This is a tiny review for The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, "directed" by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. A postcard-size hardback digestible in a 5- to 10-minute sitting, The Tiny Book contains 50 or 60 itty bitty stories and accompanying illustrations, chosen by JGL himself from 8,569 contributions submitted to hitRECord.org. They span nearly the entire scope of literature despite being as short as a text. Some are maudlin, some are hilarious, some are prose, some are poetry. Each manages to pack an entire story into a few lines, giving readers a lasting impression of the inside of a paranoid mind, several unhappy relationships, a couple of philosophical riddles, and even the White Rabbit's take on the events of Alice in Wonderland in just six words (suck it, Hemingway).
Although I had the press release and the book cover, I was still feeling a bit dense as I flipped through the list of contributors, trying to figure out who exactly authored the book and what exactly JGL had to do with it. Here's the answer: in 2005, he launched hitRECord, a collaborative online publishing company, which now has something like 10,000 contributors and produces work in every medium except microfilm. Also, unlike some other massive contributor-based publishing ventures you may have heard of, hitRECord actually shares its profits with its contributors. How refreshing.