Chazzbot's Reviews > Clumsy

Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown
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Jun 02, 08


Jeffrey Brown's crude artistic style is certainly an acquired taste, and many may not get past his drawings. However, those willing to delve into his comics will find that his style coincides nicely with the intensely personal nature of his stories. Brown, in both his art and his writing, not only brings himself to a level at which the reader can relate to him (or even, perhaps, look down on him), but uses his unique storytelling style to offer what seems like a completely honest and exposed account of his relationship with, in this novel, a woman named Theresa.

The novel is dedicated to "everyone who has ever loved and lost," and Brown certainly doesn't hide much, either of the early thrill of meeting someone new or the devastation of losing that same someone to rather arbitrary factors of distance or simple boredom.

The relationship depicted here is one of young adults who have not yet fully left the nest--in a few scenes, Jeff and Theresa have sex in a hotel room adjoining the one in which Theresa's parents are staying--and the perspectives on relationships here are very much those of people in the early 20s. Some may find such a detailed reminder of the idiocy of young lovers grating, but there is no denying the openness and honesty of Brown's account. I found it rather charming and the characters somewhat pathetic, and Brown's artwork consistently underscores those aspects.

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