"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Review: Chopsticks: a novel by Anthony and Corral

Chopsticks: a novel by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral is a completely unique novel written almost exclusively in a scrapbook format with small snippets of IM conversations thrown in here and there. Because the dialogue is so sparse and the images plentiful Chopsticks will become a uniquely different story for every single reader. In addition, there are links to YouTube videos that all relate somehow to chopsticks and/or the piano (or both.) Apparently in the e-format of the book these are Internt links, but for readers of the printed word, typing out the web addresses is required to view the suggested YouTube videos. The whole reading experience was fun. I felt like I was telling myself a story and occasionally would have a chance to expand the reading by checking out something relevant on the Web. The end of the story is very ambiguous, allowing the reader to create alternate endings until hitting upon one that is satisfying.  How fun is that? The phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" aptly applies to this unique book. I will be very interested to see how my student readers respond to this book.

In the meantime, here is a brief synopsis of the book provided by our friends at Goodreads:
After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks." But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along...
Kirkus Reviews describes the book as "a provocative tale of forbidden love and madness." Hmm...I'm still trying to decide how I want the story to end.  Guess I'll pop over to YouTube and take a look at a few more suggested videos while I decide. Cheers!


  1. I read another review for this book yesterday. It's interesting how authors and publishers are adapting to all the new media available. I wonder how readers will respond.
    I'm going to check this book out - I like the interaction.

  2. I just saw this book for the first time at my local indie bookstore last night and now I've seen two reviews of it this morning. Guess I'll have to get a copy!

  3. Wow - this sounds like an incredibly intense story. When you consider that, and the unique make-up of the text, the cover looks pretty boring in comparison. Thanks for the introduction!

  4. Wow. I'm sending a friend a link to this post because this sounds like just the kind of book that'd tickled her fancy.


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