might you describe this book as
A) A tour de force accomplishment?
B) A pretentious
...more
Trish
This work is all kinds of novel. Chilean novelist Zambra really puts us through our paces by making us actually participate in the process of his fiction. He gives us choices on how to finish his sentences. He starts simply enough, asking us to decide which word has no relation to the words given. The structure of the book copies the Verbal section of the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test, required of all applicants to university in Chile. Our minds race with the possibilities hes given us, and we ...more
Kelli
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
If this were graded, I doubt I would receive better than a C-. Presented in test format, I found this to be too much work and often confusing. This could be a brilliant stylistic choice but I tired of it quickly. 2.5 stars
leynes
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clever, poetic and strangely touching: Alejandro Zambras' novel in the form of a multiple-choice test exposes the absurdity of stupid admission tests and confronts the participating reader with moral conflicts.
Youll do well on the test, very well, dont worryyou werent educated, you were trained.
Alejandro Zambra takes a contemporary form of evaluation as a model: the "Prueba de Selección Universitaria" (PSU), introduced in Chile in 1967. The structure of the book follows, so the preliminary
...more
Cindy Burnett
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Multiple Choice is a one-of-a-kind read in the best possible way. Chilean author Alejandro Zambra innovatively styled his new book after the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test which students took every December from 1967 to 2003 if they planned to apply to college in Chile. Specifically, he chose the Verbal Aptitude section as he took it in 1993 which consisted of ninety multiple choice questions contained in five sections. While each section of the book was fantastic in its own right, my favorites ...more
Speranza
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I agree with those who label this little book as pretentious, but I guess I dont mind pretentious as long the author:

a) Has something interesting to say
b) Says what he has to say in an interesting way
c) Is interested in transmitting something beyond what he is saying
d) Is not interested in how what is saying will come across
e) All of the above

I read this in one breath and will need a second read to exhale it now.
If the Russians were born drunk, and the French were born perverted, then the South
...more
Paul Fulcher
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Unusually for me I won't write a detailed review of this one as everything has been said so much better by reviews from goodreads friends (and yes I know that doesn't normally stop me).

The question is whether my views on the book are best reflected by:

a) Doug's review which points out that this, in an English original, would be a classic Goldsmiths Prize book. Albeit I'm not sure Doug means this as a compliment given his view of the 2016 winner.

b) Tony Messenger's brilliant review which, as in
...more
Gumble's Yard
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
During my life, through school, University and then Professional qualifications I have taken many exams and would consider myself something of a connoisseur of the form across a spectrum which culminates in the mental, physical and intellectual ordeal of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos to in my view the rather banal existence of the multiple choice test, a form which I always considered as rather intellectually lazy and more designed for the convenience of the examiners and to introduce ...more
Book Riot Community
I absolutely adore Zambras work. Hes wildly inventive, never more so than with this novel, which invites readers to respond to thought-provoking, multiple choice questions, and to read short paragraphs, which illuminate his feelings on love, life, and family. Zambra is a gem, and I highly recommend checking out his backlist titles, too. His books are tiny treasures.

Backlist bump: My Documents by Alejandro Zambra (Author), Megan McDowell (Translator)

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all
...more
jeremy
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translation, fiction
i'm not overly fond of gimmicks in my fiction (or anywhere else for that matter). having read only a single zambra book previously (bonsai, which left me, admittedly, lukewarm), i thought it altogether likely that this would solidify for me an enduring disinclination to seek out anything further from the chilean author/poet. but it didn't. and, despite myself, i enjoyed multiple choice (facsímil) far more than i thought i would (i anticipated a lazy man's oulipo).

based structurally on the
...more
Marc
This a strange, little book, that is the least you can say about this booklet. The Chilean writer Zambra seems to give a duplicate (a facsimile) of the test that you had to take in his country at the end of high school, and which determined which studies you could proceed. His book starts fairly simple (or at least you think so) with a few classic multiple-choice questions (such as: which term does not belong in this list? Or put the sentences in the correct order), but gradually he builds up ...more
Amanda Coak
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Multiple Choice is one of the most unique reads I've sat through in awhile. Initially, I was drawn to the text due to its unique format, and because I was intrigued that a book would be written like an aptitude test. I'll be honest, at first, I was perplexed by Zambra. I was worried that the book would be mainly word connections and relations (the first third of the book) but then the novel takes a different turn, and the reader is given short passages that resemble short stories. The reading ...more
Christy
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This got increasingly clever and poignant and "laugh out loud" funny and was a memorable way to spend a couple hours taking turns reading each "problem" out loud with a girlfriend I'd missed spending time with on a train last summer between Cologne and Berlin last summer. I'd probably not like it as much if I was reading it alone or silently as it wasn't linear and had such a choppy model. It was a mellow and interesting time with the countryside and villages for scenery and my husband and ...more
Susan
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love epistolary novels so when I saw a recommendation for this one I immediately added it to my TBR list. A book written in the form of multiple choice tests could potentially be either really great or provoke nervous flashbacks of high school. It turned out to be the most enjoyable standardized testing experience of my life, although the bar was set pretty low on that one! The first part is full of clever wordplay and becomes surprisingly deep. I don't know how it's possible to convey such ...more
Tonymess
Nov 09, 2016 rated it liked it
This novel is _______?
a) Experimental fiction
b) Non fiction
c) Autobiography
d) Fiction
e) All of the above

The latest work from Alejandro Zambra is structured on ________?
a) The Chilean Academic Aptitude Test
b) Which was in place between 1967 and 2003
c) The need to pass this test to enter University
d) The Verbal Aptitude test that Zambra took in 1993
e) All of the above

The work is constructed into five sections. Which is your favourite?
a) Excluded Term
b) Sentence Order
c) Sentence Completion
d)
...more
Jim Elkins
Jan 09, 2017 added it
Shelves: chilean
What Happens When Constrained Writing Doesn't Follow Its Constraints?

