The Learners by Chip Kidd

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Fresh out of college in the summer of 1961, Happy lands his first job as a graphic designer (okay, art assistant) at a small Connecticut advertising agency populated by a cast of endearing eccentrics. Life for Happy seems to be -- well, happy. But when he's assigned to design a newspaper ad recruiting participants for an experiment in the Yale Psychology Department, Happy can't resist responding to the ad himself. Little does he know that the experience will devastate him, forcing a reexamination of his past, his soul, and the nature of human cruelty -- chiefly, his own.
Written in sharp, witty prose and peppered with absorbing ruminations on graphic design, The Learners again shows that Chip Kidd's writing is every bit as original, stunning, and memorable as his celebrated book jackets.

About Chip Kidd

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Chip Kidd has designed book jackets for Alfred A. Knopf for over a decade. His work has been featured in "Vanity Fair", "Print", "Entertainment Weekly", "The New Republic", "Time", "The New York Times", "Graphis", "New York", and "ID" magazine. He lives in New York City.
Published February 19, 2008 by Scribner. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Learners

The New York Times

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In his second novel, the book-cover designer Chip Kidd nurses the tension between word and image.

Mar 09 2008 | Read Full Review of The Learners

Publishers Weekly

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A sequel to book designer Kidd’s first novel, The Cheese Monkeys , this beautifully composed paean to pre-computer graphic design pitches recent graduate Ha

Dec 24 2007 | Read Full Review of The Learners

BC Books

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The layout of the book continues the artistic aesthetic, with wide page margins, stark black and white drawings on front and back (with a removable red flap), and unusually cropped pages at the front that feature the name, cover art and publication information.

Aug 22 2008 | Read Full Review of The Learners


This unexpected turn makes for pleasantly engrossing shock value (get it?) even if the reader can’t identify with happy’s obedience in repeatedly electrocuting someone purportedly with a heart problem screaming for mercy .

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Learners

AV Club

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Prolific graphic designer Chip Kidd returns to fiction-writing, sort of, with a novel about a graphic designer.

Mar 19 2008 | Read Full Review of The Learners

Entertainment Weekly

The Learners, the snappy sequel to Chip Kidd's 2001 debut, The Cheese Monkeys, finds narrator Happy fresh out of college and working as a designer at a Connecticut advertising firm in 1961.

Feb 15 2008 | Read Full Review of The Learners

The Bookbag

Summary: Witty, fast-moving, and gently experimental, Chip Kidd's The Learners continues the story of his protagonist from The Cheese Monkeys with flair and obvious passion for his subject.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Learners

Bookmarks Magazine

Nicole Chvatal USA Today 3.5 of 5 Stars "Best known for his book-jacket designs, Kidd puts the story on pause at times so he can discuss design, literary styles and the link between form and content.

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Learners

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