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Multiple Choice

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The works of Alejandro Zambra, “the most talked-about writer to come out of Chile since Bolaño” (New York Times Book Review), are distinguished by their striking originality, their brevity, their strangeness, and their flouting of narrative convention. Now, at the height of his powers, Zambra returns with a book that is the natural extension of these qualities: Multiple Choice.
Written in the form of a standardized test, Multiple Choice invites the reader to complete virtuoso language exercises and engage with short narrative passages via multiple-choice questions that are thought-provoking, usually unanswerable, and often absurd. It offers a new kind of reading experience, one where the reader participates directly in the creation of meaning. Full of humor, melancholy, and anger, Multiple Choice is about love and family; privacy and the limits of closeness; how a society is affected by the legacies of the past; and the conviction that, rather than learning to think, we are trained to obey and repeat. Serious in its literary ambition but playful in its execution, Multiple Choice confirms Alejandro Zambra as one of the most important writers working in any language.

128 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2014

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About the author

Alejandro Zambra

49 books2,633 followers
Alejandro Zambra is a Chilean writer. He is the author of Bonsai, The Private Lives of Trees, Ways of Going Home, My Documents, Multiple Choice, Not to Read and Chilean Poet. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, Harper's, Zoetrope, and McSweeney’s, among other places.

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5 stars
1,454 (27%)
4 stars
2,152 (41%)
3 stars
1,241 (23%)
2 stars
288 (5%)
1 star
97 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 977 reviews
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
March 13, 2023
Update, March 2023: Many universities are now no longer requiring the almost useless SAT or ACT for admission to universities, a hopeful trend to hopefully begin to dismantle the billion dollar standardized test industry. Many area schools still in spring 2023 are spending as much time preparing for these stupid tests as actually delving into the actual reading and love of books.

So, did Alejandro Zambra actually create a novel in the form of a standardized test?!

A) Yes, he sure did, modeled on the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test which he himself took in 1993, with 90 multiple choice questions, some of them based on stories included in the test
B) No, I’m kidding
C) Chile? That sounds like too cool of a place to have standardized tests!
D) None of the above
E) All of the above

Correct answer: A

Might you describe this book as
A) A tour de force accomplishment?
B) A pretentious postmodern experiment?
C) A clever commentary on the limitations of such tests to reflect actual meaningful experiences or learning, by implication endorsing stories?
D) None of the above
E) All of the above

Correct answer: C

Did you find it

A) really funny?
B) Touching, sometimes moving?
C) D is always correct
D) The kid next to me marked C, and he is good at these tests, so I should mark C
E) Stupid

Correct answer: Oh, why does it have to be one answer?! Why do these tests always include answers that, if you thought more deeply, could be correct as well as the one the testmakers thought on the basis of their quick and careless work was correct and now these idiots making billions of dollars on a flawed idea of learning and assessment get to impact your future in a high stakes way.

Oh, sorry. My personal answer, which is by no means “correct” for you: I thought it was funny, insightful, sometimes touching, one of my favorite books of the year. I smiled or laughed on almost every single page!
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
965 reviews6,840 followers
December 21, 2022
Multiple Choice
1. There are many ways to write a _________, but will it ______________?
A. Book review, capture the experience of the book.
B. Song, slap
C. Essay, not be annoying and pandering
D. Questionnaire, be worth reading

2. I’ve long loved Alejandro Zambra, a favorite I first devoured when my friend Mike Puma (rest in peace, friend) unexpectedly mailed me the three books of his that had been translated in English at that point with a simple note that read “your next favorite writer.” Multiple Choice has been a _________.
A. Blissful return to Zambra’s works
B. Book that sat on my shelf far too long before I read it
C. Fun read that shows how narratives can come in unexpected ways
D. All of the above
E. None of the above, why would you like this book, Penkevich?!

3. Kate Zambreno once said that ‘to me experimental is about the overthrow.’ What is Zambra attempting to overthrow here?
A. The legacy of Pinochet’s oppressive rule in Chile.
B. The patriarchy
C. The uncomfortable memories of the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test that was administered from 1967 to 2003 in order to apply to Chilean universities and the way education was less a form of enlightenment and more about control.
D. Nothing has been overthrown, this was more an underhand toss.
E. Both A and B.

4. Is reading a review in this format insufferable?
A. Yes
B. Maybe
C. No
If YES, close window and go live your life, your grade will not be affected
If MAYBE, skip to reading comprehension, your grade will not be affected
If NO, keep reading. You get extra credit.

5. In unique ways, Multiple Choice tells small stories about
A. Life under Pinochet
B. Love, though mostly failed or failing
C. Family
D. All of the above

6. The book is
A. Fiction
B. Nonfiction
C. Poetry
D. All of the above
E. None of the above

READING COMPREHENSION (the actual review)

I’ve come to really enjoy non-traditional narratives and the way stories can come out of something beyond a point A to B plotline. Postmodernists made an art of using lists to tell a story through the collective relationships between the items, what sort of person would you imagine based on the litany of things in their pocket, for example. Zambra tells tiny stories through the form of multiple choice questions and is able to extract an incredible amount of emotional resonance—and humor—through the endeavor. You can read these questions simply at face value, but there is a story to be found within them all and the relationship between answers. This question makes a good example:

40. Students go to university to _____, not to ______.
study, think
study, protest
drink, think
sleep, die
buy, window-shop

Or this one:

41. And if they have any _____ left, that’s what _____ for.
Energy, sports are
Hope, reality is
Illusions, the void is
Dissent, the cops are
Neurons, crack cocaine is

There is a lot to read into through the questions in this book. Zambra’s experience as a poet is evident with the ways he can make language so malleable and contain multitudes in the abstract. Like the way a father writes to his son in one of the ‘Reading Comprehension’ section (a section that allows Zambra to fold a few short stories into the book) ‘neither your mother nor I were talking about you. We were talking about you, but only to hurt each other through you.’ These question are always so much more than a simple reading of what the words say.

You can often detect that there is often more than one “correct” answer in the question. This also nudges the unspoken (unwritten?) acknowledgement that the test only has one “true” answer and this implies a forced “truth” imposed by a governing body. Which is a pretty hard-hitting statement about the forced ideology under Pinochet’s violent regime, a sentiment that Zambra explores further in several stories in My Documents. It is most evident in question 74 when all five multiple choice answers read ‘You weren’t educated, you were trained.

