The Multiple Choice cover characterizes the book as well as possible: It reads as fiction, non-fiction, possibly poetry, and all of these genres together yet unlike any of them.

It’s not very often I can write that a book is completely different than anything I’ve ever read, but today I can.

Reading Multiple Choice is an experience I recommend to anyone who enjoys the study of literature, whether your study is formal or not. I expect this book will pop up on many modern literature syllabi.

As the title implies, the book reads in the format of a standardized test.

At first I was trying to read the questions and answer them as I would a test. I always kind of enjoyed tests in a weird way! But I soon realized this wasn’t working here, and I did find the beginning of the book a little slow, tedious, and confusing. But this is all part of Zambra’s plan, I think! So keep reading!

Because I soon realized I wasn’t necessarily supposed to be answering these questions but instead reading them. Soon the format of the questions changed (as in a real test) and then it was easier to read as a text.

Zambra has a goal here – I think – and it is commentary on the Chilean education system and social systems. The final section, for example, was presented in the “read this text and then answer questions” format. The three texts cover education, marriage, and children. Here it gets personal and reflective but is still, somehow, also hysterical in parts.

I have never used so many adjectives to describe a book. They would be: strange, funny, confusing, informative, beautiful, unique, clever, sad, and crazy. I could easily come up with even more, but I’ll stop there.

This is a short book and a quick read. You could read in one sitting and but you will need to allow some more time to sit there thinking what the heck did I just read!?

For something completely different, pick up Multiple Choice today. And then you can add to my adjectives above!

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