Monday, April 19, 2010
I love the expressive writing in this book. Chip Kidd's vivacious and witty form of speech helps to describe characters, place the plot line into the correct time period, and adds to the overall themes of the story. When describing Himillsy, the author is always sure to include her unique clothing style because it is a part of her personality. Kidd always conveys a kind of urgency and hurriedness when talking about Hims, as if she may be whisked right of the page. When Happy and Himillsy had their first confrontation, "She stopped, turned, and lowered her sunglasses. Then she let my desperate stare ricochet off her face, and released this from her jelly mouth: "We're all sorry." And what does one say to that?" (Kidd 38). Other hints such as the cars, clothing, and intellectual conversations that take place in this book all hint that it is set in the 1950's. The overall tone of the book evokes a new age of thinking and enlightenment. For example, in one of Winter's last lessons he talks about the book Flatland. He says that, "We sit here in the third dimension-Spaceland-and scoff at Flatland, pitying its immeasurably think folk because we can see in a way they never can. But-and this is a big BUT-doesn't that mean that someone sits in Timeland (AKA the fourth dimension) and feels the same about us? And someone sits in the fifth watching them, and so on, as they say, into infinity? There. Wrap your mind around that" (Kidd 212). The book evokes strong emotion and contemplation and leaves the reader looking at their world in a slightly different way.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Seeing how my copy of The Cheese Monkeys has yet to arrive from Amazon.com, I am going to spend this paragraph analyzing the first couple of pages I could scam off the internet and pay tribute to the books unique look. The first paragraph of the book grabbed my attention. It uses words like, "Three thousand Guatemalan dirt pigs," and somehow finds a way to mention cuticles and God all in the same sentence. Looking through a historical lens, the book states that the time period is 1957. Other allusions to the time period of the story are referenced when the author says that he, "Was quite pleased with a drawing in green pencil [he] did on the margin of a page in [his] dreary Civics textbook of Mickey Mouse (from the Steamboat Willy era)..." As I proceed to the fourth page I start to notice the narrator's whitty, sarcastic tone of voice with undertones of longing to be something different but not knowing what to do with himself. He even compares himself to a, "Reliable old sedan," when talking about the relationship he has with his parents. I expect that this book will be much more unique that your classic old school Jane Austen novel or a straitforward romantic comedy. I chose to read this book mostly because of its unique look, but also because the reading style looked similar to that of Jonathan Safran Foer. Both books use visual elements to contribute to the overall asthetics of the book. What also drew me in to this book was the title. I mean, The Cheese Monkeys? What does that even mean? The title coupled with the fact that the side of the book holds a hidden message makes me want to crack open the rest of the book and see what's inside.