Rick Palkovic holds his book, “Limit 55,” with other examples of the art form. His work contains 26 stories of 55 words apiece.

Tiny ‘Limit 55’ book collects briefest of stories

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014 - 12:00 am

For “Limit 55,” Davis songwriter-musician Rick Palkovic had to think small. As in a miniature book that measures only 2 inches by 2 inches. It contains 26 55-word stories with 26 accompanying illustrations. It’s best-described as “quirky.”

“Not 54 words, not 56 words – 55 words exactly,” said Palkovic. Think Twitter for the literary set.

“I was intrigued by the challenge of getting the classic elements of a short story into 55 words,” he said. “Each story stands alone, with a protagonist, an antagonist and a problem to overcome. They’re all quite different. Most are lighthearted, but some are serious. If there’s room for a clever twist ending, all the better.”’

One of the tales goes like this:

“She came into my office with the same sultry swagger that worked on me before.

“ ‘It’s after noon,’ she purred. ‘Can we have a drink?’

“ ‘I’m a detective,’ I said. ‘Not a barkeep. You hired me to recover your pictures, and I did.’

“She arched an eyebrow. ‘How?’

“I can’t tell you in 55 words.”

The mini-book project was a family affair. Rick Palkovic’s brother, Mark Palkovic, published “Limit 55” at his Flying Pig Press in Cincinnati. He’s a miniature-book collector, and board member and past president of the Miniature Book Society. Their siblings, Tim Palkovic and Carolyn Palkovic Evans, drew the illustrations.

Meet the family at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040. Only 100 copies of the hand-stitched book were printed; they’re $30 each. Watching the Palkovics autograph them should be interesting.

As a bonus, Mark Palkovic will display books from his collection, including a copy of “the world’s smallest book.” It’s 0.75 millimeters square and must be read under a microscope.


Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni



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