It's a graphic novel but it reads like a written novel. I was so impressed with this book, the author did a wonderful job depicting her childhood, her...moreIt's a graphic novel but it reads like a written novel. I was so impressed with this book, the author did a wonderful job depicting her childhood, her family and of course, her father. I highly reccommend this book for anyone looking for a good read. It is a compelling portrait of a family lovingly told without pulling any punches.(less)
I am familiar with the artists work from the New Yorker but this is the first thing of his that I have read that is longer than one panel.
This is a v...moreI am familiar with the artists work from the New Yorker but this is the first thing of his that I have read that is longer than one panel.
This is a very quick read but lots of fun. It kind of feels like it was written by/for octogenarians because of all the griping about the modern world but I could still connect with it. On bad days it feels like I am in hell (as protrayed here) and even on good days I can sympathize with many of the issues Edmund and Rosemary must endure.
This is a fun read and would make a great birthday present for anyne you know who seems to feel like the world is going to Hell.(less)
After reading Bechdel's last memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic about her father, I was excited when I heard that she had a new book comming our, t...moreAfter reading Bechdel's last memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic about her father, I was excited when I heard that she had a new book comming our, this one about her mother. Unfortunately, this book turned out to be something of a dissapointment.
The book is indeed advertized as being about her mom - the dust jacket calls it a "...thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother...". There is nothing thrilling about the book (and as much as I loved Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, I would not describe that as thilling either though the dust jacted implies it was). Much of the book is devoted to therapy sessions. These are not some sort of adventure-therapy where she goes skydiving to overcome some deep seated fear. These are the normal sit-on-a-comfy-chair-and-talk-about-your-dreams-from-last-night therapy sessions. It gets old quick.
Not all of the book is devoted to therapy. A good portion is also devoted to Donald Winnicott, a psychoanalyst who has greatly inspired Bechdel in her theraputic self-discovery. These passages, along with her many panels discussing psychoanalysis in general are interesting to read but often a bit dry and frankly, not what I was looking for.
What I was looking for was an intimate view into the lives of Bechdel and her mom. The book does give that - sort of. Most of this comes out as present day conversations as the author discusses her first book with her mom or their conversations over this book. These conversations are interesting at first but quickly get boring.
There are very few parts of the book with a real story to tell and many of the most interesting turn out to be dreams (each chapter opens with a dream so you'd think I would learn to expect it but, stupid me, I was usally fooled for all or most of the dream sequence).
What this all adds up to is a rather self-involved book. To be fair my expectations were based on the title, dust jacket and her previous memoir. At various points in the book she refers to it as being about her, her mom or even at one point seems to allude to it being about Winnicott. In the end however, had it been advertised as a story about the author's search for understanding about herself and her mom, it would still be a boring, self-involved work.
The only thing that really does make this book worthreading is the questions it raises on the ethics of publishing books on the private lives of her parents. Bechdel's mother was clearly unhappy with the publiation of the last book, centering around her late husbands's closeted gay life, and was likewise unhappy with a book about herself. This book certainly does not paint her in a good light and in fact the last book did a better job of portraying her all around. While this is illuminating it did give me an uneasy feeling reading this book and while it is somewhat resolved in the end, that resolution is shallow and does nothing to improve the book.
I wish I could say I enjoyed this book but in the end it left me largely bored.
I did not finish this book. First of all, the art is all black and white. I have no problem with that, however when an artist restricts themselves to...moreI did not finish this book. First of all, the art is all black and white. I have no problem with that, however when an artist restricts themselves to b&w, they need to be careful not to get too detailed or the pictures will get very crowded and busy. La Perdida is a good example of that. The art itself is not bad but I found the level of detail in each panel a bit distracting and for me it detracted fro the experience. Maybe that wasn't such a bad thing however because the story itself is a bit of a wreck. The characters are all rather annoying - self-righteous, self-involved and naive. Maybe the main character grows up by the end of the story but considering how poorly the story was executed, I have my doubts. I gave up after struggling to get through a very long scene without any point that I could see. This was a big disappointment. (less)
What drew me to the book first was the art, then the topic. It truely is a graphic novel for kids and as such I can't say the story was amazing for ad...moreWhat drew me to the book first was the art, then the topic. It truely is a graphic novel for kids and as such I can't say the story was amazing for adults. Still, I think children will enjoy it. The artwork is fabulous however and can be appreciated by all.
For me, the big problem is the educational value of the book. This is meant to be educational, teaching children about ecological niches and invasive species. I think that comes across ok. The book involves the introduction of an invasive fish - a snakehead - to a small pond. This is a real-world issue so the educational value of the topic is potentially even better than just making up a problem to illustrate the problems inherent in ivasive species. Unfortunately, the book never identifies the fish or include any notes/glossary etc. in the back to help it's young readers understand what they read. As a result, curious children may find themselves at a bit of a deadend. If their parents know what kind of fish it is, then fine. If not? It questionable whether young readers will find the answer (and the interesting realworld story) out.(less)
When I found this book, I initially thought it was a creationist attempt to win kids over. I think it was the drawings and the campiness but I'm not s...moreWhen I found this book, I initially thought it was a creationist attempt to win kids over. I think it was the drawings and the campiness but I'm not sure. I paged through it and it seemed on the level so I took a chance on it - I always enjoy discovering an attempt to teach introduce science in a lucid and entertaining way. This book succeeds. The premise is that a bunch of aliens are learning about the evolution of life on Earth so that they can save their own declining race. There are plenty of things to make fun of plotwise and the segments of humor between the aliens may appeal to children but probably not anyone older than 10 or so. Then again, the target audience my be young kids. Either way, the book does a great job of explaining the history of life on Earth and the evolutionary mechanisms and plenty of related topics (there were a couple of points I disagreed with but there are always small controversies in evolution) and even adults should get something out of it. (less)