Cheese Monkeys

A sharp, fast-paced, and well-packaged academic satire,  this is a coming-of-age story from the point of view of the paying victim (a.k.a. the student). A naive fellow finds himself in the hallowed, cinderblock halls of his state art school in the 1950s where, try as he might, he can’t quite capture in pencil the essence of a decapitated waterfowl, an old shoe, and a detumescent pomegranate. No wonder he becomes enthralled by the charms of one Himillsy Dodd, a free spirit and the only other enrollee in the still-life course who seems to know the meaning of “detumescent.” The following semester, the duo find themselves in Art 127: Introduction to Commercial Art, and the novel shifts typeface and turns into a syllabus for what might be the ultimate graphic design class. Winter Sorbeck challenges his students and himself perhaps beyond what today’s law allows, but the results are all recorded in indelible ink on their Permanent Academic Records, though the novel’s painful conclusion does find Sorbeck out job hunting. Chip Kidd is an award-winning graphic artist responsible for the memorable book jackets for such titles as Jurassic Park and Love in the Time of Cholera. He is an interesting fellow and a very good speaker.
On his new book, The Learners.

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