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The Long Chalkboard: and Other Stories Hardcover – October 10, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

These three stories will interest socially savvy young adult readers—young book-worms rather than hipsters—and liberal-leaning adults who enjoy a wry laugh. The first story, which concerns a long chalk-board that gives almost magical creativity to those who use it, feels like a modern fairy tale. Instead of becoming queen, a woman becomes a great filmmaker. Instead of becoming a king, a boy gets into a prestigious university. The second, which concerns two competing children's authors who find they're better off in love, is a story New Yorkers will appreciate, with a strong vibe of Upper West Side anxiety. The third deals with a woman with a nearly magical ability to cook chili. Though Allen is listed as author, it's very much Feiffer's book: the pieces lack his bite, but they have his old charm and whimsy in spades. The art has a ballet-like quality; poise has replaced the attitude Feiffer had back when his name was synonymous with the Village Voice. The final story has a whiff of his old stance—the fabulous chili maker is called on to make chili for a political cause, and it comes out awful. The chili cook becomes a cause célèbre, and T-shirts announce "chili shouldn't have an agenda." (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Renowned cartoonist and children's book author Feiffer shares billing with his wife, journalist and stand-up comedienne Allen, in a trio of charming stories for adults. "The Long Chalkboard" is about the whim of two parents who need to cover a long wall and provide a scribbling surface for their children after moving into a new home. As the home passes on to successive owners, the chalkboard becomes fertile ground for, first, a math prodigy and then a budding film director, whose storyboard sketches later hang in the Smithsonian and ultimately comfort a lonely widow. "What Happened" follows the fortunes of a stuffy children's book author who accuses a fellow writer of plagiarism, and "Judy's Wonder Chili" recounts the misadventures of an amateur chef whose deliciously healing chili undergoes an unpleasant transformation when it catches the attention of the media and politicians. Allen's insightful, uplifting tales are perfectly complemented by Feiffer's wry charcoal, pencil, and wash sketches, which imbue the collection with the flavor of contemporary fables. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; First edition (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375424539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375424533
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.7 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,110,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This was one of the most enjoyable books I bought for myself this year! In format it is almost like a graphic novel or manga, but differs somewhat from those genres. It more resembles a picture book, text and illustration on each page, but aimed at adults instead of children. The three seperate stories are wryly humorous and wondrously inventive, and the illustrations are lively and expressive. Ms. Allen is almost scarily adept at the small witty detail that speaks volumes, not unlike Mr. Feiffer's own keen yet sensitive line in drawing. In fact I marveled at how beautifully Mr. Feiffer's drawings and Ms. Allen's stories complemented each other. My favorite of the three tales is the middle one, "What Happened", the tale of two rival writers of children's books. But I loved them all. My only complaint about The Long Chalkboard is that, despite its generous size, I wish it were longer! I'm hoping there are more books like this to come by this talented duo.
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Format: Hardcover
I really love this book. Its something a little different to put on my coffee table and I enjoy looking through it often. The fact that a husband and wife team created it is touching, and the charcoal artwork is fabulous.

The work really is setup in the format of a children's book, however it is much more mature, and it would take an adult to understand the complexities of the story. The main character has a great deal of depth, and as the reader, I grew to feel that I understood and cared about how she felt. The artwork and the storyline fit together like a hand in glove, interweaving and playing off of each other. I recommend it highly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read!
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