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The Listener

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  60 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The Listener reveals one of the world's most tragic acts of spin doctoring while weaving a compelling tale of complacency, art, power, and murder. It is a startling little-known story that changed the course of history.
1933: In a small German state, the last democratic election is about to take place before a failed artist named Hitler seizes power. The election is Hitler
Paperback, First, 304 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by Arbeiter Ring Publishing
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(showing 1-30)
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Paul Bryant
My heart sinks a little bit when I see the person who wrote the book I'm now reviewing is a "Goodreads Author". I think - hmm, maybe they will look at this. And maybe they won't like the unnecessarily vicious shredding of their 5-years-in-the-making uber-tome which everyone else loves with bubbling putheringforths of adjectival glomp. So maybe I should tone it down a bit. Just for once, hey? Be a nice guy. It won't hurt me. Relax, be happy. Just a book. Nobody lost an eye.


It's okay.

No sudde
I go long periods of time without reading any graphic novels, and then when I do I wonder why I take so long between them.

In my house, literature and art are the two prevalent features. When we travel, we search for bookstores and art museums. We spend more time in art museums in other countries than we do in their shops, and we wouldn't want it any other way. Some people travel to shop; we travel to experience.

This graphic novel brings those two worlds together with the additional bonus of hist
Sarah Batchelder
This is an amazing book. I loved both the pictures and the text, but was most impressed with how the stories were interwoven.

The book tells two stories in one. Hitler's rise to power is described to the main character - a sculptor named Louise - by a couple she meets while touring Europe. Louise is in Europe dealing with guilt she feels after a protester fell to his death outside her apartment. The spin doctoring which Hitler performed in the early 1930's on his way to becoming Germany's chance
David Lester
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
"David Lester depicts the shadowy relationship between words and actions in The Listener. The black guilt that weighs heavily within Louise and the German couple seeps across each page like a Rorschach blot." -- Nicole Gluckstern, SF Bay Guardian (San Francisco, CA)

"A beautifully and powerfully presented story which reveals how each moment in time can have a huge impact upon the future." -- Dun and Red, a readers’ advisory resource blog (Pima County Public Library, Tucson, Arizona)

"I found it q
Lee Foust
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Such an interesting and original work--I never thought that I'd read a graphic novel about so-called pretentious topics such as art, political responsibility, and the rise of Hitler's Nazi party! And yet, here it is, an engaging, thoughtful, informative, and artsy parallel narrative regarding a female Canadian sculptor and the rise of Hitler as seen by a German couple who worked for a local newspaper in Lippe--a city famous for catapulting Hitler to the forefront of German politics in a key loca ...more
Mark Robison
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Graphic novel by the guitarist for Mecca Normal about an artist who wanders aimlessly around Europe after a man is inspired by one of her sculptures to kill himself. She runs into an elderly couple who tell her the story of Hitler’s election triumph in the Lippe region of Germany. Emotional, resonating images done in watercolors and ink make this story of distant, intellectual characters feel like a classic.
Tina Siegel
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What an amazing read! I had a bit of difficulty following the chronology at first, because reading a graphic novel is very different than reading a novel, but once I got into the groove the story just got me. It's heart-breaking and compelling and very human. I like that there's so much empathy for idealists and ideals and artists. Really great stuff.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some might find this a tad pedantic, pretentious or polemic in parts but author, David Lester's heart is in the right place and the story is really well-conceived. One star off for some so-so art but overall this still worth reading.
Josh Livingroom
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another comic about the holocaust. Weird dialog, but amazing unique illustration and a layered story. Pretty great.
Tom Gaetjens
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Perhaps something was lost in translation, but the book never quite seems to connect its disparate threads of art history and the rise of Adolf Hitler (also there's a lot of Orson Welles for some reason), despite the forgettable art, I give it two stars and the benefit of the doubt that it made more sense in French.
Shawn Conner
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hitler's rise to power is one aspect of the Holocaust that I was pretty ignorant of. The Listener illuminates this part of the story while still putting characters - a present-day sculptor from Vancouver, a couple who lived in Germany during the '30s - first. Although I found the theme of the role of the artist to be a bit unnecessary - and to get in the way at times - overall The Listener is a fascinating read. I liked Lester's art, too - though his angled figures and the ink washes take some g ...more
Chris Ryan
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
The first graphic novel I've read. I have nothing against the genre. But this is a bit thin, and in particular suffered I think from an adolescent tone. I'm sure we've all encountered the type: oh so knowing, oh so superior, oh so intellectual. The depth isn't there, in my opinion. It has its moments, and I think the artwork is great and supports the story well. But I wanted more: depth, maturity, and even history.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Sorry fellow Canuck, this disappointed me. The art felt amateur. It felt like a lot of name dropping and quote insertions. It got better as it wore on but feel like it should have been told in a less linear way. It could have been a great story if done another way. Glad it was a library book, not one for my collection.
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David Lester is a painter, graphic designer, cartoonist, and the guitarist in the rock duo Mecca Normal. His graphic novel The Listener was a finalist for ForeWord Reviews' "2012 Book Of The Year Award" in the graphic novel category and was also selected as one of the best books of 2011, so far, by the School Library Journal (New York). His first book, The Gruesome Acts of Capitalism went into a r ...more
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