08 December 2012

Book Review: Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Vols. I and II

Title: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Vols. I and II
Author: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins / 2011 and 2012
Source/Format: Publisher / Print
Date Finished: 4 December 2012
Book # 67 and 68

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

The Short and Sweet of It
Each volume contains dozens of very short stories from a variety of contributors. "To create The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 — "half short story collection, half communal poem" (Flavorwire) — Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known within the hitRECord.org community as RegularJOE, directs thousands of collaborators to tell tiny stories through words and art. With the help of the entire creative collective, Gordon-Levitt culls, edits, and curates the massive numbers of contributions into a finely tuned collection that is at once "ingeniously illustrated . . . witty [and] meaningful" (Entertainment Weekly). Once again, the "tiny" book, pocket-sized with a 4" x 6" trim, brings together art and voices from around the world to unite and tell stories that defy size."

A Bit of a Ramble
Delightful. Charming. Clever. Thought-provoking. Intelligent. Fun. Adorable. Profound. Cute. Simple. Witty. Adjectives such as these keep popping into my head as I think of the small but powerful stories in these two volumes. While a person could power through these two books in a matter of minutes, I found myself taking my time, exploring each story and image, thinking of the possibilities in such a few words and such beautiful images. I honestly believe I could spend hours ruminating and never feel I'd reached any sort of definitive decision about many of these stories.

The book's charm isn't relegated to just the words though. Each story comes with an accompanying image. Sometimes the image is necessary to the tale; sometimes complementary. Either way the images could stand on their own as works of art with inherent meaning.

Honestly they remind me of surrealist film - or David Lynch films - where I may  not understand exactly what is happening, but I sure do get a very specific feeling after the experience. I love this. I love that feeling which is so specific and feels so honest and deep but is indescribable. It is a rare feeling and more precious because of this - at least to me. And since it's, you know, indescribable, I have no way to really relate it to you. But hopefully some of you get it. Many of the stories/images in these two books gave me that feeling.

I highly recommend getting your hands on these two volumes and keeping your eyes open for a third.

NOTES: Received for review from publisher


  1. I'm not a big short story fan but everytime someone talks about a book of short stories that was pure awesomeness I find myself reconsidering my opinion.

  2. I was all set to buy these until I saw the pricetag (at Barnes and Noble). I could stomach $16 for the little volume so I bought some board books instead. :( But they do look awesome!!

  3. Woot! Didn't like #2 as much as #1, but hey, they're still pretty awesome. Loooove RegularJOE.

  4. I want to read these so bad! It is hard being broke.

  5. Oh I want to look at these in a book store!!! And maybe get them in my stocking from Santa.


Talk to me baby!