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The Freddie Stories
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The Freddie Stories

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  644 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Here is the first new collection of Lynda Barry's nationally syndicated cartoon strip in more than five years. Lynda Barry, creator of the 'My Life' and 'Ernie Pook's Comeek' comic strips, is syndicated in over 40 alternative weekly newspapers across the country. The Freddie Stories—featuring sisters Marlys and Maybonne, and their spunky little brother Freddie--c ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 9th 2002 by Sasquatch Books (first published 1999)
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Lynda Barry's artwork looks rather crude at first glance, so I never actually read one of her books despite all the praise they have received. What a mistake! As it turns out, every bleak line and every blunt sentence in The Freddie Stories flawlessly evokes the tormented perspective of its protagonist and narrator, Freddie. Having been neglected and abused for years by almost all the people around him, Freddie finally cracks when he reaches adolescence.

Barry's portrayal of Freddie's gradual des
Barry's depiction of childhood is a terrifying world. I forget that between readings. I recall the quirky beauty of her illustrations, her sly humor, and her obvious affection for her characters. But, make no mistake, Freddie lives in a nightmare world. Among his ordeals: framed for a crime by an adolescent psychopath, constantly being bullied, taunted with homophobic slurs, shamed by a terrible mother, wrongly assigned to special education. It's no wonder that creative, sensitive Freddie kinda ...more
Alex V.
I know there are those that claim to not like Lynda Barry, but I rope them in with the people that claim to not like peanut butter, in that I hear what they are saying but I don't really believe them.

This brief book is tragic and hilarious, fantastic and all too real. It entails the level of transcendence that any writer wishes they had access to. It's a tangle of words and image, as dense as a real vine hidden in the weeds of real life. You feel wrapped up in those thorny nether-vines with ethe
Lily Sizemore
This book is noteworthy for getting new ideas on what do when to impress people, do something when you get bored or anything you could possibly want to do, because it could help you when you need tips on how to do stupid little things that might actually help in your life or situation. But it is not a good read.
The cover is so detailed and intriguing that I thought this was going to be a booked packed of interesting stories. After reading pages and pages I kept losing interest faster and faster.
J. Bryce
More a collection of two-page, four-panels strips, not a graphic novel, although over all it does tell a mostly-cohesive story.

Freddie's life sucks in a heart-wrenching way -- way more emotional depth to this book than you'd expect, either from a graphic novel generally, or from the child-like drawings Lynda Barry uses. Parts are chilling, other parts hilarious ... it's just like life in that way.

Highly recommended for its offkilterness.
There is nothing I have read by Lynda Barry that I have not loved. Her writing is always full of the unexpected, so I expect that with each book. The Freddie Stories, however, provided an unexpected level of the unexpected - even for Lynda Barry. The stories are dark, haunting, honest, tragic, and (in ways hard to describe) triumphant all at once. As a person who has worked many years in the social services system, I appreciate the rich perspective of the characters who would fall into the categ ...more
Places I have cried whilst reading this comic book: 1) in the bath, 2) at the Iron Rail bookstore and library (I was working there that day. It was not dignified.)
Nov 02, 2009 Jean rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Lynda Barry is the supreme funky comic-art goddess.
Of all time.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Very few artists are both able and willing to brave these dark, timeless, psychological spaces as genuinely and intimately as Lynda Barry. Her thoughts are emotional, brave and sometimes painful (especially so in The Freddie Stories) but when I've felt brave enough to go there with her Ive been rewarded with feeling a refreshed connection and empathy with other humans . I only gave this four stars instead of five because Cruddy still sits in the Lynda Barry throne of my heart.
Feb 27, 2014 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Never not loving everything Lynda Barry writes. Always oddball and true. Some brutal stuff happens in this one, but the relationship between Freddie and his sister Marlys is just so deeply #1 (as Fred Milton, Beat Poodle would say).

