I love David Cross' bit on "Shut Up You Fucking Baby" where he talks about the woman who works at New York, New York Casino in Vegas who was overly de...moreI love David Cross' bit on "Shut Up You Fucking Baby" where he talks about the woman who works at New York, New York Casino in Vegas who was overly devastated on 9/11 because she works just down the street from the fake world trade center. "That could've been me not me!" She cried. There are a lot of people who weren't really affected by 9/11 and despite the vow of their bumper stickers to "never forget" quickly did. They also love to talk about where they were and what they were doing and how they know someone who knows someone who lived in New York/worked at the World Trade Center. Those people, for the most part, are the people I've talked about 9/11 with. I wasn't there. Yes, I remember where I was. Yes, it was insane. But I was safe and sound in dumb ol' Dallas, TX and so like most people who were nowhere near Manhattan on that day I went to work. Time did not stand still where I was.
Maybe this is why I can't get enough of hearing people who were actually there talk about their experience. Which is why I bought this book. This poor young women was newly wed, newly pregnant and on September 11th newly widowed. "Wow!" I thought. "This is gonna be good. I may even cry!" Wrong. In Torres' defense, maybe she wasn't trying to make anyone cry. Maybe her goal was to talk about how she met her husband (at a bar, how romantic!), wasn't really sure she should have even married him, got annoyed at all the attention she received as a pregnant 9/11 widow, and then bitch about how hard it was to deal with inept grief counselors and governmental agencies put in place to disperse funds to survivors and their family members. Aside from not really liking Allison, her story was all over the fucking place. To me it felt as though she had taken a bunch of notes in preparation for the book, which is more of a short story, and then not knowing how to put them all together cohesively she just decided to shit them out in no particular order.
Just so I don't sound completely heartless before this review ends, I will say that there were parts that were really insightful, and tragic, and moving. But if this book hadn't been in the form of a graphic novel and wasn't so full of kick-ass artwork, I'd never have finished it. (less)
This book read like a set of notecards you make yourself so you can cram for a big exam. It's interesting, and if you knew nothing before going into i...moreThis book read like a set of notecards you make yourself so you can cram for a big exam. It's interesting, and if you knew nothing before going into it then you come away with enough to make yourself look somewhat informed on issues like Pearl Harbor and Watergate (if they come up over cocktails, for example). But it left me wanting more on some subjects, and so for that I think I'd have been better off reading a book that focuses more on one period, or war, or historical event etc. But that's my fault. I knew what it was about before I bought it. I just didn't expect to feel like I'd cheated when I was done.
I like Zinn's P.O.V. And his personal experience added a lot to his retelling of some of these events, but he definitely leans to the left. Could be a turn off if your looking for a more neutral/non-biased account. (less)
Interesting read. Also a bit different from other books I've read in the genre like Blankets, Fun House, Epileptic, etc. which tend to be autobiograph...moreInteresting read. Also a bit different from other books I've read in the genre like Blankets, Fun House, Epileptic, etc. which tend to be autobiographical. I was expecting a true story. In any event I enjoyed it. The very beginning starts out w/ the main character, Carla, still in Chicago. She's sitting on the subway making her way to the Mexican part of town. At first I was like "hey, I've been there!" and it was cool. Then I remembered what a miserable time I had walking around for three hours trying to find a Mexican-American Art Museum I'd heard about but couldn't find. The address listed in Fodors turned out to be a meat market. By the time I resolved to just ask someone where the hell it was, it was too late--it had closed for the day. Anyway, that's got nothing to do with the book so I'll move on. Carla is half-Mexican and gets caught up in this idea that in order for her to fit in in Mexico City she must completely abandon the gringa in her. She befriends a leftist radical who's all talk no action, and through him connects w/ a score of shady characters, not the least of which is her boyfriend who just wants to make enough money to buy some turntables so he can be a famous DJ--in other words he's a total loser. It was interesting for me to see how someone w/ Carla's smarts could be so naive. And how ppl in this day and age could still buy into communism. Carla finds herself caught between two-worlds: the world of ex-pats in Mexico for various life-defining experiences who hang strictly w/ each other, and the world of her Mexican friends who resent her American friends for coming to Mexico with no intention of adapting to the culture. Carla's story also involves drugs, the Mob, and a kidnapping. Definitely worth the read. (less)
**spoiler alert** The other day while lamenting the inevitable failure of my unsteady relationship w/ my bf to a good friend, we talked about how thin...more**spoiler alert** The other day while lamenting the inevitable failure of my unsteady relationship w/ my bf to a good friend, we talked about how things just aren't perfect like in the movies; how you can't compare your relationship to fictitious one's and expect it to hold up. It made me feel better to think that others might currently be involved in equally fucked up relationships, like, maybe it isn't just that I'm particularly pathetic. You know, you gotta look for a silver lining. It wasn't all bad. But then I go and read a book like this. An honest to jehovah, real-life love story. Fred meets Cati. Sparks fly, timing is off. Fred bumps into Cati years later. Sparks fly, timing is right. Only there's a catch. Cati has been married, given birth, and contracted HIV. Fred is the kind of guy I would fantasize about meeting: someone who was so taken by me that nothing I could possibly say or do would detract from his adoration and desire to be with me. This book is sweet. And while it sucks to think about how my previous relationships have failed to be as special and wonderful and Cati and Fred's, it makes me feel good to know that it's possible. Maybe not probable...but possible.(less)
This illustrated and condensed version of the 9/11 report is informative, engrossing, and endorsed by two of the commission's chairs. If you, like me,...moreThis illustrated and condensed version of the 9/11 report is informative, engrossing, and endorsed by two of the commission's chairs. If you, like me, don't have the patience to sift through the phonebook size original but are interested in the commission's findings and also some brief background on the terrorists, than this is a great alternative.(less)
This is a great series of comics about a virus that kills off all the men on earth--everything with a Y chromosome so male animals too--except for one...moreThis is a great series of comics about a virus that kills off all the men on earth--everything with a Y chromosome so male animals too--except for one dude. The books are addictive, once you read one you'll want to have the next in the series handy. Thought-provoking, well-written, and good clean fun.(less)
The first graphic novel I read after Maus and it didn't let me down. The author illustrates her story of growing up in Iran pre and post the Shah's ta...moreThe first graphic novel I read after Maus and it didn't let me down. The author illustrates her story of growing up in Iran pre and post the Shah's takeover. She relates how it affected her, her parents, and her community. The first novel is way more interesting than the second installation, but both are worth the read. Can't wait to see the movie!(less)