The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters

The Cheese Monkeys is a novel by award-winning graphic designer Chip Kidd. You might know his work -- seen the cover of Jurassic Park? The plot focuses on "Happy" (not his real name) and his attempts to make it through art college with a sadist for an instructor and a lunatic genius for a friend. Enemy. Frenemy. The novel is typeset in Apollo, and then, at a certain point, in Bodoni.

Questions to think about when reading The Cheese Monkeys:

  • Timing: where in the narrative do things happen? Does placement give meaning to events, or do events give meaning to the places they're put?
  • Identity: who is the main character? What do we know about him? What does he know about himself? Who tells him?
  • Repetition and comparison: how do the different events in the text relate to one another? Do events mirror one another? On what grounds can they be compared?
  • Design and meta-analysis: do the text's commentaries on good graphic design work when talking about good writing? How so?