There is also a larger statement being made that no matter what you choose, it all leads to despair anyways. Much of Zambra’s works is a critique of his home country of Chile (critical yet hopeful), a focus that often leads to comparisons with Roberto Bolaño along with their shared love of poetry, and Zambra paints a bleak outlook of the ways Chile can oppress and crumble the citizens just trying to get by. Especially when speaking out was a quick way to be 'disappeared'. ‘You share your fragility in silence, like a sacrifice,’ Zambra writes, though as he wrote in Not to Read, ‘writing could be a beautiful and noisy way of keeping quiet.’ His works are his rebellion against the past, but, as he shows here, the legacy of Pinochet's violence and neoliberalism still haunt Chile beyond the lifespan of his rule.

Not that this collection is bleak. Multiple Choice is often quite humorous and heartfelt, and also works as a nostalgic investigation of his school years. I particularly enjoyed the “story” about the cheating that would occur during the exams and how ‘thanks to cheating, we were able to let go of some of our individualism and become a community. It’s sad to put it this way, but cheating gave us a sense of solidarity.’ That sense of solidarity with the oppressed is alive through this whole odd book, including a story where Zambra “occupies” the voice of one of Chile’s political executioners, robbing the powerful of their power. Which, in turn, is sort of the aim of this collection, robbing the resonance of the exams of its power and turning it into a spoof of itself.

It is, admittedly, a strange book to address. Think of it like short stories or, better yet, a poetry collection. The latter especially as the relationship between words is a major focus and the ways tweaking a sentence can explode into various meanings and intents. Ultimately it amalgamates to a collage effect depicting life under Pinochet, but also the fallout after (utilizing failed marriage metaphors) and a few short stories directly addressing legacy and lineage. If you can appreciate the abstractions, there is a lot to enjoy here.

This is a good book to have on stand-by, to pick up and read a little bit at a time and enjoy the collected impression made through the experimentation with the standardized test format. Or just blast through it, it is a short read. A fun little book, Zambra’s Multiple Choice is a great read.

7. What are your impressions? Write your answer below.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews603 followers
November 3, 2016
Did you have 'Test Anxiety' when you were in school?
A Yes
B No
C Sometimes
D Always

This teeny-weeny book could take an hour to read --- or weeks. Your choice. You might feel a little intimidated by this tiny pale blue fiction-nonfiction-poetry-all of the of the above-none of the above, book, by Chilean author Alejandro Zamora.
You might settle in -and have an awesome and amazing time. Your choice.

If you hated taking multiple-choice tests in school, you have a chance to experience taking the tests in this book as an adventure. Breathe, relax, have fun.

There are "sentence elimination" sections and short stories to read for "reading comprehension".

We are asked - as readers to playfully interact-- and if we do-- we will begin to see under the laughter and silliness, the organize chaos and the limited
perception. We may find that answers are correct - but simultaneously invalid.
Even by the structure- design of this book --as beautifully clever and crafted as it is....
it reminds me of a musical note that's played correctly- but in the wrong score.

Paul and I both enjoyed the mental stimulation of taking Zamora's test. It took an hour though to find a #2 pencil in this house.

Profile Image for Fabian.
957 reviews1,623 followers
March 5, 2020
A magnificent collision between Dadaism & literature. A radical experiment that depicts a solemn reality behind much artifice & minutiae. It is risky. Overall: one great find for me at the Denver Public Library! (as per usual)
Profile Image for Rebbie.
142 reviews113 followers
June 10, 2017
Very clever indeed! It was a super fast read, although highly enjoyable. I especially love the silent stance the author is taking with the absurdity of (some? all?) standardized testing.
Profile Image for Sofia.
287 reviews95 followers
March 20, 2018
Παρακάτω σας δίνονται 5 επιλογές για το πώς θα μπορούσατε να περιγράψετε την ζωή σας. Σημειώστε ποια φράση θα μπορούσε να αφαιρεθεί, επειδή ή είναι άσχετη με την δοσμένη, ή δεν παρέχει πληροφορίες ή περιττεύει:

A. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής και τώρα που μιλάμε είμαι στην σελίδα 7856 και συνεχίζω.
B. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής και τώρα που μιλάμε ψάχνω να βρω το φύλλο με τις απαντήσεις.
C. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής. Η δική σου;
D. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής το οποίο δεν θα αισθανθώ ποτέ απόλυτα έτοιμη/ος να συμπληρώσω.
E. Η ζωή μου είναι ένα τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής και μου δώσανε μολύβι με σπασμένη μύτη.

Το παραπάνω αυτοσχέδιο «τεστ» το έγραψα τελειώνοντας την ανάγνωση του μυθιστορήματος «Τεστ δεξιοτήτων» και νομίζω ότι θα μπορούσε να αποτελέσει την περίληψή του, μονό που δεν θα πλησίαζε στο ελάχιστο την δημιουργικότητα, την φαντασία και το χιούμορ των ερωτή��εων που τόσο προσεκτικά επέλεξε ο συγγραφέας για να παίξει με το μυαλό μας. Υιοθετώντας την δομή των εξετάσεων που εφαρμόζονταν στην Χιλή, το διάστημα 1967-2002, για την εισαγωγή στο Πανεπιστήμιο, ο Alejandro Zambra θέτει στον αναγνώστη μία σειρά ερωτήσεων κλιμακούμενης δυσκολίας για την ζωή, τις σχέσεις με τον εαυτό μας και τους κοντινούς μας έχοντας συνεχώς στο επίκεντρο μία διαρκή ειρωνεία απέναντι σε ο, τι μας προετοιμάζει για την πραγματική ζωή και το πόσο παταγωδώς αποτυγχάνει.

Όσοι είστε λίγο ζαβολιάρηδες, όπως εγώ, μην βιαστείτε να ανατρέξετε στην τελευταία σελίδα για τις λύσεις γιατί δεν θα βρείτε τίποτα. Και δεν θα βρείτε τίποτα γιατί πολύ γρήγορα θα ανακαλύψετε ότι δεν υπάρχει μία μόνο σωστή απάντηση. Όπως και στη ζωή. Και γιατί οι πραγματικά ενδιαφέρουσες και καίριες ερωτήσεις σπάνια συνοδεύονται από «λυσάρι». Όπως και στη ζωή.

