Ghost World
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Ghost World

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  33,580 ratings  ·  1,005 reviews
Daniel Clowes is one of the most respected cartoonists of his generation, and Ghost World is his magnum opus. Adapted into a major motion picture directed by Terry Zwigoff (director of the acclaimed documentary Crumb), Ghost World follows the adventures of two teenage girls, Enid and Becky, two best friends facing the prospect of growing up, and more importantly, apart.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published 2001 by Fantagraphics (first published March 1998)
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Feb 08, 2010 jo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jo by: the intertubes
Shelves: graphic, kids
american representations of adolescents and post-adolescents in films and books have always left me cold, if not alienated. why do i have so little in common with these kids? why was my life and the lives of the italian teens i currently know and follow so vastly different? i blame american culture of violence and vice (for lack of a better world), kids' need to find themselves in drunkenness and drugs, when we had... what? what did we have? what do the italian kids i know have?

i think we had,...more
The worst thing that happened to “Ghost World” was that a movie was made of it, because it pawned the book effortlessly. Dan Clowes’ book was so cynical and condescending towards its subject matter that the film couldn’t help making the girls more likeable.

Case in point: when Enid and Rebecca are watching a lousy comic on television the Movie Enid says, “this guy rules, I want to totally do him”, it’s said with a dose of sarcasm and demented humor. The Book Enid says it with a jaded tone and a v...more
I had heard great things about this and was on board until I found out it was a graphic novel. Okay, don't hate me, but something abou graphic novels turns me off. Right from the get-go. It's completely shallow. I wish I could tell you why. Maybe it has to do with the fact that when I was 16 my best friend was into them. And when I say 'into them' what I really mean is that she found a boy she liked who liked comics so she had to know absolutely everything there was to know about the genre and i...more
Remember those angry, bitchy girls in high school, who sat around judging people and talking smack behind everyone's back? Okay, now imagine being locked in a box for an hour forced to listen to those jealous twits and you've got Ghost World in a nutshell.

I have been wanting to read Ghost World for ages. I stumbled across a copy of it at the library, so finally picked it up. I think if I had originally read this a decade ago, I might not have disliked the characters so much. Maybe I wasn't in th...more
Don't hate me, Jayme! I liked it but didn't love it.

Two best friends since childhood fight but are inseparable sometime after high school but before college/work/life. They have no plans for the future, so they wallow in their silly lives, pushing around everyone around them. Really, they are flailing in that teenage angsty way.

Clowes captures the Essence of Hipster Friendship*. Everybody sucks, everything is lame - but if it's extremely lame, then it becomes cool again. It's up to each hipster...more
I just stopped hating Daniel Clowes' graphic novel "Ghost World" like 7 minutes ago. Literally. I've had a long history of hating the listless bitches Enid and Rebecca and their ironic diner hopping, misfit hounding and personality contriving. But it just went away. Like a decade-old hate fever that finally broke.

Fact: My boyfriend and I rarely fight. So rarely that I can remember that we did have a fight in 2007 while watching the movie "Ghost World" about how much I hated the movie "Ghost Worl...more
Bryce Wilson
I have a great affection for Ghost World in both book and movie form, and not just because half of the movie was shot like three blocks from my apartment (The movie theater Enid works at for awhile really is THAT pathetic).

It speaks truth to (lack of) power. Most films about Geeks and Geek Culture tend to give us the upper hand, even when they proclaim themselves observations. A book like High Fidelity gently questions are assumptions and styles. Ghost World slaps you upside the head, making no...more
Sharm Alagaratnam
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes has been the only comic book so far from the library that I haven't enjoyed completely. It was a pretty strong reaction as well, as while reading the book I felt an almost physical urge to put it down. I had to think about why this was so for quite a while before realizing that far from the book being bad, it was instead too good.

I'll explain. The book follows the lives of two teenage girls in smalltown America somewhere. Its anonymity is key to the atmosphere as the...more
I could easily see myself depicted in a panel in this lovely graphic novel, with its snarky young teen heroine Enid reading my review of it and saying something like: "I mean, what kind of loser dork has the time to write a *review* of a 20-year-old graphic novel. Probably some middle-age loser living in his mom's basement."

Actually, I have written Goodreads reviews in my mom's basement. So, touche' Enid.