Constrained writing, including Oulipo, depends in part on its constraints, or at least it advertises itself as depending on them. In the clearest cases, the constraint is simple and known to the reader, as in the Oulipean lipogram. In other instances, the constraints are multiple or private, and they lead the reader to puzzle over the text, deducing its departures from some normative path.

Since so much experimental writing is
...more
Beverly
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A luminous engaging inventive novel of micro-tales!

I was initially drawn to this book by the appealing cover as I like taking multiple choice tests, especially when I will not be graded. I was having much fun with Section 1 Excluded Term, justifying to myself why I chose what I thought what the correct choice should be there were a couple of times I changed my mind which changed the overall connection of the words in the group. But I thought to myself how cool this is this as I felt I was not
...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
This is a quick read that is basically an Academic Aptitude Test. Well, not really. It is written in the style of one, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is questioning the practice of such tests and allows you to draw your own conclusions and reflect on the questions and ridiculousness of the answer choices.

It was a fun and thought provoking read, however, I missed a result at the end. Some kind of score and evaluation of my answers. But the frustration of not getting one is probably also
...more
Lavinia
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
What even is this experiment? Flash fiction? Poetry? Political commentary?
Very clever.
Loved it.
Favourite part: Reading Comprehension.
4.5*
Jenny
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I am having a hard time reviewing this book. On the one hand, this is wildly creative. On the other hand, I feel like if I was someone else, I would have extracted a lot more.

This is apparently structured like a Chilean college entrance exam, which appears similar to the American SAT. There are 5 parts: Excluded Term, Sentence Order, Sentence Completion, Sentence Elimination, and Reading Comprehension. The first one was the weakest for me, although it was clever in some parts (for example:
BEAR
...more
Sarah
I had such mixed feelings about this one! Finally settled on a 3.25 as my rating.

The author states that the structure of this is based on the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test, which was taken between 1967 - 2003 in order to apply to Chilean universities. Apparently this test still exists under a different name, and the book is based on the test the year the author took the exam (1993).

First things first - I think this is a kind of gimmicky format. I applaud the author for trying something
...more
Kaitlin
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Alejandro Zambra book and I really enjoyed it.
The format is totally different from anything I've ever seen -- taking its form from the aptitude tests in Chile -- and I thought the stories, especially in the reading comprehension sections were devastating, hilarious, poetic, thoughtful and on and on. He is one of those writers who can encompass many different feels within one (and multiple) story.
His line "you were not educated, you were trained" is burned into my mind.

I
...more
Nnenna
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I may have missed the point of this book completely, and yet I still enjoyed it. Its structured like a multiple choice test and based on the Chilean National Aptitude test. I give this all the points for originality with the structure. Towards the end of the book, there are longer essays, which felt like short stories, and were easier for me to grasp. Even though I wasnt sure I was understanding everything, I felt like I was exercising my mind, which is a good thing. Reading this also made me ...more
Jessica Jeffers
I'm not not sure I get it...
Vivek Tejuja
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember loving multiple choice questions at school. I would actually look forward to that option at any exam or test, given that I could at least deduce some and get my answer and be almost sure that it would be the right option that I had chosen. Alejandro Zambras new book Multiple Choice is a book which is inventive, playful and based on the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test. It is one of the highly inventive books I have across in a long time (after Hopscotch by Cortazar I think and even he ...more
Callum McAllister
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of this is literary criticism, in its own way. But then there are the tools with which he creates the criticism: snippets of fiction, moments of character, voices which creep into the questions or the answers.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Discourse in a Di...: Multiple Choice 4 13 Aug 09, 2017 01:47PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Glaxo
  • Space Invaders
  • Mapocho
  • Sobre la emoción en el poema
  • My Two Worlds
  • The World is Round
  • Advertencias de uso para una máquina de coser
  • Romance de la Negra Rubia
  • Cardador
  • Valporno
  • Camanchaca
  • يوميات الحزن العادي
  • Qué vergüenza
  • Nocilla Lab
  • The Future
  • O Peso do Pássaro Morto
  • Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal
  • like a solid to a shadow
See similar books…
890 followers
Alejandro Zambra is a Chilean writer. He is the author of Bonsai, The Private Lives of Trees, Ways of Going Home, My Documents and Multiple Choice. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, Harper's, Zoetrope, and McSweeneys, among other places. ...more

Related Articles

April is the most hopeful of months, promising warm days and sunshine just around the corner. The weather is a little unpredictable, sure, but tha...
81 likes · 21 comments
“Everyone gets erased -- life consists of meeting people whom first you love and then you erase -- but you can't erase children, you can't erase parents.” 4 likes
“The day you were born was the happiest day of my life, but I was so nervous that I don’t know if happiness is really the best word to describe what I felt. I think it is my obligation to tell you, in spite of the absolute love I have always felt for you, in spite of how much you have brightened my life, and I assume your mother’s as well—I haven’t seen her in around ten years now, but I’m sure that for her as well you have been a constant source of happiness—in spite of all that, I have to tell you that during the eighteen years you’ve now been alive, I’ve never stopped wondering what my life would have been like if you had never been born.

It’s an overwhelming thought, an exit that leads to the darkest of nights, to the most complete blackness, but also to shadow and sometimes, slowly, toward something like a clearing in the woods. These fantasies are normal, but it’s not so common for parents to confess them. For example, over the years I have thought thousands of times that if you hadn’t been born I would have needed less money, or could have disappeared for weeks on end without worrying about anyone. I could have prolonged my youth for several more years. I could have even killed myself. I mean, the first consequence of your birth was that from then on, I could never kill myself.”
4 likes
More quotes…