Μία τέτοια διαπίστωση μπορεί να φαίνεται προφανής αλλά ο τρόπος που μας έχουν εκπαιδεύσει ή ορθότερα «προπονήσει» όπως επισημαίνει και ο ίδιος ο συγγραφέας, αρχής γενομένης φυσικά από το σχολείο, είναι να αντιμετωπίζουμε τα πάντα ως προβλήματα ή ζητούμενα για τα οποία υπάρχει μόνο μία σωστή απάντηση και οφείλουμε να την ξέρουμε και να την επιλέξουμε γρήγορα με το καλοξυσμένο μας, μυτερό μολύβι γιατί αλλιώς.. Γιατί αλλιώς τι; Δεν θα μπούμε σε κάποια ανώτατη σχολή; Δεν θα γίνουμε μεγάλοι κι επιτυχημένοι με σπίτι στα προάστια κι ένα παχουλό λογαριασμό; Ναι όλα αυτά τα αποδοκιμάζουμε αφού οι περισσότεροι από εμάς λουστήκαμε τις συνέπειες ενός άγχους για υψηλές αποδόσεις.

“Το Ινστιτούτο είναι σάπιο αλλά και ο κόσμος είναι σάπιος. Γι’ αυτόν σας προετοιμάζουν, για έναν κόσμο όπου ο ένας γαμάει τον άλλον. Καλά θα τα πάτε στις εξετάσεις, μην ανησυχείτε: εσάς δεν σας εκπαίδευσαν, σας προπόνησαν. “

Όσο πέρναγαν οι σελίδες άφησα το μολύβι κάτω, ξεπερνώντας το σύνδρομο του επιμελούς μαθητή που ποτέ δεν υπήρξα, και αφέθηκα στις ιστορίες. Ειδικά τα τελευταία κείμενα που είχαν την μορφή μικρού διηγήματος ήταν εξόχως απολαυστικά γιατί προσέφεραν μεγαλύτερη δόση από το ταλέντο του Zambra στο να λέει με λίγα λόγια τις πιο συγκλονίστηκες ιστορίες.

“…οι γονείς θέλουν πάντα τα παιδιά τους να είναι σκυλιά, αλλά τα παιδιά είναι πάντα γατιά. Οι γονείς θέλουν να υποτάσσουν τα παιδιά τους, αλλά τα παιδιά, όπως τα γατιά, είναι ανυπότακτα.”
Profile Image for Alberto Villarreal.
Author 19 books11.4k followers
May 15, 2021
Alejandro Zambra ya ocupa un lugar en la lista de mis escritores favoritos. Qué bonito experimento! <3
Profile Image for Lee Klein .
812 reviews877 followers
September 18, 2016
My first Zambra, other than an interview I translated last year. Quick, clever, painless, joyful, melancholic, unpredictable, clear, cool, refreshing, effervescent -- and therefore like refrigerated lemon-lime seltzer, I guess. At worst felt like a little collection of stories padded by a great formal gimmick, one that I feel like I've seen before (maybe in Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts) but I can't remember; at best felt like a collection of stories and suggestions worth rereading to re-encounter the initial questions after the experience of the fuller stories toward the end. Sort of circles around or suggests the times and tribulations of the testmaker, twice divorced, with kids from three marriages, daddy issues of his own, who grew up under the dictator Pinochet, and has a sense of humor and a love for music. Loved the question that was something like "for the story you've just read, which is the worst title, guaranteed to reach the widest possible audience?" The numbers must've been fun to translate, but also all the one-word weighted answer choices, more like poetry than prose. Probably ultimately forgettable considering amount of time spent with it but enjoyable to read over the course of an hour or so in a day and when someone likes this review in a few years I'll re-read this little impression and remember. My first Zambra, but definitely not my last.
Profile Image for Paula Mota.
1,032 reviews320 followers
February 11, 2023
#Year of Zambra #2

47. I seek words that____________appear in books.
A) sometimes
B) never
C) always
D) only
E) don’t even

No que toca a literatura hispano-americana, são os autores argentinos que, para mim, ocupam a posição de destaque, mas ultimamente vejo que os chilenos têm ganhado terreno, sobretudo pela originalidade e pela forma inovadora como digerem a História recente do seu país. Depois de “Sistema Nervoso” de Lina Meruane, “Quinta Dimensão” de Nona Férnandez, chego agora a “Facsímil-Multiple Choice” de Alejandro Zambra, uma obra que, conquanto não seja perfeita, é extremamente estimulante na sua metatextualidade.

Then someone said that the divorce law was not the most urgent thing to be fixed in the country, and then that sluggish conversation turned into a collective debate. (...) Almost all of us had something to contribute: the urgent thing is for Pinochet to go to jail, to go to trial, to go to hell, the urgent thing is to find the bodies of the disappeared, the urgent thing is education.

Os estudantes portugueses não são alheios aos testes de escolha múltipla como os que os jovens chilenos realizaram entre 1967 e 2003 para se candidatarem à faculdade e que Zambra usa como ponto de partida para este seu livro. “Multiple Choice” é, claramente, uma crítica do autor ao sistema e à cumplicidade tácita, munindo-se de um inteligente jogo de palavras.

A) fidelity
B) complicity
C) loyalty
D) conspiracy
E) cowardice

A) silence
B) silence
C) silence
D) silence
E) silence

Percebe-se de imediato a censura a um teste que não foi criado para o aluno pensar ou se exprimir, para desenvolver pensamento crítico, estando limitado às escolhas que lhe são oferecidas, quando elas são geralmente as mesmas, sinónimos para o mesmo termo, uma manipulação. Zambra, porém, não visa só a formatação através da ditadura e do ensino, já que inclui até a autoridade parental.

Parents want their children to be dogs, but children are always cats. Parents want to domesticate their children, but children are like cats: you can’t domesticate them.

“Multiple Choice” é um livro sobre palavras, como elas podem ser usadas para manobrar, mas também sobre o peso que elas têm a partir do momento em que são ditas:

I hope that time, in your memory, will mitigate my shouting, my inappropriate remarks, and my stupid jokes. I hope that time will erase almost all of my words, and preserve only the warm, still murmur of love.

E continuando no tema da memória que está umbilicalmente ligado ao da aprendizagem e do domínio dos vocábulos, no exercício IV, o de Eliminação de Frases, um teste à minha resistência.

