The real beauty of Zambra’s writing is that it is the opposite of dictatorial. His stories are so playful and open, so simple and so much fun to read, so equally joyful and sad, that they can be about anything, or everything, or nothing. They really do invite the reader’s participation in the construction of the text. Which makes Zambra’s work, Multiple Choice included, captivating and meaningful in the best possible ways.
...for all the discussion of frustration and misery in Multiple Choice, it’s in no way a miserable book to read. Zambra’s wry humor gives buoyancy to even the most disturbing story ... [Zambra] exhibits a poet’s awareness of how the confines of a form, of an era, can push a writer to a place he might not have otherwise gone. Like a test taker, a writer sits both alone and among others.
The conceit is playful, gimmicky even, but its results are not. By being forced to reread each piece several times, and think about how it may be better organised, you discover resonances that might be missed on a first pass. Reading Multiple Choice, we all become its author ... It is funny, melancholy, surprising. It is silly at times, profound at others. Its interactivity will entertain you, and might just change the way you think about fiction.
While committing these metafictional and postmodern pranks, Zambra also crisply fictionalizes romantic and parental woes and mocks hypocritical Chilean society ... Based on the outcome of Multiple Choice, Zambra is superbly equipped to major in writing fiction about the unhappiness of human beings, with secondary concentrations in lampooning hypocrisy and satirizing repression. I recommend you admit him to your reading list immediately.
Throughout Multiple Choice, Zambra traffics in a depth of imagination and playfulness that is akin to a guessing game. As with many of his earlier works, he is content to play with, prod, and shake up the reader, confirming once again that the questions we ask about the world and about ourselves are oftentimes far more telling than the answers.
Multiple Choice is small book packed with meaning and space for interpretation. By structuring it as a test, the author comments on the rigidity of Chile’s former fascist leader. By allowing the reader to meditate on how to make sense of each puzzling question, he offers an alternative to enforced structure.
In Multiple Choice, the Chilean writer exerts his considerable talents to perforate the collective memory that filtered down from the state to its citizens ... Through this omnipresent confusion, Multiple Choice argues against concerted efforts to reach at some fundamental truth, suggesting such a discovery is impossible and constructing a world where truths are personal and arbitrary and, in being so, useless ... Through its demands, Multiple Choice trains you in how to read it, so what feels disjointed and senseless at first becomes dangerously seamless and fun.