Lindsey's Reviews > One Hundred Demons

One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
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's review
Mar 17, 11

bookshelves: read-in-2009, graphic-novels, physical-library
Recommended to Lindsey by: Michael Howard
I own a copy

As much as we tsk and shake our heads at how cruel children can be to one another, the bullies of the world have inspired pure genius out of painful awkwardness, and Lynda Barry is the patron saint of the painfully awkward genius. In One Hundred Demons, Barry examines "demons" from her adolescence that continue to haunt, and in so doing has created a collection that is quite relatable to almost anyone. She blends a fluid Japanese brush-stroke inspired style with elements of collage, making use of bright colors and including lots of narrative text that emphasize her skills not just as artist but as writer. The demons she has encountered always turn out to embody larger ideas; though she often introduces each section with by naming a demon with one or two words (i.e. "Magic" or "Head Lice", each becomes an examination of an episodic, lingering encounter with the burdens of growing up and how these demons sink their teeth into our adult souls. Barry's writing is at once funny an moving, and her stories so engaging that they are easily absorbed, but once the stories have had a chance to settle, they resonate with a depth that may not have been readily apparent. This book is one that could easily make its home in the core of someone's heart, because in it, Barry has given us a transplant of her own.
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