1) They found the breast cancer when she was 65 years old.
2) They had to remove one of her breasts.
3) Not long after that, the Alzheimer’s started.
4) She didn’t recognize her children, or her grandchildren, not anyone.
5) She didn’t even recognize me.
6) But she never forgot she was missing a breast
A) None
B) 2
C) 3
D) 4
E) 5
Profile Image for Kyriaki.
432 reviews190 followers
December 23, 2020
Πλάκα είχε αυτό!
Πιθανότατα το πιο διασκεδαστικό τεστ που κλήθηκα ποτέ να λύσω!
Έξυπνα αστείο και σε σημεία μελαγχολικό, σε προκαλεί να παίξεις, να σκεφτείς και να αναρωτηθείς. Ο Zambra σε αυτό το βιβλίο μέσω ενός τεστ πολλαπλών επιλογών φιλοσοφεί, ασκεί κριτική στο εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα αλλά και στην πολιτική κατάσταση της χώρας του.
Δεν ήταν λίγες οι φορές που χαμογέλασα διαβάζοντας τις πιθανές απαντήσεις ή αυτές που θυμήθηκα τα δικά μου τεστ και διαγωνίσματα πολλαπλής επιλογής (τα χειρότερα όλων!!) βλέποντας της ερωτήσεις.
Και μην αγχώνεστε, δεν υπάρχουν σωστές ή λάθος επιλογές, μόνο επιλογές που σε πάνε στον έναν δρόμο ή στον άλλον, σαν την ζωή ένα πράγμα!
Δεν έχω ξαναδιαβάσει κάτι παρόμοιο και πολύ το χάρηκα!
Profile Image for Maria Bikaki.
806 reviews407 followers
August 1, 2022
Από τα πιο ιδιαίτερα βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει ποτέ. Η ιδιαιτερότητα του δεν οφείλεται τόσο στο περιεχόμενο του όσο στην πρωτότυπη μορφολογία του. Μέσω μιας σειράς τεστ πολλαπλής επιλογής και ερωτηματολογίων στα οποία δεν υπάρχει μια πραγματικά σωστή απάντηση ο Zambra κάνει τον αναγνώστη να συμμετέχει με τρόπο ενεργό στην αφήγηση του έργου του αντιγράφοντας στην πραγματικότητα το τεστ δεξιοτήτων για τους αιτούντες στο πανεπιστήμιο της Χιλής. Μέσα από μια σειρά ερωτήσεων στις οποίες καλείτε να δώσει απάντηση με ιδιαίτερο χαρακτηριστικό ότι στην πραγματικότητα δεν υπάρχει κάποια σωστή απάντηση ο Ζάμπρα θα μιλήσει για καυτά πολιτικά ζητήματα που αφορούν την χώρα του καθώς και για την ίδια τη ζωή και τις διαπροσωπικές μας σχέσεις.
Ομολογώ ότι ξεκινώντας να το διαβάζω το πρώτο πράγμα που έκανα αφού είδα τη μορφή του και αφού πήρα το μολυβάκι και τη γόμα μου, ήταν να ξεφυλλίσω τις τελευταίες σελίδες για να ψάξω τις σωστές απαντήσεις. Λυσάρι η αλήθεια είναι δε βρήκα. Ωστόσο προχωρώντας την ανάγνωση συνειδητοποίησα ότι δεν το χρειαζόμουν, ούτε μολύβι και χαρτί γιατί τελικά δεν υπάρχει λάθος και σωστό είτε σε ένα τεστ δεξιοτήτων είτε στην ίδια τη ζωή. Οι απαντήσεις θα μοιάζουν ταυτόχρονα άκυρες και λανθασμένες και την ίδια ώρα σωστές.
Το τελευταίο μέρος της επιστολής ενός πατέρα σε ένα γιο ήταν από τα πιο συγκινητικά και δυνατά κείμενα που έχω διαβάσει τελευταία.

«Ελπίζω να εφεύρουν γρήγορα ένα τηλεχειριστήριο για να μου κατεβάζεις την ένταση, για να με κάνεις pause, για να τρέχεις τις άχαρες σκηνές ή για να επιστρέφεις γρήγορα στις ευτυχισμένες μέρες. Για να μπορείς να δοκιμάζεις, όποτε θέλεις, την ελευθερία να δρας χωρίς την επιτήρησή μου, την απέραντη ηδονή μιας ζωής χωρίς εμένα. Ακόμα και για ν’ αποφασίσεις, για παράδειγμα, αν παραστεί ανάγκη, να με σβήσεις. Δεν εννοώ να σβήσεις τούτα δω τα λόγια που είναι από μόνα τους ρευστά, φθαρτά, αλλά να με σβήσεις τελείως, σαν να μην υπήρξα ποτέ. Ξέρω πως αυτό είναι αδύνατον».
Profile Image for Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer.
1,822 reviews1,384 followers
September 22, 2022
During my life, through school, University and then Professional qualifications I have taken many exams and would consider myself something of a connoisseur of the form – across a spectrum which culminates in the mental, physical and intellectual ordeal of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos to in my view the rather banal existence of the multiple choice test, a form which I always considered as rather intellectually lazy and more designed for the convenience of the examiners and to introduce standardisation and objectivity into a form which should be open to interpretations and nuance (even in a subject such as mathematics).

It is perhaps not surprising then that I found this book – the representation of literature via the multiple choice form – rather underwhelming, at least initially.

A number of reviewers have commented on how the form allows the reader to interact with the novel and form their own interpretation of it – but that was far more true of the UK’s Fighting Fantasy books (designed for around the same age of recipient as perhaps where multiple choice tests function best) and the form in all but the penultimate sections never really adds much (and I quickly tired of the gimmicks of say having to pick which letter is the correct answer when the list of options are actually numbers).

Now returning to multiple choice tests – where I think they did work was as effectively a warm up embedded in a varied examination, which moved on to more complex questions.

And to be fair this book and its narrative form really comes alive in the last section – a series of three texts (one on cheating in the Chilean aptitude tests which inspired this book, one on the complexities of failed marriages in one of the last countries to legalise divorce – and which ends with a lovely line, and one from a father addressing his son and admitting that he has at times regretted having him).