But I am writing this one in my own home, the double-mortgaged one. So, sweet Enid, allow on...more
Lacey Louwagie
Nov 07, 2007 Lacey Louwagie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who remember their best girlhood friends
Shelves: graphicnovels
I read this graphic novel after watching the movie of the same name. My main critique of it is that some of the teenagers look middle-aged and that there were places where frames seemed to be missing -- I think I would have been a little more disoriented without the movie to guide me. But other than that, I feel totally freaked that a man could write about bitter teenage girlfriends drifting apart with such skill, sensitivity, and accuracy. If you want a comparison, the novel definitely pierces...more
I can see how this comic would have massive cult appeal to the 'disenfranchised youth' of the 90's. However, this book is the bastard child of Strangers in Paradise and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac with a dash of Clerks. It has all the negativity of both books (Plus Daria and Roseanne) but none of the wit, charm or cleverness.

Don't get me wrong, I love negativity. Negativity is awesome if delivered with some class. This book has no class.

Like mommy Strangers in Paradise it features two young woma...more
Jun 08, 2009 Susie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: quirky, arty girls.
this is one of those books that forces me to marvel at the rare accuracy of middle-aged men able to represent the thought processes of young women in minor rebellion and the mundane appeal of their stupid, witty banter. in short, when i read this and when i re-read this twenty times over, i felt like i was reading a well documented account of day-to-day with my friends from when i was a teenager. truly awesome.

also, it's a comic book. i adore dan clowes' drawing style, but that's apparent.
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Well crafted, but excruciating to read, as the characters are both unlikeable, but in desperate need of the reader's sympathy as they're so pathetic. Kelly and I talked about how much less likeable the characters are in the book than they are in the movie (and they aren't exactly loveable in that incarnation, either).

In fact, Clowes' entire world is rather pathetic. Not only are almost all of the people in it pathetic, the physical world is pathetic, too (strip malls,...more
Full review at

Summary: Enid and Becky have been best friends forever and do everything together. They’re graduating from high school, so Enid is thinking of moving away to college but Becky doesn’t want her to go.

Review: This has been my favorite graphic novel so far, although I haven’t read very many yet. In the movie adaptation, I wish they had stuck to the book a bit more because the book was (of course) much better.

I loved Enid’s snarky commentary, bu...more
Clowes is immensely talented but his style doesn't quite ring my bell. Nevertheless, I just picked this up at Pegasus in Berkeley for less than 1/3 cover price. OH MY FUCKING GOD! I am such a loser, always talking about how I saved a few precious dollars on this or that piece of shit. My life has no meaning.
It's impossible that these weren't girls he knew, yet i think he made them up. They are so transparent, so 'high school', it breaches a fourth wall of fiction and you see right through, him; This is just stuff that happened to you, right?! That's the talent. The intellectual phrasings these girls use (at a Dinosaur miniature golf-course, "I remember this being so much bigger...Oh my God! I'm having a pseudo-religious experience right now.") Clowes doesn't skip out on minor details, he shows them...more
I'm not a mad crazy fan of graphic novels which should qualify that when I say that this is one of the best ones that I've read we're not comparing against the entire history of comics.

Instead I'm saying that out of the 100 or so that I have read this is one of the few that stands up to re-reading. I love looking at the art of Daniel Clowes in this one, the simple black and white images with a green shading throughout somehow manages to capture so much detail and mirrors the mood of the story.

This should have taken me no time to read as it's an 80 page graphic novel but I had to read it over the course of three days because it was just so bad. I couldn't relate to any of these characters because they were all so whiny. I don't know anyone who acted like this or talked like this no matter how cynical and ~cool~ they were trying to be. I didn't feel like Clowes was able to capture the relationship of two teenage girl friends very well, but after reading some of the other reviews who sa...more
Andrew Anony
I started reading this book a couple years ago. That same night I was chatting with a cute girl online, and she told me she hated the book and recommended another one. I dropped this book and read the other.

I've read a bunch of Clowes's books in the meantime but I've always shied away from this one due to that false-start. I finally read it the other day, and I realize the woman who didn't like it didn't like it because the characters in this novel are so similar to her - and that's not a compli...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Catching up on graphic novels I always wanted to read. Either because of the movie which I didn't know said movie was based on a graphic novel or heard a lot about said graphic novel and just now finally getting around to reading it. So anyway, I remember seeing the movie a lot whenever it was on TV and thought it was an okay but not that bad of a movie.

