A quick look at Click

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Click is a novel with 10 authors – and some pretty big names at that (Eoin Colfer, Deborah Ellis, Tim Wynne-Jones, Roddy Doyle, David Almond, Linda Sue Park, Nick Hornby, Gregogy Maguire, Ruth Ozeki and Margo Lanagan). Apparently, it was written piece by piece, with each author writing a chapter and “passing it on” to the next author on the list, who chose any aspect of the preceding chapters as inspiration, taking the story in whatever direction s/he envisioned. Cool idea? Ruth Ozeki describes the process on her blog: ozeki weblog. I will say that I think that this “ten authors cooperative novel” thing smacks of a gimmick to me, but hey, I bought the book, didn’t I? (I think the cool cover might have played a role in this). It’s striking.

Each chapter in the book is a short story, written by a different author. The stories explore the impact of one man’s life – George “Gee” Keane, a celebrated photo journalist. Each story contributes to a mysterious and compelling portrait of this enigmatic and free-spirited wanderer. And some of the stories are truly fine pieces of writing, worthy of standing alone. As a whole, I’m not completely convinced this collection works as well as I’d hoped, but I would read it again simply for Tim Wynne-Jones, Ruth Ozeki and Deborah Ellis’s contributions.

I like books about the tangled, messiness of people’s lives. I like books told in different voices. I am also a sucker for stories that look at how one life touches – or almost touches – other lives in the slightest way, and then leaves an imprint more profound than we usually realize.

This would be a cool title for secondary teachers to use to inspire a unit on linked short stories.  All of the royalties go to Amnesty International.

See One Question, Ten Answers at the Scholastic site, for an inside look at each of the authors’ perspectives on the writing process.

Also, Fuse 8 offers her review here.

I liked this one.  It left me thinking… and isn’t that what we all hope for?

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