The writing in these texts showcases the clear talents of the author and his ability to comment both on Chilean society and more universal themes. Further the follow up questions function as a way for the author to explore his own text and to invite the reader similarly to test their reactions to what they are reading (and so shed light on their own lives).

I feel that have to comment on the first text (that around cheating in aptitude tests). At its heart it has a story of two identical twins (and incidentally contains a hugely insightful line into why identical twins sometimes argue despite their fierce love for each other). In essence their story ends in the inevitable way – the more able twin taking the tests for the less able twin.

Now reflecting on this I am led to the following sequence

1 I am an identical twin

2 My identical twin was extremely talented at taking mathematical exams

3 I always received very high marks in mathematical exams

4 The story presented in this book is clearly fictional and could never occur in real life


Finally, one multiple choice question faces me at the end of each review. How many * to pick for my rating

A 1*
B 2*
C 3*
D 4*
E 5*

Well my identical twin reviewed the book before me so the correct answer appears to be

C 3*
Profile Image for Trish.
1,352 reviews2,438 followers
September 8, 2016
This work is all kinds of novel. Chilean novelist Zambra really puts us through our paces by making us actually participate in the process of his fiction. He gives us choices on how to finish his sentences. He starts simply enough, asking us to decide which word has no relation to the words given. The structure of the book copies the Verbal section of the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test, required of all applicants to university in Chile. Our minds race with the possibilities he’s given us, and we can be as cynical and hard-eyed or hilarious and droll as any teenager in marking the answers and thinking of our own.

Next comes “Sentence Order,” and the test-maker is acting like a disaffected teenager himself, his sentences starting out short and perhaps only a little sarcastic, progressing to longer sentences that sound bitter and angry, to his last question featuring a page of sentences we are meant to order, including words like “pain,” and “tumor” and “going from the general to the specific,” and mentioning General Pinochet for the first time.

The section marked “Sentence Completion” is pretty easy because the test-maker does not give us as many choices as he might have. He seems almost to be steering us. We can’t just think up answers…he is strong-arming us to conclusions as a result of his sentences. We chafe a little under his direction.

In the penultimate section, “Sentence Elimination,” we start getting the feel of the potentiality in this form. Zambia here reminds me of a famous Chekhov monologue called “The Evils of Tobacco.” In that monologue, a distinguished educator who has been asked to give a speech on tobacco veers off topic into the state of his health, what he likes to eat, and how he despairs of his wife. Our test-maker in “Sentence Elimination” starts with short sentences, though they are already evocative, and gradually starts talking about family, a hated father, government eliminations, and other soul-baring terrors. We forget which sentence to eliminate.

The final section, “Reading Comprehension,” evokes Saramago. Remember in All the Names Saramago created a government functionary who was supposed to do a boring job filing the names of all the folks who died? That bureaucrat started getting creative, investigating the deaths instead of just filing them away. Well, here our test-maker quite loses his detachment and begins a long confession on how he learned to cheat on tests and how it brought his cheating classmates together…only to further disclose how his classmates lived, loved, played…You get the picture. In the final questions to test comprehension, we see that he has lost all objectivity and is telling us instead what he has learned.

Bravo, Zambra. The form fulfills its potential. Translated, by Megan McDowell.
Profile Image for Yücel.
76 reviews
July 4, 2018
Zambra’nın Türkçede basılmış kitapları arasında en değişik üslüpla yazılmış olanı. Anlatmak / vermek istediğini soru cevap olarak hazırlamış; bazen her şık doğru gibi, bazen de sorunun kendisi mesaj niteliği taşıyor.
Konu olarak esasen, daha önceki kitaplarında işlediği konulardan çok farklı değil. Bu nedenle de bu kitap kesinlikle Zambra ‘ya başlama kitabı değil. Bildiğim kadarıyla kronolojik olarak Bonzai ‘den başlamak doğru olacaktır.
Kitapta bir bölümden, Soru Kitapçığı’nın beşinci bölümü olan “Okuduğunu Anlama” bölümündeki 3.metinden bahsetmek istiyorum biraz. Bir babanın oğluna yazdığı bir mektup bu metin. Normalde mektup şeklinde bir anlatım üslubu bana çok çekici gelmiyor, maalesef bu zamana kadar da çok iyi diyebileceğim bir örneğine rastlamadım ama bu olağanüstü idi. Çok daha uzun ve çok daha detaylı olmasını dilerdim. Metini bitirir bitirmez bir kez daha okudum. Sırf o altı sayfa için bile değerdi.
Profile Image for A. Raca.
739 reviews152 followers
October 13, 2019
Çok farklı bir şey okudum, çok farklı!
Test kitabı şeklinde, kısa kısa anlatmak istediğini net bir şekilde anlatıyor Zambra. Eğitim sistemine, bürokrasiye dokundurmalar; evlilik, çocuk, ilişkiler her şeyden bahsetmiş.

Öfff, çok beğendim!


"Onunla birlikte olmaya alışamadın. Onsuz olmaya da alışamadın. Sanki kendi kendine konuşur gibi fısıltıyla söylediği şeyi hatırlıyorsun: Her şey yolunda."
Profile Image for Sophia.
404 reviews52 followers
May 23, 2018
B.R.A.CE. 2018 4 βιβλία από 4 διαφορετικούς εκδοτικούς οίκους (4/4)

Πόσο παράξενο και ταυτόχρονα πόσο ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο. Παρουσιάζεται ως ένα τεστ δεξιοτήτων αλλά είναι πολλά περισσότερα. Είναι το πώς αισθάνεσαι και το πώς ερμηνεύεις τα κείμενα την στιγμή που τα διαβάζεις.

Σκέψεις, τυχαία κείμενα, απαντήσεις για όλα τα γούστα. Ειδικά το κομμάτι που σου ζητάει να αφαιρέσεις από την ιστορία μία ή και παραπάνω παραγράφους, σε κάνει να διαβάζεις ξανά και ξανά για να αποφασίσεις. Νομίζω πως κάποια στιγμή άκουσα τον Γιάννη Βούρο να μου λέει «γιατί ΕΣΥ αποφασίζεις» !