After reading this, it does make me want to revisit the movie again. I mean it has been a long time since I last saw it but I recall the story a...more
Apr 30, 2014 Yumna rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that hates themselves
A tale (not even, there was no plot) about two angsty teenage girls that go out of their way to judge anything and everything to compensate for their drastic self loathing. I had watched the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it, then read the book and found that so many changes were made - and for good reason, the book was complete, utter shit.

There was no plot (which is alright if anything else about it was good, but nothing was), the characters had minimal development that had only occurred towards...more
Reminiscent of Adrian Tomine's work in style.

If you have ever had the misfortune of sitting in an adjacent booth at a diner next to two loud, rude & obnoxious teen girls who would NOT shut up, then you can relate to Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Doppelmeyer. These two girls have nothing nice to say about anyone. They ridicule everyone, bemoan the state of the world, and are all around little snots. Would you want to know these girls, hang out with them, be the recipient of their scathing abuse?...more
I loved this book so much when I first read it at eighteen and after I re-read it recently at twenty-five, I was really pleased to see that it hasn't lost anything in the passing of time.Ghost World's wit, charm and endless mountains of sarcasm somehow feel just as fresh as they ever did - and I think this is to do with the eternalness of the plotline of two young female best friends with no clue about what they're going to do with their lives now that high school is over. Sure, Enid Coleslaw an...more
I've seen the movie made from this comic and though it was years ago, I couldn't help picturing Scarlett Johansson and Steve Buscemi in their roles as I read along. I didn't think of Thora Birch too much, though she played the main character, and maybe that's because in the movie she reminded me so much of a young Christina Ricci.

I know the story is supposed to be funny in parts, but I couldn't help feeling sad over how hard being a 17-year-old is. The inevitability of the growing-apart and the...more
Basically sort of actively unpleasant to read, in a way that makes me think I'm supposed to hate it so much I love it just to be contrary. However, being contrary, this just made me hate it more.
One word; hilarious! I could not stop laughing. The humor is right up my alley. Dark, loathsome, satirical, awkward, morbid, dorky, dirty & almost malicious. Enid gives me a total boner! The original comic is a masterpiece in my opinion. The artwork is simplistic yet wonderful. Enid’s clothes, moods & music are fantastic. I guess she’s like my dream girl, rude, artsy, funny, hates everything, likes quirky awkward basically unloveable shit. In fact, I almost bought a hearse myself but tha...more
I couldn't get through the movie, because I found Enid and Rebecca too irritating. Clowes' comic, however, seems much more tastefully presented. Although there are a number of relevant oddball characters (my absolute favorite being the man who sits on the bench waiting for a bus on a closed busline), this graphic novel is primarily an exploration of the crumbling relationship of two apathetic, disaffected teens.

The graphic novel succeeds most in its subtlety -- almost nothing happens over its 80...more
After hearing and reading a lot of good things about this book, I was somewhat disappointed. My initial reaction to it was: "That's it?" It's like the Seinfeld of graphic novels; the majority of the story is about nothing in particular. That kind of character driven work is often a really good thing if you like the characters. Unfortunately, none of these characters really resonated with me. I think this is less the fault of the author--because the characters are well developed--and more that it...more
Chad Bearden
So a friend of mine recently read "Ghost World" and didn't care for it much. I suspect this is partly due to the fact that she's a graphic novel novice, and she took the aimless personal trajectory of Enid (the work's protagonist) for a lack of anything happening. That would be a hard conclusion to argue with, so I'll leave my friend to her negative reading of the work, but I'll stick to my guns and maintain the opinion of the work I formed many years ago after my first time reading it: that's i...more
Jenny Devildoll
A male friend of mine once commented that the main characters of Ghost World didn't seem authentic because "their interests didn't seem to ring true for teenage girls". Actually,it's more that their interests didn't follow the spoon fed formula that most media TELLS us are the interests of most teenage girls. This is not a book about dating, makeovers, and popularity. It is the story of two sort of quirky girls who are above average intelligence(though not quite brilliant or anything)in a town t...more
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Daniel Gillespie Clowes is an Academy Award-nominated American author, screenwriter and cartoonist of alternative comic books. Most of Clowes' work appears first in his ongoing anthology Eightball (1989-present), a collection of self-contained narratives and serialized graphic novels. Several of these narratives have been collected published separately as graphic novels, most notably Ghost World....more
More about Daniel Clowes...
David Boring Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron Wilson Ice Haven Twentieth Century Eightball

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“Everybody just lets the media do their thinking for them... that's why you'll never hear any reggae on the radio!” 15 likes
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