How can a handful of words and a simple drawing be so moving?
Over and over while reading through The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2, I was startled at how a tiny amount of ink could make me laugh or make me want to cry. Perhaps because the drawings are so simple, the message is much sharper; the tiny bits of text are full of possibilities and changing meanings.
While there were many that stood out, there was one in particular that I kept coming back to. I first caught sight of the image: a girl cutting her hair, the hair turning into flowers as it fell. Then the text:
He loved me.
He loves me not.
The story of a million failed romances in seven words.
(Even more striking to me, I was just having a conversation with online friends about how often women cut their hair after a bad break-up. Made it seem that much more a real girl, a real heartache, a real story.)
There are so many other great snippets, too many to mention, but the thing that I kept coming back to was how much time I spent reading each one. They are very, very short, and yet they demand your attention. I found myself pondering their meaning, filling in blanks, smiling to myself. How often do you do that with any other sort of book? I like it when an author (or a filmmaker) leaves me a bit of the story to puzzle out on my own; these stories are all about that sort of puzzling.
If you get the chance, you should really check out HitRecord.org. Some very talented folks hang out there. I love browsing the images and listening to the audio clips – very cool stuff. Founder Joseph Gordon-Levitt calls it an online collaborative production company; this is their second book (I reviewed The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, vol. 1 back in January), and there are other events and collaborations in the works. Check them out.
My copy of The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 was a review copy, provided free of charge.
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