Σημείωσα τις απαντήσεις μου ( με μολυβάκι, μην τρελαθούμε τώρα, ότι θα λέρωνα τις σελίδες!) ώστε όταν ξαναπέσει στα χέρια μου να δω εάν συμφωνώ με τον εαυτό μου!
Profile Image for George K..
2,434 reviews318 followers
March 18, 2018
Αυτό είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο του Αλεχάντρο Σάμπρα που διαβάζω, ο οποίος είναι ένας συγγραφέας που έχει φτιάξει ένα κάποιο όνομα στον χώρο της Λατινοαμερικάνικης λογοτεχνίας, χάρη στα ιδιαίτερα βιβλία μικρού μεγέθους που έχει γράψει μέχρι στιγμής. Απ'όσα καταλαβαίνω, ο συγγραφέας αρέσκεται να πειραματίζεται, να αγγίζει ευαίσθητες χορδές, να προβληματίζεται αλλά και να προβληματίζει τον αναγνώστη. Εδώ έχουμε να κάνουμε με κάτι εντελώς διαφορετικό, μιας και είναι ένα βιβλίο με τη δομή του συστήματος εξετάσεων για την εισαγωγή στα πανεπιστήμια που εφαρμόστηκε για πάρα πολλά χρόνια στη Χιλή. Διαγραφή λέξης, επιλογή πιο ταιριαστής/κατάλληλης σειράς προτάσεων, συμπλήρωση κενών, αφαίρεση φράσεων ή παραγράφων που δεν ταιριάζουν ή που περιττεύουν, καθώς και κατανόηση κειμένων, όπου δίδονται τρία κείμενα/διηγήματα και στο τέλος υπάρχουν ερωτήσεις. Υπάρχουν ενενήντα ερωτήσεις πολλαπλής επιλογής, όπως ακριβώς στα τεστ. Όμως, η όλη εμπειρία είναι σαφώς πιο ευχάριστη, ψυχαγωγική και δημιουργική σε σχέση με ένα αληθινό τεστ (σχολείου ή πανεπιστημίου). Δεν υπάρχει σωστό και λάθος, όλα μπορεί να είναι πιθανά. Με τις "ασκήσεις" που δίδονται, ο αναγνώστης δεν καλείται να βρει τη σωστή απάντηση, αλλά ίσως να λύσει κάποια ηθικά προβλήματα, ανάλογα με την οπτική και τον τρόπο σκέψης του. Και δεν είναι μόνο τα τρία κείμενα/διηγήματα που προσφέρουν εικόνες και συναισθήματα, αλλά ακόμα και οι διάφορες ασκήσεις συντακτικού που υπάρχουν, οι οποίες μπορεί να πει κανείς ότι αποτελούν και ένα είδος ποίησης. Πραγματικά, ο συγγραφέας κατάφερε να φτιάξει κάτι το μοναδικό, να δώσει μια άλλη διάσταση στη λογοτεχνία.
Profile Image for Speranza.
138 reviews100 followers
August 3, 2016
I agree with those who label this little book as pretentious, but I guess I don’t mind pretentious as long the author:

a) Has something interesting to say
b) Says what he has to say in an interesting way
c) Is interested in transmitting something beyond what he is saying
d) Is not interested in how what is saying will come across
e) All of the above

I read this in one breath and will need a second read to exhale it now.
If the Russians were born drunk, and the French were born perverted, then the South Americans were born insane. And I love them for that, the way I love the French and the Russians – there is never a dull moment with them and they bore and drill into your mind to the point where you can no longer ignore the pain. Or the numbness.
Profile Image for Νατάσσα.
269 reviews73 followers
April 4, 2018
Υπέροχο παιχνίδι με τις λέξεις, ένα διαφορετικό αλλά τόσο διασκεδαστικό βιβλιαράκι!
Profile Image for Kelli.
851 reviews403 followers
November 21, 2016
If this were graded, I doubt I would receive better than a C-. Presented in test format, I found this to be too much work and often confusing. This could be a brilliant stylistic choice but I tired of it quickly. 2.5 stars
Profile Image for leynes.
1,116 reviews3,030 followers
June 19, 2019
Clever, poetic and strangely touching: Alejandro Zambras' novel in the form of a multiple-choice test exposes the absurdity of stupid admission tests and confronts the participating reader with moral conflicts.
“You’ll do well on the test, very well, don’t worry—you weren’t educated, you were trained.”
Alejandro Zambra takes a contemporary form of evaluation as a model: the "Prueba de Selección Universitaria" (PSU), introduced in Chile in 1967. The structure of the book follows, so the preliminary remark of the author, the entrance examination for university, as it was valid until 1994. A multiple-choice test with 90 questions, divided into five sections, which query the reading comprehension of high school graduates with increasing difficulty.

The questions that Zambra gives his readers are far more tricky than the ones of conventional tests. If there are five words under the heading of "copying" from which one should delete the odd one out, and these five words are "cut, paste, cut, paste," and "undo," then there is nothing left but the infinite regress of irony and tick "undo".

Zambra needs only five terms to sketch a world. "The shortest distance between two points is the stroke of a scar." Zambra writes that very casually. It could be argued, however, that it conceals his literary principle: to find in writing the shortest, the most direct expression, which then has to turn out to be something fundamental, a wound, a cut, a scar. Alejandro Zambra is a master of scarcity.

However, the scarcity isn't the whole difficulty of this text. What Zambra accomplishes is, on the one hand, a corruption of the multiple-choice test with critical intent and, on the other hand, a kind of poetic condensation. It is a (bitter) satire on the idea that 90 check marks should decide the quality of the mind and the abilities and the future of a human being. It's parody and poetry at the same time.
Students go to university to (study), not to (think). And if they have any (hope) left, that’s what (reality is) for.
All the factors that influence a life: That's what this book is about. The absurdity of a stupid entrance test that turns a good student into a religious education teacher struggling with God, and out of the clever Covarrubias twins Luis and Antonio, who cheat in the exam, successful lawyers. This absurdity is also the absurdity of Chile under Pinochet. Zambra was born in 1975, two years after the US-backed military coup. Pinochet's Chile got on well with Catholic hardliners. Chile was a country where, as Zambra described in one of the short stories, there was no legal option until 2004 to get a divorce, which is why they had to have their marriage annulled instead by providing evidence that that you never lived together.

