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Multiple Choice

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,548 ratings  ·  507 reviews
Multiple Choice is unlike anything I’ve 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
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Penguin Books (first published December 1st 2014)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,548 ratings  ·  507 reviews

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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.
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
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 usual)
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.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Παρακάτω σας δίνονται 5 επιλογές για το πώς θα μπορούσατε να περιγράψετε την ζωή σας. Σημειώστε ποια φράση θα μπορούσε να αφαιρεθεί, επειδή ή είναι άσχετη με την δοσμένη, ή δεν παρέχει πληροφορίες ή περιττεύει:

A. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής και τώρα που μιλάμε είμαι στην σελίδα 7856 και συνεχίζω.
B. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής και τώρα που μιλάμε ψάχνω να βρω το φύλλο με τις απαντήσεις.
C. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής. Η δική σου;
D. Η ζωή μου είναι έν
B.R.A.CE. 2018 4 βιβλία από 4 διαφορετικούς εκδοτικούς οίκους (4/4)

Πόσο παράξενο και ταυτόχρονα πόσο ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο. Παρουσιάζεται ως ένα τεστ δεξιοτήτων αλλά είναι πολλά περισσότερα. Είναι το πώς αισθάνεσαι και το πώς ερμηνεύεις τα κείμενα την στιγμή που τα διαβάζεις.

Σκέψεις, τυχαία κείμενα, απαντήσεις για όλα τα γούστα. Ειδικά το κομμάτι που σου ζητάει να αφαιρέσεις από την ιστορία μία ή και παραπάνω παραγράφους, σε κάνει να διαβάζεις ξανά και ξανά για να αποφασίσεις. Νομίζω πως κάποια
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
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 he’s given us, and we ...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, I’m 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 post
George K.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21st-century
Αυτό είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο του Αλεχάντρο Σάμπρα που διαβάζω, ο οποίος είναι ένας συγγραφέας που έχει φτιάξει ένα κάποιο όνομα στον χώρο της Λατινοαμερικάνικης λογοτεχνίας, χάρη στα ιδιαίτερα βιβλία μικρού μεγέθους που έχει γράψει μέχρι στιγμής. Απ'όσα καταλαβαίνω, ο συγγραφέας αρέσκεται να πειραματίζεται, να αγγίζει ευαίσθητες χορδές, να προβληματίζεται αλλά και να προβληματίζει τον αναγνώστη. Εδώ έχουμε να κάνουμε με κάτι εντελώς διαφορετικό, μιας και είναι ένα βιβλίο με τη δομή του συστήματος ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, b-r-a-ce-2018
Υπέροχο παιχνίδι με τις λέξεις, ένα διαφορετικό αλλά τόσο διασκεδαστικό βιβλιαράκι!
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
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zambra’nın Türkçede basılmış kitapları arasında en değişik üslüpla yazılmış olanı. Anlatmak / vermek istediğini soru cevap olarak hazırlamış; bazen her şık doğru gibi, bazen de sorunun kendisi mesaj niteliği taşıyor.
Konu olarak esasen, daha önceki kitaplarında işlediği konulardan çok farklı değil. Bu nedenle de bu kitap kesinlikle Zambra ‘ya başlama kitabı değil. Bildiğim kadarıyla kronolojik olarak Bonzai ‘den başlamak doğru olacaktır.
Kitapta bir bölümden, Soru Kitapçığı’nın beşinci bölümü ol
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
zambra okuyacaksanız bonzai’den başlamayı öneririm her zaman.
bu oldukça deneysel ve yenilikçi bir kitap olmuş. test sorularıyla bile öykü yazmayı beceren bir yazar düşünün.
ve her şeyin gerisinde şili’deki askeri cunta, sokağa çıkma yasağı, bizimkine oldukça benzeten eğitim sistemi kendini hissettiriyor. zambra böyle bir dönemde büyümüş olmanın yükünü her soruya yedirmiş.
“sizi eğitmediler, size idman yaptırdılar.” cümlesi bizim de hayatımızın özeti.
ve çok iyi bir çeviri, zambra’nın özel çevirmeni
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
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 don’t 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 Sout
Makis Dionis
Νεοτερικο μεν, όμως δεν έκοψα και φλέβα .Θέλει να σκιαγραφήσει τη σύγχρονη χιλιανικη κοινωνία με όλα τα βάρη του πρόσφατου παρελθόντος όπου έχει στιγματίσει τους πάντες. Multiple choice η ζωή αλλά εντός πλαισίου που άλλοι όρισαν. Join the dots και θα βρεις την εικόνα...σου
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 stan ...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 D
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dieser Roman ist hochgradig experimentell. Wir haben es mit einer Art Fragebogen zu tun, der aber durchaus literarisch ist. Wie bei einem Eignungstest müssen wir mal Begriffe oder unnötige Sätze einer vorhergegangenen Sammlung aussortieren, mal Lücken ausfüllen und mal Fragen zum Text beantworten. Doch die Antworten sind keineswegs langweilig oder vernünftig, oft verbirgt sich ein dunkler Humor dahinter und manchmal regen die Möglichkeiten doch sehr zum Nachdenken an. Am ehesten würde ich das, w ...more
Book Riot Community
I absolutely adore Zambra’s work. He’s 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 al
Eva Pliakou
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Το πιο περίεργο βιβλίο που έχω διαβάσει (ίσως στη ζωή μου), μία σπαρακτική (αλλά και ειρωνική) σύνοψη της ζωής μας, των σχέσεων γονέων με τα παιδιά τους, των σχέσεων εν γένει, της πολιτικής της Χιλής (του Πινοσέτ), υπό τη μορφή ερωτηματολογίου. Όλο το βιβλίο είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής, η τελική απάντηση επαφίεται στον αναγνώστη, αλλά αλίμονο αν ο αναγνώστης μπορεί να απαντήσει εύκολα σε αυτές τις αδιανόητες (όσο κι αν φαντάζουν απλές) ερωτήσεις του Zambra.
Η τελευταία, δε, ιστορία (το τελε
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 teena ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, translation
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 chilea
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 co ...more
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 em ...more
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) Senten
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Εγώ τώρα έχω πάθει αυτό.. που θα ήθελα όλα τα βιβλία να έχουν και ένα τεστ στο τέλος γραμμένο από το Zambra! ευφυές, σύντομο, καυστικό, ειρωνικό, αστειο, μελαγχολικό και πάνω από όλα απολαυστικά φιλοσοφικό σε κάθε του ερώτηση. αυτό το οχιναιμεναλλα μυθιστόρημα θα πρέπει να πόνεσε την Χιλή. η τελευταία του ιστορία πάντως εμένα με πόνεσε σίγουρα!! μην μπείτε στον κόπο να ψάξετε μολύβι. Δεν το χρειάζεστε!
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 c
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una vita senza di me

