Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The cheese monkeys will get you if you don't watch out., 22 Dec 2002
This review is from: The Cheese Monkeys (Hardcover)
Though Chip Kidd is best known as a "graphic designer" for book covers (as opposed to "commercial artist," a distinction he makes in the book), his talent as a writer could propel him into a whole new field--and this book into cult icon status. With a clarity of vision perhaps brought on by hindsight, he lays bare the emotional and intellectual confusion of a nave, first year art student at a state university, a character who must find himself in an atmosphere which requires him to evaluate all the ideas and values he's uncritically absorbed to date. The character, who feels autobiographical, is lively, funny, and, I thought, totally believable, and I suspect that any reader who has ever taken an art course will empathize, if not identify, with him in some way.
As the speaker lives through this "novel in two semesters," he is profoundly affected by an off-the-wall female upperclassman, Himillsy Dodd, a free-spirited, hard-drinking woman of strong opinions, willing to challenge everyone and everything. Opposing hypocrisy wherever she finds it (virtually everywhere), Himillsy serves as a quirky mentor during the speaker's first two art classes, the second of which is with Winter Sorbeck, a never-to-be-forgotten instructor who turns his students' thinking inside-out, viciously critiquing not only of their work but also their personalities. As "Happy" deals with Sorbeck, Himillsy, the usual freshman tensions, fraternity parties, exams, critiques, and all-nighters, the reader shares his anxieties and feels his growth.
The amusing cover of the book resembles a doodled-on freshman text, with a magic marker message written on the binding and side of the closed book, bleeding into the pages themselves. The title, taken from one of Himillsy's sculptures, is as goofy as she is, though its meaning becomes clearer as the book progresses. The ending is a letdown, however, and it feels as if the book got away from the author, who then had to take extreme action to resolve his subplots and themes. Still, it is an auspicious debut, special fun for anyone interested in art. Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.6 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: 0.11
Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Mary Whipple
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Location: New England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 91