Multiple Choice offers a new kind of reading experience, one where the reader participates directly in the creation of meaning. I highly enjoyed all of the clever word plays and double meaning of words, which makes me think that this book must've been a pain in the ass to translate. A comparison of different translations to the original would be super fun and revealing regarding the different workings of languages. Since I read the English translation (as opposed to the German one), I was heavily reminded that English isn't my mother tongue. Sure, I understood all of the questions but when it came to the "excluded terms" I often didn't get the nuances and wasn't aware of all the different ways a word can be used.
Children of mine who will be present at my funeral: six
Children of mine who will spit on my grave: one.
Children of mine who have children: zero.
My favourite portion of the book were the sentence elimination and reading comprehension at the end. The three short stories that Zambra wrote were highly intriguing and engaging, and actually make me wanna pick up more of his work.
Profile Image for Maede.
287 reviews412 followers
July 9, 2021
اولین کتاب زندگیم بود که وقتی بازش کردم نمی دونستم چیکارش کنم! کتاب یک نوشته ساده نیست و در واقع مجموعه ای از تست هاست که با فرمت کنکور در شیلی طراحی شد. ولی نکته اینه که سوال هاش هیچ جواب مشخصی ندارند
مفهوم بعضی هاش قابل درک و تر و بعضی هاش کلا آبسورد هستند

تعداد زیادی از سوالاش درک مطلبه که یک متن رو به چالش می کشه. ولی سوال های جای خالی اینجوری هم داره

50.  Last night I dreamed you were a __ and I was a___and we were__together.

A) dog dog barking
B) leg leg dancing
C) tooth tooth biting
D) nun priest sleeping
E) ghost ghost always

47.  I seek words that___ appear in books.
A)  sometimes
B)  never
C)  always
D)  only
E)  don’t even

یا مثلا این مدل سوال که با مرتب کردن جمله ها باید یک متن بسازید

1.  You wake up early, go for a walk, look for a café.
2.  It’s your birthday, but you don’t remember.
3.  You feel like you are forgetting something, but it’s only a sense of unease, an intuition that something is out of place.
4.  You go about your routine, like any other Saturday.
5.  You smoke, turn on the TV, fall asleep listening to the midnight news.
A)  5 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4
B)  4 – 5 – 1 – 2 – 3
C)  3 – 4 – 5 – 1 – 2
D)  2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 1
E)  1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5

در کل این تست ها به نحوی طراحی شدن که ذهن رو بازی بدن، مسائل ریزی مخصوصا در مورد جامعه شیلی رو بررسی کنند، اعتراضی باشند و یا هیچ چیز نباشند. بغض و دردی که نسبت به شیلی در این کتاب وجود داره برام به شدت قابل درک بود و داشتم فکر می کردم که میشه درست همچین چیزی رو برای ایران نوشت

در کل تنها صفتی می تونم بهش نسبت بدم "جالب" بود و با اینکه ریویوهای عالی ای داره برای من بیشتر از این نبود

Profile Image for Cindy Burnett (Thoughts from a Page).
575 reviews992 followers
May 20, 2016
Multiple Choice is a one-of-a-kind read in the best possible way. Chilean author Alejandro Zambra innovatively styled his new book after the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test which students took every December from 1967 to 2003 if they planned to apply to college in Chile. Specifically, he chose the Verbal Aptitude section as he took it in 1993 which consisted of ninety multiple choice questions contained in five sections. While each section of the book was fantastic in its own right, my favorites were Section 2 and 3, Sentence Order and Sentence Completion. As I spent time playing around with the answer choices and manipulating the sentences, I ended up focusing so much more on what he was saying and how he was saying it. Long after I finished a section or put the book down for a bit, I found myself still pondering what a particular question/passage meant or just the concept that rearranging sentences or choosing to delete a sentence or two can so dramatically change the meaning of a particular story.

Zambra tackles life, family, Chilean politics, and how education often teaches people to repeat and obey versus learning to think independently. Some questions in Multiple Choice have multiple answers, some have no answers, and others have laugh out loud choices. I learned more about Chilean life under the brutal Pinochet regime, but in such an engrossing manner that I hardly felt like I was being taught a history lesson. His ruminations on family were particularly thought provoking and moving, and several times I had to reread a certain passage before I felt I could move on.

I highly highly recommend this book. It is certainly one of the best I have read in a long while; I will be thinking about it for many days to come and most certainly rereading it in its entirety very soon. Thanks so much to Penguin for my copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for somuchreading.
175 reviews257 followers
July 16, 2020
Να ένα βιβλίο, αν μη τι άλλο, παράξενο.

Γραμμένο με τη μορφή ενός τεστ πολλαπλών επιλογών εισαγωγής στο πανεπιστήμιο, όπως αυτό που χρησιμοποιήθηκε στη Χιλή για περισσότερες από τρεις δεκαετίες, ο Zambra δημιουργεί με λίγο κείμενο μια διαφορετική αναγνωστική εμπειρία από όσες έχουμε συνηθίσει. Μέσα σε 100 σελίδες ο Χιλιανός συγγραφέας προσπαθεί να ανακαλύψει το ρόλο του εκπαιδευτικού συστήματος στην υπακοή και τη συμμόρφωση του λαού στο απολυταρχικό καθεστώς της δικτατορίας του Pinochet.

Τα ερωτήματα που θέτει εδώ ο Zambra δεν ενδείκνυνται για εύκολες απαντήσεις, αν και τα εκπαιδευτικά μας συστήματα μας προτρέπουν συχνά στην εύρεση της μιας και μοναδικής σωστής απάντησης, πράγμα που αναδεικνύει και επισημαίνει ξανά και ξανά το βιβλίο. στην πραγματική ζωή άλλωστε, εύκολες απαντήσεις δεν υπάρχουν. Οι σύντομες ιστορίες του Τεστ δεξιοτήτων όμως αποδεικνύουν πως το βιβλίο δεν είναι απλά και μόνο ένα one trick pony, αφού πέρα από τον πειραματισμό και την ειρωνεία στις γραμμές τους θα βρει κανείς συναίσθημα και ειλικρίνεια. Μαζί με το interactive στοιχείο των τεστ, κάνουν το βιβλίο ένα απολαυστικό σφηνάκι που προσθέτει στην κουβέντα της Χιλιανής λογοτεχνίας και της μακρόχρονης δικτατορίας της.

Το βιβλίο διαβάζεται σε μια μπουκιά, άντε δύο αν είστε σαν εμένα και δε διαθέτετε αρκετή ώρα καθημερινά στο διάβασμα και αξίζει να το έχετε στη βιβλιοθήκη σας και για το κόνσεπτ και για το περιεχόμενό του.