57. (1) Il coprifuoco consiste nel divieto di circolazione in orario notturno nelle strade di un determinato territorio. (2) Di solito viene indetto in tempo di guerra o di sommosse popolari. (3) In Cile la dittatura lo impose dall'11 settembre 1973 al 2 gennaio 1987. (4) Una sera mio padre uscì a fare un giro. Era estate. Non si rese conto dell'ora e dovette fermarsi a dormire da un'amica. (5) Fecero l'amore, lei rimase incinta, sono nato io.

Alejandro Zambra è uno degli auto
Aslı Can
Kitap soru ve cevap şıklarından oluştuğu için okurken belki doyurucu gelmeyebilir ama başlı başına bir edebiyat deneyi olarak bile çok değerli bir kitap bence. Bazı sorular ve şıkları şiir gibi, azıcık kelime ile bir sürü çağrışım uyandırıyorlar. Bazı sorular da bol mesajlı, özellikle Şili politik gündem göndermesi olan sorular. Ben özellikle cevap şıklarındaki mizahı sevdim. Diğer kitaplarından tanıdığınız Alejandro Zambra'yı daha çok baba ve oğul olarak aile ilişkilerini sorguladığı sorularda ...more
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Discourse in a Di...: Multiple Choice 4 12 Aug 09, 2017 01:47PM  
  • Camanchaca
  • El asco: Thomas Bernhard en San Salvador
  • Una novelita lumpen
  • El espíritu de mis padres sigue subiendo en la lluvia
  • Borges and the Eternal Orangutans
  • My Two Worlds
  • Sangre en el Ojo
  • Talking to Ourselves
  • Los ingrávidos
  • La Sangre de la Aurora
  • Ghosts
  • My Tender Matador
  • The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers
  • Movimiento perpetuo
  • Return to the Dark Valley
  • En medio de extrañas víctimas
  • The Revolutionaries Try Again
  • How to Become a Scandal: Adventures in Bad Behavior
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 McSweeney’s, among other places.
“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.”
“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.” 3 likes
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