The Exquisite Corpse Adventure

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure

A Progressive Story Game

Book - 2011
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Twins Joe and Nancy were raised in a circus but on their eleventh birthday they learn their parents are still alive and need their help, so they set out on an quest filled with many extraordinary beings and adventures. Consists of twenty-seven episodes by nineteen authors and pictures by five illustrators.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9780763651497
0763651494
9780763657734
Characteristics: 276 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm.

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FindingJane Jun 23, 2016

Based on the surrealist game, this book careens from one improbable adventure to another, from a meatball-juggling clown and talking one-eyed pig to a butt-faced bandit and an angelic pirate with a time-traveling cradle. With little that is sensible or even actually whimsical, the reader is pressed into a constant state of suspended belief (or is that disbelief?). This is clearly a book intended for children but which children? How many toddlers will understand words like “narcolepsy”? How many teenagers will accept handy dei ex machina such as misfortune tellers who can conjure attacking ivy?

Confusing, chaotic and disjointed, the best that can be said for this book is that the individual authors contributing to it give it their all, presenting their unique voices on paper with their usual styles. If your favorite author is in this book, give it a read if only to see how s/he presents his or her talent.

KCLSRecommends Apr 30, 2014

What do you get when you combine 20 all-star children's authors and illustrators, each writing a chapter featuring 11-year-old twins raised in a circus, an evil (and sleep-prone) clown, a misfortune teller, a disassembled robot, extraterrestial 'eggy-things' and so much more..?: An exquisite corpse adventure!
First begun online as a project of the National Children's Book and Literary Alliance in order to encourage kids to read, Jon Scieszka started this story off with a train racing towards a bridge about to blow up -- and all these other great writers, including Lemony Snicket, Kate DiCamillo, Gregory McGuire and many more took subsequent chapters in ever wilder directions.
(You may get a sense of the inherent craziness when you know that "exquisite corpse" was originally a game started by the French Surrealists of the 1920s who similarly began stories or poems -- or pictures -- and passed them onto others to continue, often without knowing what came before!)
And, as a bonus, you should listen to Phil Gigante read this audio version in an incredibly varied range of voices (I especially liked his depiction of the pig, Genius Kelly!)

j
jhahn
Nov 09, 2011

I found it too confusing.

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Maxicat27
Jun 27, 2014

Maxicat27 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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