Lara's's Reviews > One Hundred Demons

One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
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's review
Nov 21, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: graphic-novels
Recommended for: Tweens, Teens and all other tortured souls
Read in November, 2008 , read count: 1

Synopsis :NAME THAT DEMON!!! Freaky Boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! Rotten things we've done that will haunt us forever! These are some of the pickled demons Lynda Barry's storeis serve up comic-strip style, mixing the true and un-true into something she calles "autobifictionalography." Inspired by a 16th-century Zen monk's painting of a hundred demons chasing each other across a long scroll, and encouraged by a 20th-century editor, Barry's demons jump out of these pages and double-dare you to speak their names.
Review : Yes, it's a pretty intense graphic novel. But, not in the way that I'm used to graphic novels being intense. Part witty humor and part obvious therapy, Lynda Barry bravely addresses her multiple personal demons in one of the most passionate, self-effacing (yet proud) examples of "getting it all out in a creative manner" that I've seen in quite sometime. The great thing about this graphic novel is that while some of the story line will not connect with readers (as School Library Journal notes below) there is bound to be something--and yes, it's a
hideous "demon"--that will. And boy! Does it kind of sting like a glass of ice water tossed in your eyeballs when you see it sitting there in front of you, in full-color on the page. For me personally, the torturous pain of living through the nightmare that was Junior High (and, yes, sometimes Graduate School) just kicks into full gear in this book. Hence, I loved it! The ability to laugh at oneself cannot be too over-rated. Lynda Barry graciously laughs and then has enough energy left over to invite you with a step-by-step tutorial of how she did it. So that you too can create 100 demons all your very own! You'd think 100 would be a pretty large number. I'm finding out that it really isn't.
Critical Reviews :From Publishers Weekly, "simultaneously poignant and hilarious-never one at the expense of the other-and so are her loopy, sure-lined drawings, which make both the kids and the adults look as awkward and scrunched-up as they feel."From School Library Journal, "those who connect with it will come away with a deep appreciation for Barry." I appreciate Lynda Barry.

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