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Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,386 ratings  ·  216 reviews
Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece.

Miraculously
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Paperback, 464 pages
Published June 15th 2013 by Fantagraphics (first published June 2009)
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Corto Maltese She just took the bottle since she could not find a bucket. The plan was to drench the two - it didn't work out.…moreShe just took the bottle since she could not find a bucket. The plan was to drench the two - it didn't work out.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Jeff Jackson
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
***1/2 stars. This starts out as a slightly dull memoir of a teenage punk runaway and the squatting scene in Europe, but the story steadily grows stranger and more compelling as Ulli and a female friend head south from Vienna into the heart of Sicily. The book is well observed throughout and there a few beatific moments where the story dilates beyond the consciousness of the narrator. But what will stick with me are Ulli's numerous encounters with Italian men who willfully refuse to understand t ...more
Penelope
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book pretty much wraps up everything I love in a good graphic memoir. It's raw, intense, not afraid to be really long (so many graphic memoirs cut themselves short), and captures so many small memorable moments. The characters are well developed, the story is interesting and takes unexpected turns. Coming of age, punk, feminism--it's all in there. I also really love Ulli Lust's illustration style; it matches the content of her story perfectly.

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Licha
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Sometimes I feel like I'm getting old and have lost my sense of adventure. I had a hard time concentrating on the first half of the story. Ulli is a 17 yr. old punk girl from Austria with no ambitions or goals in life. She meets another girl, Edi, who convinces Ulli into backpacking it across the border into Italy. They leave with nothing but a sleeping bag and the clothes on their back, which for Edi consists of a sleeveless shirt and short shorts. Ulli at least thinks to bring an extr
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
When a graphic memoir is mentioned twice on your podcast, it’s a good idea to read it (161 and 198)! I needed a change in my reading so downloaded this graphic memoir from Hoopla that also counts for Women in Translation month.

Ulli is living the punk life and it is a hard life. She sneaks into Italy and finds food and shelter where she can (she really shouldn’t have gone to Sicily!) and damn the man etc. The art is often monochromatic, mostly a dirty green, and captures the emotions and unwashed
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Lauren
This book is a no-holds-barred memoir of an Austrian teen (Lust) who hitchhikes from Vienna all around Italy. Mid-1980s setting, punk lifestyle with lots of sex, drugs, and too many questionable decisions to count 😮 Thankfully Lust made it back alive. Not sure if I can recommend it, but it is undoubtedly one of the boldest books I've read this year.

*Women in Translation 2018
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G.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly told, heartfelt and searching, this epic tale explores the life of a wanderer looking for adventure only to find more than she bargained for. Perfectly captures the Euro punk scene and Italy in the 80s, Ulli Lust's story is both hilarious and harrowing, touching and repelling-- a rare feat. A highly sexual look at a woman's worth in men's eyes, exploring the fine line between rape, desire, and what shit women have to put up with in that part of the world. Not a rosy look at the past ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Nothing surprising here, though I read it with a certain sort of familiarity, and some enjoyment of sorts... two (sort of) punk teenagers go on the road from Germany to Sicily, without ANY money, partying... what bad things can happen?! The drawing is sketchy, perfect for the tale and the kind of journal-style telling.... not much insight is gained along the way, really.
Raina
OMG this cover. Good job, whoever published this first.

I was already in love before I'd ever held the book in my hands, just based on that gorgeous cover (and title). And when it came in on hold at my local library, I was startled at how chunky it is.
A paperback book with over 400 pages and a fecking gorgeous cover. le sigh.

I saved it and I saved it and I saved it, and finally grabbed it when I needed an indulgence.

And, oh - wow.

It's the true memoir of Lust's (as far as I know, that's her rea
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Emmaj
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2013
Well told story, art feels like its from a journal she kept to record her life then but in a perfect "supports the story" kind of way.
But I didn't relate. At all.
I wish I could use the "I'm old" excuse, but honestly, I never did relate. Even when I was 17. I never understood people who said "I want to see REAL life!"
All of life is real.
I guess they really mean "I want something different" or "I want to know if everyone lives lives like my parents do"
But again, I never felt like that. I could see
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Heidi The Reader
This was very dark. The narrator was only 17 and she had the option to go home at any time but kept putting herself in dangerous situations instead. It wasn't the decision that I would have made but she felt tied to the punk lifestyle and the awfulness that came with it. After the multiple abusive "friends" she encountered, I just wanted Ulli to go home to her family. What a terrifying coming-of-age journey through deprivation, drugs, and sex. I was cheering for her the whole trip but couldn't r ...more
Karyl
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
WOW. Ulli Lust is lucky to be alive, was my first reaction to this graphic memoir. At the age of 16, she's bored with life in Vienna, so she decides on a whim to travel to Italy with a new friend of hers called Edi. With no money, and very little to their name, they dodge border police and finally make their way into their desired country. There, they beg, borrow, and steal to feed themselves and make their way deeper into the country. Eventually, Ulli gets fed up with not only the way she's obj ...more
Dakota Morgan
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This graphic memoir is long, exhausting, filled with questionable characters making terrible decisions...and is absolutely fascinating in the way that a train wreck is hard to look away from.

As a 17 year old, Ulli decides to take a quick, illegal jaunt across the Austrian border into Italy to spend the summer with her new best pal, Edi. The two quickly realize that it's pretty tough to live well in Italy when you don't have money, a place to stay, or a change of clothes. Fortunately, they're ful
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Corto Maltese
Funny, that I read this in english. The book was reduced at my local bookstore (to a mere 7 Euro). I glanced over the backcover and liked what I saw enough to risk the 7 Bucks.
At home I realized, the author was from my city and wrote the novel originally in german, my mothers language.
Not only that, but with a lot of austrian slang too as I realized when reading the faksimile of her notes at the end.
Still, that didn't bother me at all. I devoured this documentary of her teenaged trip to Italy. N
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Becca
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Trigger warning: sexual assault.

