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The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd
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's review
May 03, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction

Most importantly, this book is incredibly readable. Little effort is needed to breeze through the carefully styled pages of Chip Kidd's first writing attempt. That being said, however, you get out of it what you put into it; 'The Cheese Monkeys' is not a destination to some great revelation but instead a fantastic, extravagant journey that ends on schedule without regard to recent developments.
One can feel empathy for the nameless narrator from the very beginning; his experiences entering the world of higher education are not unique but are also not what is expected, and Kidd invites us to gently pity him when he doesn't know his Magritte and Bauhaus. He is confused, and his world is confusing. There maybe are no solutions for his dilemmas, but by the book's end, which comes quickly and abruptly, answers are maybe not what's needed in his crazy world.

Kidd's prose is generally clever and rarely heavy-handed, with few blatant misses and no drilling of any sort of "message" into the reader's head. Characters are held at a distance, keeping them just out of the gate of archetypes but not cultivated into the cliches they could become. For the easy read that 'The Cheese Monkeys' is, it delivers, and very satisfactorily.

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