If you haven't read any of Barry's regular comic strips featuring this family (siblings Freddie, Marlys, and Maybonne, and their cousins Arna and Arnold), you might want to start with "The Greatest of Marlys."
Whereas the collection The Greatest of Marlys captures the spazzy wonder of childhood with entirely appropriate undertones of sadness and exclusion, The Freddie stories are much, much darker, as the sensitive Freddie lives through some true horrors growing up and one of the only occasional bright spots in his life is his sister Marlys. Freddie's demons are portrayed as often quite real and literal monsters and ghosts, and as he tries to escape into dreams of ancient creatures, Antarctica, and hi ...more
This book was kind of brutal. It's the story of Freddie, a misfit who is sent to live at his aunt's house for the summer. While he's there another boy sets fire to a house, killing a woman. Freddie gets part of the blame and winds up in juvie which is bad enough but then the poor kid basically has a breakdown and starts seeing flaming skulls in place of everyone's heads. His mother is wretched and abusive and no help whatsoever then the kid starts having crazy dreams. As much as I appreciate the ...more
harlequin {Stephanie}
the cover doesn't match the art inside. could not get into the stories or whatever that was exactly.
Wow... I didn't read the back of the book, which advised those who don't like unpleasant situations to not read the book, until the end. I still would have read it, but I would have known to prepare myself. There is always this sort of bittersweet element to Lynda Barry's stories- memories of childhood emphasize the funny and the awesome, but there is always something else mentioned that throws all of those memories off- whether it be bullies, cruel mothers, or worse. Freddie had a rough time, l ...more
Nov 10, 2008 Ciara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bug aficiandos, victims of bullies, troubled teenage boys
it's a good thing this one is actually called "freddie stories" so i can differentiate it from every other marlys-themed collection. this one focuses on marlys's brother, freddie, who is obsessed with bugs & maybe a little emotionally disturbed due to taunting from neighborhood bullies. the comics here are mostly about freddie, or told from his perspective, about bugs & bullies & his weird way of seeing the world. i was intrigued because i have never been a young boy & i guess mi ...more
even for what i tend to read, i found this one to be far to dark and disturbing.
I bought and read the original edition of The Freddie Stories in 1999. This new edition, published by Drawn & Quarterly, features an afterward by Barry and comics that weren't included in the original edition. These "lost" comics add an entirely new dimension to the narrative, making The Freddie Stories a richer, more complex work. I was really happy to see that some of the comics I cut out of the newspaper back in the early 90s and still have in a little envelope have found a happy more per ...more
Giovanna Forsyth
This is one of those graphic novels that I didn't really enjoy reading, but I can begrudgingly admit that it's quite good. I hate the art. I'm not into this kind of ugly sketchy illustrative style...I tend to enjoy more polished things..but I understand that this is supposed to have a childlike scrawl about it. This book has an essence about it that I can't quite put my finger on. It is full of uncomfortable moments, so if that's not your thing...move along. I can't recommend it, and yet I can't ...more
know that this is a very triggering book for childhood traumas. it is hard and good but very very hard, sometimes. actually pretty terrifying, sometimes. in the way that fantastical, terrifying things are hard because real, terrifying things are hard.

freddie and the fly, freddie and so many hurts and hard things, freddie's big heart and groovy sense of humor, how i love freddie, how scary to live in freddie's world, how scary that freddie's hard world is our mean world. i love you freddie i love
A story of the emotional unraveling of a young boy raised fatherless by a hostile mother, two hapless sisters, and an extended family of harried and uncaring cousins and aunts. "The Freddie Stories" is powerful and sad, dealing with a child's mistakes, difficulties in building and maintaining friendships, and unduly harsh punishments for errors of judgment--a sense of judgment that's never been shaped by love and guidance.
Lynda Barry would be my discovery of last year (Posy Simmonds was my rediscovery) and i think i liked this one the most of all the ones i could get my hands on. probably because there is more of an obvious narrative to this collection than to the greatest!of!marlys - and some of the strips made my hair stand on end. what i really want is the absolutely everything lynda barry has ever done in one collection book.
even though i am an avid lynda barry fan, this is a must read for anyone who likes comics, and those who are willing to try them. freddie deals with an enormous amount of shit, some of which we have seen before as in one hundred demons, from mothers, cousins, school, etc. he sheds some incredible light on the dark side of growing up with a disability. i love will too.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This story demonstrates the intense inner lives of children and the ways in which they find support, as well as develop and struggle in their relationships. What I liked about this book: chaotic drawings, kids dealing with this messed up world and mental illness, el fagtastico. While to hard take, I appreciate that it doesn't have a happy ending.
Austin Kleon
I love this book — I first read it in the 1999 paperback edition put out by Sasquatch Books, but now Drawn and Quarterly has re-issued it in hardcover with new artwork, a new afterword by Lynda, and about 50 extra strips. More here:
Brilliant dark at times disturbing. Less accessible than some of her other work sometimes I lost track of narrator and narrative. Probably on me more than on book. I LOVE LYNDA BARRY. Fearless - often technically weak drawings - but who cares they advance the story.
I just re-read Freddie Stories. It is my favorite of Barry's comic collections and even a contender with Cruddy. It dips deeper into the fantastic in a scary way than any of the other comics. A must read, for sure!
This was pretty depressing. I had to read it quickly and get it out of the house; I didn't want my kids to pick it up and be traumatized by the issues it dealt with. Not one of my favorites by the author.
Y 741.59 Stories and whimsical drawings of Freddy, a young gay boy, that doesn't really fit in anywhere. Some of the stories were humorous but many scary and ultimately sad. Not for younger teens at all.
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Lynda Barry is an American cartoonist and author, perhaps best known for her weekly comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek.
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One Hundred Demons Cruddy What It Is The Greatest of Marlys The Best American Comics 2008

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“Dear Blubbo, How is it going? It is fine here. My sisters are fine. Mom is usual. Everything is regular in life except I am still seeing the burning skull heads. Yesterday Mom took me to Sears for school clothes. I told my sisters I could see the people's head bones. They said DO NOT tell Mom. A guy moved a trailer onto the empty lot by our house. His skull is spectacular, many colors glowing.” 3 likes
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