I reviewed this in full on my blog, but since it was a somewhat non-traditional review, I will include a snippet here. If you want the full thing, alo...moreI reviewed this in full on my blog, but since it was a somewhat non-traditional review, I will include a snippet here. If you want the full thing, along with some bonus material, head over here...
The "story" unfolds via a man's poetry journal. Intending to document the glory of life, it ends up recording the downfall of civilization as he: runs from zombies, is bitten by zombies, becomes a zombie, bites and creates more zombies, and embarks on the never-ending quest for fresh flesh and the all important zombie food source, brains.
Some of this anonymous man's poetry is only so-so (but what do you expect of a man who keeps a haiku poetry journal), and his pre-zombification haiku are as pretentious and pointless as you'd want them to be. But when said poet gets bitten, things take a turn for the worse -- while his haiku takes a visceral turn for the better, in my opinion. Dripping blood and pus and various other fluids onto the pages of his precious journal, he goes in search of the first of a slew of meals - -I mean, victims. (I'm not going to tell you who the first victim is, but ugh).
I previewed a few of the disgustingickyawesome haiku on a previous teaser tuesday, but they were just the, *ahem* tip of the juicy cortex. Though there are throwaway bits, there are some moments of gross brilliance in here. Our mysterious zombie man retains his vocabulary pretty much intact (which somehow doesn't seem ridiculous), but everything becomes a little stilted and skewed, creating a nicely eerie, Other effect. And of course, some of his phrasing, reactions and desires are just hilarious. (less)
I sort of feel bad for rating this a two, because I know it took an INSANE amount of work to create this book (14 years worth by Niffenegger's reckoni...moreI sort of feel bad for rating this a two, because I know it took an INSANE amount of work to create this book (14 years worth by Niffenegger's reckoning), but honestly, it really was just okay.
Told mostly through pictures (painstakingly created but still only 'ehh' most of the time), the text in this book is really just a series of captions for the pictures. The story is loosely held together through that, and even though it is there -- and a rather disturbing story it is, too -- it never feels like more than a series of vignettes.
The story; three sisters, Bettine, Ophile and Clothilde live alone and carry on their lonely lives near a lighthouse. When the lighthouse keeper dies and his son comes to stay, he shakes up things among the sisters, falling in love with one and causing another to descend into madness (the third? Already mad, I think...). What follows is a rather disturbing tale; story and art somewhat reminiscent of Edward Gorey or Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories.
There are parts of the story, and panels that tell it, that are rather striking. And because it is told in pictures, it's not like it takes up a huge chunk of time. Still...(less)