One Hundred Books on the Wall

Fiction - Adventure
547 Pages
Reviewed on 01/10/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Coffee shop restrooms are for customers only, or so we are told at the start of the latest installment of Golden November's novels, One Hundred Books on the Wall. Following in the tradition of November's theater in a book writing style, the storyline hops from one adventure, or misadventure if you're the half-empty sort of reader, to another, with our favorite returning characters and some new folks sprinkled in for good measure. Also scattered throughout are tongue-in-cheek references woven into normal character conversation, which readers will act out instead of simply read, as in other books by November, including a party scene where titles are casually name-dropped like G & JBT falling from the sky.

The gift of the gab is something Golden November has in abundance and this transitions into wonderful and unique dialogue-only storytelling in One Hundred Books on the Wall. The inclusion of full-color photography gives all the setting details necessary to round out multiple storylines and the characters themselves are depicted in digital illustrations to aid the real-life reader-actors in visualizing who they embody. The most clever part to me is that this book is opened and closed by a character known as 'the Writer' and there is an actual interview with, presumably, the alter-ego of Golden November themselves. My vote for character MVP has to be the goth-Victoriana steampunk bundle of awesomeness named Debra, who has a blink-and-you-'ll-miss-it bit part but was worthy of a cutout to be hung on my daughter's desk. Highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Transport yourselves into the world of virtual reality with Golden November's One Hundred Books on the Wall. A disgruntled former employee of a coffee shop leaves his job to stumble into a once-in-a-lifetime offer on the radio. The young man called Aston and a whole host of other characters find themselves in a movie theater where they are soon transported into a 3-D world to a party the likes of which they had never seen before. Later, a group of visionary men and women try their best to convince a millionaire to invest in their venture of creating an immersive world where people can choose to be whoever they want.

Golden November's books are always written in an unorthodox style that reads more like the screenplay of a television series or a movie than a conventional novel. Even when compared with the author's other books, One Hundred Books on the Wall is distinctive because November takes a bold approach to the narrative by breaking the fourth wall. Some fan favorites from the other books show up, while several new characters enter the fictional universe of November. The author also inserts himself into the story as a character in an interview that will give readers some insight into his writing process. As technology advances further, and humans come closer to creating a fully fleshed-out virtual reality interface to connect the whole world in the metaverse, books like this are more relevant than ever.

Alex Ndirangu

One Hundred Books on the Wall by Golden November is an intriguing read that offers an adventure like no other. Through the help of a programmer, a virtual reality company has succeeded in building a virtual reality city where members can buy vacation properties and investment homes. In this world, the members can pick a virtual character, and they can fly to parties, go to the store to get food and clothing, go swimming at the beach, and even come back home to friends and neighbors. This is a place that they consider a home away from home. But the existence of this world hangs in the balance. Its designer plans to destroy the entire program, with the residents trapped inside the virtual world.

This book has something for everyone. It is packed with drama that will give you a good understanding of the characters, excellent comedy to encourage you to read closely, and rising action that will keep you excited to the very last page. The author also punctuated this work with songs that lifted the mere dialogue into the realm of poetry and propelled the narrative swiftly forward. Golden November incorporated descriptions and details into the songs, and I always sang along each time I came across one. The characters share relationships that enable the reader to feel every point of pain, fear, pride, and pleasure in the plot. The relationship that made the story tick for me was the mother-daughter relationship between Azalea and Melody. I found One Hundred Books on the Wall to be an excellent read that clearly shows how gifted Golden November is, and I look forward to reading more of their works.

Asher Syed

One Hundred Books on the Wall by Golden November is an interactive novel written to be acted out and not read straight through by a single person. November has a niche manner of storytelling that can take some getting used to but for those who are willing to try something new, the books are worth it. The intricacies of the books go deeper than a single plot and multiple characters are in several subplots that are woven together, and both themes and characters can and do often sway between different books in the Milestoneville series. Examples in this edition include a singing barista being fired from a coffee shop, the best-priced penthouse in the world up for grabs, and the worst sunburn in the history of being stranded at sea.

It is the deadpan comedy that Golden November uses in every inch of dialogue that pulls readers, or actors, as it were, into their stories. One Hundred Books on the Wall is the type of book that makes you wish Aubrey Plaza and Bill Murray were close personal friends, dishing up lines like, “We are born into this world to be kind to others. Why did you snap into a freak?” and, “Who the duck is that?” My favorite scene is when a character named JBT is bird-watching from his car and a character named Karen who behaves exactly as a Karen would, assumes she's being spied on because the world revolves around Karens. The Central Park Karen nod is fantastic and the book is another home run for November.