Ninety-nine Books on the Wall

Fiction - Drama
343 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite

Ninety-nine Books on the Wall by Golden November opens with a 'cool' set of song lyrics. Then we learn Channel 2000 is casting for a reality show involving creative artists. Phoebe signs up a group of authors and musicians including Jaxon, Hayley, May, and Will. She also contracts individuals to join the audience as professional fans. The artists move into Big Brother-style accommodation and perform in a display of talent. Unfortunately, the show did not get the ratings that the producers expected. The host is fired and a new host is hired. Candy ensures the contestants are dropped into exciting situations unrelated to their talents, and the ratings soar. What will happen when Channel 1970 launches a reality show that attempts to sabotage Channel 2000?

Ninety-nine Books on the Wall by Golden November was a hilarious spoof of television scripting. I liked that the text was clear and readable with every page featuring an illustration. The dialogue and the repartee were quite scintillating. The characters' conversations presented the storyline, while the reader’s mind was required to complete the action. I am a fan of reality television, so the subject matter intrigued me by exploring the logistics and contradictions of the medium. I enjoyed the humorous approach, which I felt was well employed. I also enjoyed the multiple levels of narrative, with some scenes depicting the progress of the show, and other segments representing reactions and maneuvering from behind the scenes. This book would make a fine addition to the young adult section of any library.

Sarah Stuart

Golden November has opened Ninety-nine Books on the Wall with words that had me humming “Ten Green Bottles”. Above the “song” is a picture of books jampacked together. Closed books – open books… Every page carries a cleverly appropriate illustration, and some of them are purposely repeated. Capitals, lowercase letters, and bold font all play a part in delivering “different”. The story follows the fortunes of Ashley, Jaxson, Daphne, May, and many others, all of whom have one ambition – to be famous. Opposing them are the creators of a reality television show, but have any of them got what it takes to succeed? This is a captivating peek into a dramatic masquerade – into other people’s lives and hearts.

From the first “jump off the page” illustration – the books, to one of the last – a wall in the process of construction, I was utterly fascinated, and I am still humming “if one green bottle should accidentally fall”. There is a deeper meaning subtly hidden by the almost throwaway style of writing – success in any field, especially the arts, is measured by the number of fans a person has, and that is what the live “Realty Television” show is all about. Every character lives! Both the contestants, those playing “the audience”, and the producers. They have talents, and faults… we even get to know if they like their breakfast eggs sunny-side-up or prefer avocados. Ninety-nine Books on the Wall by Golden November is clever and different!

Pikasho Deka

Prepare yourself for an inside look at the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of reality shows with Golden November's Ninety-nine Books on the Wall. When the casting director of Channel 2000 announces a brand new reality show, contestants from various fields line up to showcase their talents on the small screen. Poets, writers, comedians, musicians, and many more artists come forward to display their skills in front of millions of fans. However, as all these creatives are bunched together in a single mansion, egos clash, leading to a juicy drama that drives up the ratings of Channel 2000. When one by one, the rebuffed cast members join the rival reality show by Channel 1970, it is up to owner Chuck to come up with a compromise. What will happen to all these mercurial talents?

Fans seem to be the most influential part of an artist's measure of success in today's world of social media, online followers, and like and dislike buttons. This is the primary message of Ninety-nine Books on the Wall. Golden November creates a dialogue-driven narrative that follows a clash of heads between a talented group of people whose skills are only exceeded by their swollen egos. The characters have idiosyncrasies that provide a colorful diversity of personalities. Their interactions are almost always entertaining, if not downright hilarious. The book is accessible to read, with little to no explicit scenes. It also contains some catchy songs that may have you singing along with them. Recommended to readers looking for some light reading material.

Alex Ndirangu

Golden November's Ninety-nine Books on the Wall is driven by drama and thrills. In today's world, if you can gain followers, you're famous. In most cases, you don't need a specific talent to be famous. All that many famous people have to do is something that attracts attention and appears presentable. That is why television Channel 2000 is looking to launch a reality show in which the winner is determined by having contestants compete for the attention of fans. The casting director invites authors, poets, songwriters, and comedians to compete. We meet Sarah, Jaxson, Glenn, May, and Will. These and many other talented people want to put their talents to the test, and they must show that they deserve the opportunity. These creatives will earn points by impressing the live audience, and the more popular you are with the audience, the longer you stay on the show and the more likely you are to win. Everyone thinks they're ready to appear, but what the show has in store for them is the polar opposite of what they expected, and they'll have to dig deeper to prove they've got what it takes.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read that I finished in one sitting. it's a story that anyone can appreciate. Golden November's wonderful ability to elicit emotion from the reader and the book's strong sense of personality and originality were the aspects that I found most appealing. In literature, imagery is effective because we are confined to experiencing the world through our five senses. This allows the reader to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the story's setting. The author punctuates his work with images that allow the reader to visualize the setting's mental landscape. The icy landscape was one such image. As the helicopter approached the contestants, I felt a cold breeze brush across my face. Ninety-nine Books on the Wall depicts a vivid reality of the forces that propel the world of art and entertainment.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Ninety-nine Books on the Wall by Golden November is a unique reading experience. It should be a new adventure for bibliophiles not used to a dialogue-based story supplemented by photographs. Channel 2000 creates a reality show, casting influencers and creatives like singers, authors, poets, and comedians as contestants. They also recruit fans to create the hottest new reality show on television as contestants must compete to get fans. The casting director soon brought together an interesting mix of creatives namely Jaxson, Haley, Will, Sarah, Maxwell, Glenn, Parker, and May. At the start, the reality show did not do well in the ratings until its new executive producer sent the contestants curling in a blizzard. What follows is a series of hilarious events as another station produces a rival reality show, and a battle of the channels ensues.

Golden November’s Ninety-nine Books on the Wall is an unconventional read. After reading the first chapter, I got used to the book’s format and enjoyed the story. Focusing on reality TV is relevant as it has radically altered the media landscape for celebrities and even politicians, commonly criticized for being exploitative and fake. Readers go behind the scene in the making of reality TV and see for themselves. I find the eclectic mix of the contestant’s characters curious and amusing as they compete to get fans and be the best of the best. Bordering on the satirical, this book consists of a healthy dose of irony and exaggeration to get its message across. Happy reading!