The pervasive rape culture shown in this memoir is really heartbreaking. It takes place in 1984, but I wonder how much things have changed (Italy still has a reputation for being full of Casanovas)... Many reviews mention how foolish it was for penniless punk 17 year old Ulli & her friend Edi to hitchhike from Vienna to Sicily and live on the streets, or that they resorted to prostitution sometimes when looking for a meal or a place to stay... but that sounds lik
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Ísabel
Very intense (true) account of two punk girls hitchhike from Vienna to Sicily in the 1980s with lots of not really too casual sex - another excellent graphic novel of this edition. -- What I found missing to give it more points is some reflection in the telling, as it is, it is incredibly direct - like you were inside her mind at the time. That's on the one hand definitely a strength, otoh, idk... I definitely don't want her to dismiss/devalue her lifestyle at that time - I guess what I want is ...more
Jane
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I had trouble connecting with and liking two white, angsty teen girls choosing to be homeless and reckless with their lives while scaring the living crap out of their parents. I'm officially old I guess and I'm fine with that. However I have a deep sympathy for the girls in terms of the sexual harassment and sexual assault they put up with in Italy. It became very difficult to read hundreds of pages of Lust putting up with sexual harassment. It just reminds me of everyday existence as ...more
Lindsay
Seems like I've been saying this a lot lately, but I think I would have enjoyed this more when I was younger. In all honesty, I read a little over half, but I got fed up with her making the same mistakes over and over and OVER again and skimmed the rest. I'm not sure that I missed much. I'm sorry she went through what she did, and I hope she found better friends later in life. I've never been to Italy, but this definitely reinforces all the worst stories about how Italian men behave. ...more
Alex Kudera
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
450 pages and about 400 of them include Italian men unable to comprehend that "no" means "no". . . which makes it a somewhat repetitive graphic memoir in which the narrator suffers the conflicts of female teenager v. male gaze, men, mafia, authorities, parents, heroin, and worse. ...more
Robert
Here's my review of this book from tcj.com:
http://www.tcj.com/reviews/today-is-t...

The gist of it: this comes highly recommended.
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Hannah Garden
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, august-2015
Holy cow what an undertaking. P damn good.
Alexander Peterhans
Seemingly innocuous memoir, that slowly morphs into being a brutal and sometimes shocking portrait of oppressive patriarchy, something you'd hope we left behind in the '80s, but I'm sure we haven't. ...more
Ann Litz
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Alternately exhilharating and devastating, "Last Day" is 450+ graphic-novel pages easily read in a day.

It's the height of European punk in 1984, and an Austrian teenager embarks on a backpacking/hitchhiking expedition to Italy, with no passport and no money, as a declaration of her independence and sexual freedom. But, mostly due to her being perceived only as a sex object, the free spirit repeatedly faces dependence and degradation. Her companion Edi, who in features and personality resembles M
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Deepa Nirmal
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this memoir both fascinating and deeply disturbing. Ulli Lust was only 17 years old when she rebelliously leaves Vienna to go to Italy. No money, no passport. I was conflicted with many emotions reading this book. On the one hand, she’s a child. On the other, she does understand that her body is her currency, and yet she is dismayed that every man she meets expects sex for buying her dinner or giving her shelter.

Reading this in 2019 I couldn’t help but reflect on my own innocence when I
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Stewart Tame
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Two punk rock German girls travel to Italy with no money or passports. One of the best autobiographic comics I've ever read. Since it's been written more recently than the mid '80s, we know at least one of them survives the experience, but it still gets harrowing in spots. Lust has an engaging drawing style, reminiscent of Mary Fleener but less stylized. Despite the massive size of this book, it's a fairly quick read. Good stuff! ...more
Caitlyn
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have a penchant for gritty autobiographical graphic novels. This is the story of a teenage girl hitchhiking her way through Italy in 1984 and this book pulls no punches when it comes to the punk scene, drugs and sex. As a warning for any potential readers, there are many depictions of sexual assault throughout the book.

I recommend this book to fans of Phoebe Gloeckner's "The Diary of a Teenage Girl."
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Rachel Drrmrmrr
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I think 3 1/2 stars is more appropriate. Everyone wants to be older, every child wants to be an adult, but to push yourself into these situations seems so scary to me. Forcing yourself to grow up in a new place and you don't want to go home and feel like you failed. I dunno, this was well done but as I'm growing out of my rebellious phase I'm not seeking out those narratives anymore. ...more
Aamil Syed
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully honest and jarring coming of age story that prepares you for this unlivable world. Trigger Warning: Rape.
Titus Bird
This comic's premise – graphic memoir about the author's teenage journey of discovery around Italy – is not one that especially appeals to me. I probably never would've read it, if not for the fact that I'm interested in checking out any German-language comic that gets international acclaim. Ulli Lust is of particular interest to me because she's from Austria, where I currently live.

The first 50-odd pages are interesting as an insight into Vienna's 1980s punk subculture, but that's it. After tha
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André Habet
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got into this comic memoir more and more as it went on. I don't know how Lust went about composing it, but her cartooning gets bolder as we get further into her trip in Italy. This book is a great testament to that Nora Ephron quote 'everything is copy' and it makes me sad I didn't start keeping better notes at a younger age, albeit my teen years were largely preoccupied with sharing mixtapes and playing Star Fox 64 a million times through, which is not nearly as riveting for an audience as Lu ...more
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Ulli Lust was born in 1967 in Vienna, Austria. Her cartooning work has mainly comprised comics reportages; Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is her first graphic novel, and her first work to be translated into English. She lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

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