Monday, June 17, 2013

Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Volumes 1 & 2 edited by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 edited by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a collaborative collection of simple drawings paired with a few short sentences, occasionally even only one, that, together, tell a story.  Some are quirky, strange, even amusing.  The surprises are in the ones that are actually profound or evocative or even manage to be both.  This magic happens most when the combination of image and words is so perfectly matched, the reader can’t help but pause and ponder the moment.

And it only takes a moment to read any of these so-called tiny stories.  But they can be like koans, inviting the reader to meditate on what the image means and how the words either enhance or even change the meaning.  Or how the image completes the meaning in the words. 

Some of the best stories don’t end there, however.  Perhaps it is the very nature of something as condensed as these tiny stories would invite someone like me to imagine more about the characters, about the moments that led up to the story, as well as the ones that followed. 

I can’t say that I loved everything I saw or read but I found the experience of reading the collection an overall delight.  Perhaps the spirit behind putting together something collaboratively touched me on some visceral level.  I know that more than a few of the stories touched or provoked something in me, forcing me to stop reading, to set the book aside for a while, and just linger with the tiny story. 

I can think of no higher compliment.  Or perhaps it is a higher compliment that I immediately started reading Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 which I enjoyed even more!


  1. I am a big fan of JGL's work in movies (Brick, Looper, 500 days of Summer) but had no idea he was also a published author! This guy is so talented. I booked the first two collection from the library so they both should be arriving soon. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

    1. He's the editor more than writer although I've no doubt that some of the pieces are his work. And yes, very talented. He created this communal project to share the creativity of other people. Everyone even gets a commission, if you can imagine! I suspect the amount is pittance but I still think it's such a fun idea. I hope you like them. Like I said, some may really hit you between the eyes, like they did me while others will just be shrugged off. I can easily see these being used as writing prompts, however.


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