Και κάτι τελευταίο: Για κάποιο λόγο το βιβλίο μου θύμισε το υπέροχο Nostalgia de la Luz, το ντοκιμαντέρ του Patricio Guzman που μιλά για την κληρονομιά που άφησε πίσω του η δικτατορία του Pinochet. Ίσως να μην είναι η καλύτερη ταινία για εισαγωγή σε όσους δε γνωρίζουν τα γεγονότα, αλλά νομίζω πως είναι ιδανική για όλους τους υπόλοιπους.
Profile Image for David.
1,460 reviews
January 30, 2022
What if one’s life could be summed up by taking a test? ¿Que?

You know, like your parents’ divorce and how it effected you. Would you prefer the parrot? Or the dog? Both? Neither?

Your education, good, bad, indifferent. Can twin lawyers beat the system? And which is the more corrupt of the two? How much do bus driver’s make? So many career paths.

Relationships, love, sex, divorce. One thing leads to another. Do you choose one, all or none of the above? Remember that Chile was one of the last countries to legalize divorce. Oh, that is a dilemma?

The Constitution of 1980. Political ramifications? Did I mention Pinochet? Let’s skip this question.

Finally, what do you think of this book? You have thirty seconds to answer.

A) I laughed, I cried.
B) Define entertainment before I answer this question.
C) So many books, and I chose this one.
D) I am confused. Can you repeat the question?
E) How many Zambra books do I have to read before I understand him? Myself? The meaning of life?
F) Just before I lost my mind, I was glad to have answered all the questions. Explain?
G) Is this a trick question?

Perhaps it’s just a trick question but this was one entertaining form of entertainment? Really.

Perhaps a 3 but it was so fun to reread the questions that I gave it a 4. This may be subject to change.

A good recent interview with Zambra:

Alejandro Zambra: “Crecimos convencidos de que no había segundas oportunidades”
Profile Image for Sïnestesïa  Yp.
71 reviews8 followers
May 19, 2022
Cuando creí que ya nada podía sorprenderme, llega a mis manos este libro. ¿Novela, relatos, poesía, ensayo, prueba? Todo eso, quizá, o quizá ninguno sino un género inclasificable.
La primera expresion al comenzar a leerlo fue: "¡¿QUÉ ES ESTO?!" Y mi incomodidad ya me advertía que debia ponerme manos a la obra con este texto. Las temáticas abordadas son muy interesantes si las ubicamos en contexto, pero también son temas universales y de todos los tiempos.
No puedo hablar del argumento porque en algunas partes los protagonistas somos los lectores y cada uno tendrá su mirada y armará su propio texto.
Me gustó la experiencia. ♡
Profile Image for Banu Yıldıran Genç.
Author 1 book784 followers
June 22, 2018
zambra okuyacaksanız bonzai’den başlamayı öneririm her zaman.
bu oldukça deneysel ve yenilikçi bir kitap olmuş. test sorularıyla bile öykü yazmayı beceren bir yazar düşünün.
ve her şeyin gerisinde şili’deki askeri cunta, sokağa çıkma yasağı, bizimkine oldukça benzeten eğitim sistemi kendini hissettiriyor. zambra böyle bir dönemde büyümüş olmanın yükünü her soruya yedirmiş.
“sizi eğitmediler, size idman yaptırdılar.” cümlesi bizim de hayatımızın özeti.
ve çok iyi bir çeviri, zambra’nın özel çevirmeni çiğdem öztürk’e alkış.
Profile Image for Paul Fulcher.
Author 2 books1,305 followers
September 17, 2017
Unusually for me I won't write a detailed review of this one as everything has been said so much better by reviews from goodreads friends (and yes I know that doesn't normally stop me).

The question is whether my views on the book are best reflected by:

a) Doug's review which points out that this, in an English original, would be a classic Goldsmiths Prize book. Albeit I'm not sure Doug means this as a compliment given his view of the 2016 winner.

b) Tony Messenger's brilliant review which, as in Doug's wonderful demolition of Solar Bones, is in the style of the book - my attempt to do the same here a poor imitation

c) The review from Eric the Lonesome Reader, another of my favourite blogs, as warmly generous and eloquent as ever.

d) Jeremy's review, where despite admitting he is not a fan of gimmicks in novels, he found this arguably entirely gimmick based novel far more enjoyable than he anticipated.

The correct answer is all of the above, although I must admit this was a novel where the conception was for me the key thing, and the execution, while well done, a little slight.

And praise as ever is due to the excellent Megan McDowell for her translation (her most recent book I have read being the stunning Fever Dream, originally by Samanta Schweblin.

3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Makis Dionis.
487 reviews120 followers
March 21, 2018
Νεοτερικο μεν, όμως δεν έκοψα και φλέβα .Θέλει να σκιαγραφήσει τη σύγχρονη χιλιανικη κοινωνία με όλα τα βάρη του πρόσφατου παρελθόντος όπου έχει στιγματίσει τους πάντες. Multiple choice η ζωή αλλά εντός πλαισίου που άλλοι όρισαν. Join the dots και θα βρεις την εικόνα...σου
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78 reviews16 followers
December 31, 2022
"..επείγον είναι ο Πινοσέτ να πάει φυλακή, να πάει σε δίκη, να πάει στο διάολο, επείγον είναι να βρούμε τα σώ��ατα των νεκρών, επείγον είναι να φτιαχτεί η παιδεία".

Μάγος της μικρής φόρμας ο Zambra. Με ανορθόδοξο τρόπο εξαπολύει δηλητηριώδη κριτική για κοινωνικοπολιτικά προβλήματα, εστιάζοντας στο καθεστώς Πινοσέτ και το εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα της Χιλής, ενώ, ταυτόχρονα, καλεί τον αναγνώστη να συμμετέχει.

Η γλώσσα μπορεί να εμφανίσει, να αναδείξει, να κατευθύνει αλλά και να εξαφανίσει. Πολλά ζητήματα δεν επιδέχονται μοναδικών απαντήσεων.

Πιάστε χαρτί, μολύβι, μια ήρεμη γωνιά και διαβάστε το. Και, όταν το τελειώσετε, ξαναδιαβάστε το.
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