DiscoverLiterary Fiction

Most Famous Short Film of All Time


Worth reading 😎

A unique story about a 'haunting' that represents the struggle between the inner ghosts of oneself.

Allow me to start off with a disclaimer: this review will not do this book justice, because in order for that to happen I would have to read it for a second time as a physical copy. To read this digitally is to diminish the full potential of its impact. Nonetheless, I am so honored to have read this as an ARC! 

It is hard to summarize this book within a few sentences, but I will try. Most Famous Short Film of All Time may read like a memoir at first, but it actually centers around fictional (?) main character Lev Ockenshaw. For all the ideas written into the story, I would say that it focuses primarily on Lev’s continual navigation of his identity, which is also to say the navigation of his queerness.

There are so many elements in this novel that present themselves as potential symbols, especially with all the philosophical talk there to reinforce them. The vagueness with which these elements are explored present a lot of area for the reader to theorize. What does Lev’s speculirium analogize? What is the significance of him being more in touch with goddesses rather than male ghosts? What role does JFK play in all this?

With how the author narrates Lev’s story, I personally got a lot of interesting insight about queerness, and just life in general. The writing style is frank, sometimes satirical, and very introspective. There are a lot of lines I really liked, such as the following:

Even the mechanism by which you make choices doesn’t have to mean anything to you. If you want an apple to mean something, make it taste like Good and Evil.

We will spread the beach blanket, sand crystals in its terrycloth loops. We will start over. We will begin again with the holy grail of what can never be recovered.

Despite the multiple noteworthy lines, I feel that their impact is lessened by the pacing of the story. You gain momentum, only to shortly lose it afterwards. I understand the author’s creative decisions in formatting the book how he did, but I think that there were parts of this that could have been left out, for the sake of keeping the momentum flowing smoothly— especially with how long the book is. This is why I say that this would be much better read as a physical copy. It’s quite daunting to read as an e-book.

Despite that, I have a fondness for this book that I don’t know how to explain. This is the type of story that would most likely appeal to a certain reader demographic, specifically those who are into non-fiction, literary fiction, or autobiographies (though, again, this isn’t really that). All in all, it is a book unlike any other.

Reviewed by

reader, writer, and now a reviewer! if you like my work, i also have a youtube channel where i talk about books: althea films stuff.

Episode 1: Speculirium

About the author

Tucker Lieberman is the author of a novel, Most Famous Short Film of All Time; three nonfiction books, Painting Dragons, Bad Fire, and Ten Past Noon; and a poetry collection, Enkidu Is Dead and Not Dead / Enkidu está muerto y no lo está. view profile

Published on September 20, 2022

Published by tRaum Books

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Literary Fiction

Reviewed by