Nicholas Karpuk's Reviews > Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness

Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O'Malley
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Sep 16, 09

Read in September, 2009

Ever feel like a book is a little too specific to your interests? Scott Pilgrim's life is all music and old-school video games. I get the references consistently, and they're references I'm not used to seeing in stories.

O'Malley's storytelling style is perplexing in many regards. About 80% of the time it's a slice-of-life view of a Canadian loser in a band who's barely keeping things together in any aspect of his life.

The weirdness comes with the remaining 20%, where he engages in anime-style paranormal battles, gets Mario Brothers power-ups, and worries if he should use the Final Fantasy save point before confronting his next foe. The overarching story relates to the cabal of evil ex-boyfriends he must defeat to maintain his relationship with the lovely Ramona.

And yes, the tonal shifts really are that jarring. I like both, but damned if I'm having trouble wrapping my head around what he's going for on this. It's entertaining, but it just sits oddly in my brain.

Also, I'll be fascinated to see what happens if they make the movie adaptation with Michael Cera. Scott Pilgrim is a skeezy loser who shares a bed with a gay guy in a one room apartment, treats the girls in his life like crap, and can't hold down a job. It seems like it would take an actor that likable a lot to fill those shoes.

I'll keep buying the books because it's well realized and fun, but I'll also probably keep finding myself asking, "Who writes like this? Seriously!"
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