It's true that Chester brown makes some good arguments for the legalization of prostitution, and overall the book is thought provoking. There are, howIt's true that Chester brown makes some good arguments for the legalization of prostitution, and overall the book is thought provoking. There are, however, a few things that left a bad taste in my mouth when I put this down tonight.
First, a problem I ran into is my familiarity of the work by one of the friends brown depicts. This cartoonist's work is fairly misogynistic even though it seems like he just thinks it comes off as spazzy or charming. The women in his stories are valued only by how they look and if they put out, shown through the egomaniacal veil of his "neurosis". Really, it's just gross. In "paying for it" there are many scenes where brown considers walking away from an encounter because the woman is too old (at....28.) too fat, etc. He notes every physical flaw. Granted, this is a very different situation than a one night stand and as Brown is paying for these encounters, he has the right to walk away. But I still have his friend's comics in the back of my mind as I read and it shows a particular way of thinking about women that leaves them both in an unfavorable light.
Secondly, due to respecting the privacy of the women he paid (kudos to him), the scenes between the prostitutes and himself are boring. Panels of humping and his thoughts on the quality of the experience make up the majority of the book. i agree with the reviewer who compared this to a list of what heate, how much it cost, and if it was well prepared. The good dialogue only comes between himself and his friends (most are male) and their various prejudices against the trade.
Upon finishing the book I did have new insights into prostitution, the law, and the mindset of a regular john. But I also felt sick to my stomach....more
As is frequently the case, Alan Moore's writing is like walking through thick mud and the illustrations are so brief that defining characters becomesAs is frequently the case, Alan Moore's writing is like walking through thick mud and the illustrations are so brief that defining characters becomes difficult. Overall the plot is confusing, and I didn't feel like it was worth slogging through and figuring out....more
This was (for some reason) on my little sister's required reading list for her senior year of high school. Being a graphic novel nerd, I picWell, wow.
This was (for some reason) on my little sister's required reading list for her senior year of high school. Being a graphic novel nerd, I picked it up the second she was done. I was a little surprised I hadn't heard of it before.
It turns out I had, as one of the final "chapters" was published in a Great American Comics (or Great Non-Required Reading, I forget which one) last year. Also, Charles Burns does the illustrations for the covers of "The Believer", a McSweeneys-owned (associated?) publication.
Charles Burns really uses the medium in a beautiful way. The story wouldn't have been nearly as good in a text-only format, and so much of the confusion and emotion of the characters is tied to the visual cues given the viewer.
The story itself is disturbing, so much so that I regret reading it right before bed. Still, I hope to see more from Charles Burns in the near future....more