Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The List - A Love Story in 781 Chapters by Aneva Stout

The format of this book is much different than any others I have read before. Each sentace is listed out - and numbered, so it feels like you are reading an actual list and not a story.

I wasn't sure about his format - however I'll admit that it really suites the book and the story.

It is a story most women are familiar with. You have a boyfriend, break up, feel bad, meet a new guy, go out of your way to impress him, find out he is a jerk, etc.

This was a very cute and a very fast read, I read it in one evening.

Here is what had to say about the book - this probably sums it up better than I did/can.

From Publishers WeeklyStout's debut novel is a clever hybrid of meta-fiction and gift book: this slim, illustrated hardcover is a love story composed entirely of second-person affirmation-style list entries, none more than two or three dozen words. The result offers all the guilty pleasures of chick lit—the snarky humor of a good glossy magazine and the soothing cadences of a girl-loses-boy-girl-finds-boy-girl-dumps-boy plot—with a precise breakdown of the newest behemoth genre which, at its best, refines the form to poetic abstraction without sacrificing readability: "248. You'll wonder how he keeps his bathroom tile so sparkling. 249. He'll say, 'Are you okay?' 250. You'll say, 'Don't stop!' " It can grate when its heroine (you) hews too close to clich√©, but Stout generally avoids easy laughs at her character's/audience's expense. Though brief, the book has enough drama, emotional resonance and sharp throw-away lines ("333. You'll look in his closet. 334. You'll find something you wish you hadn't. a. A closet that's neater than your living room. b. Twister. c. A videotape labeled: Aruba.") to make it worth revisiting, either in part or whole. Simultaneously, the "high art" fiction conceit reinvigorates the "low-art" gift-book genre it appropriates—not a major achievement (√† la The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay or Lorrie Moore's Self-Help), but no small feat either. (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

bookwormaddict said...

Hi Kris,
The idea of a book being made up of lists...for chapters is quite an interesting idea...I'll have to find it to see what I think of it:)