Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mainstream Avant-garde: The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd

I've mentioned I've been reading a lot, right? Well, I figured it's time to start sharing my thoughts on what I've been reading. So, look for a weekly review of the books I've been reading. I'll attempt to post on Tuesdays so you always know when to check back for tips on a good book, or to ignore my blog if books really aren't your thing.

Today's book is called The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters. Chip Kidd, a man known more for his graphic design skills than for his writing, authored a novel. The book is set in the 1950's and follows a college freshman as he acclimates himself to a new school and his seemingly random decision to be an art major. Kidd touches on themes of love, young relationships and even a first foray into gay infatuation.

Upfront I have to admit that the book really isn't that great as a novel. As a collection of entertaining anecdotes and lessons on life, Kidd does deliver some great one-liners and surprising twists. Considering it had been a while since I had been able to read books for fun, it offered a quick summer read with just enough substance to leave me hungry for more books.
But my favorite part about the book was the design of it, likely furnished by Kidd as well. Depending on how you look at the edge of the pages, you can see some of the graphic design teacher's favorite life lessons to the students.

As a designer myself, I got a kick out of it. Unfortunately for people picking up this book with intention of delving between it's pages, the best thing about it really is this quirky design choice.

Bottom Line
I wouldn't necessarily run out and buy this book, but if you feel like a quick, entertaining read, I wouldn't mind loaning out my copy.

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