Tom Bensley's Reviews > Black Hole

Black Hole by Charles Burns
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's review
Jan 27, 2012

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Read in January, 2012

I think I read Charles Burns's Black Hole a year too late. It's a great story, the art is fantastic, it's funny, creepy and damn entertaining, but the whole thing feels very "High School" which is now a couple of years behind me. This has been mentioned many times on Goodreads reviews, but it is important to know. All the angst, violence and random sex with beautiful (ly drawn) characters just seems like a cash in on teenagers wet dreams and fantasies.
Black Hole is about a disease that mutates teenagers so that they look ultra creepy (horror fans satisfied) which is carried by sexual intercourse (reasons to have graphic sex scenes) and seems to cause a lot of abstract dreams and weird imagery for some reason (possibly profound symbolism). Rather than being an important graphic novel like the accolades on the cover boast, it ends up feeling like a winning recipe for kids who don't read much.
Now, let me step off my literary high horse and remove my pretentious outfit, because Black Hole kinda rocks. I read it in two or three sittings, was drawn into the story from the first page and wanted it to keep going after it ended. It's the equivalent of a film that slips under the radar and develops a huge cult following years later, but instead it's not hard to find and you don't sound cool and alternative when you mention it. Believe me.
My favourite thing about Black Hole is the ambiguous ending. For me, that's saying a lot, because I usually hate endings like this. I'm unsatisfied and I often feel cheated. This one is perfect. I won't spoil it, but I hope this gives you something to look forward to. So yes, I am telling you to read it.

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