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Faire Semblant C'est Mentir

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  589 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Maintes fois annoncé, Faire semblant c'est mentir est le résultat d'un travail autobiographique réalisé par Dominique Goblet sur douze ans. Le temps joue un rôle complet dans ce livre où recherches stylistiques et narratives se mêlent au déroulement du récit. Faire semblant c’est mentir est le chef-d’œuvre de Dominique Goblet, et probablement l’un des livres les plus essen ...more
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published April 2007 by L'Association
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  589 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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David Schaafsma
"Can we tell the truth?" Goblet asks. "Can we ever not?"

Here’s some images from the book:

Pretending is Lying is the first book to appear in English by Belgian artist Goblet. It’s really haunting and memorable, a postmodern memoir she took tw
David Schaafsma
"Can we tell the truth?" Goblet asks. "Can we ever not?"

Here’s some images from the book:

Pretending is Lying is the first book to appear in English by Belgian artist Goblet. It’s really haunting and memorable, a postmodern memoir she took tw
Jim Coughenour
Once every few years - no more than that - I come across a graphic novel that rearranges my idea of what comics can do. Dominique Goblet's off-the-wall memoir is one of those books. Her way of telling her story, like her way of drawing and (incredibly) her way of lettering her panels, captivated me from the beginning. Each panel is a construction, a tiny world of registered impression or darkest memory, allowing what James Hillman called "imaginal" realities to appear as a kind of palimpsest. I ...more
Maggie Gordon
Pretending is Lying is very atmospheric, but ultimately not very satisfying. It is a memoir told in vignettes, all focused on the author's relationship with her parents, daughter, and lover. Most of these moments are traumatic, but there is not cathartic release. It is simply a series of moments in time. I know that memoirs are not as neatly tied up into bows as fictional stories, but I do like some sort of culmination or natural ending point. Also, I really really REALLY hated her lover. He was ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unusual graphic memoir presented in fragments.
Not a very pleasant read, but full of painful truth and life.
Graphics are the same, not pretty, but at the same time full of expression, problems, life.
Shocking autobiography.
Travis Duke
Raw and emotional but ultimately too fragmented and disjointed for me. Dominique recalls emotional times in her life with her father, lover, and child. I appreciate her vision but i feel like it could of been refined in story and art just a bit more. The stories are loosely connected that all revolve around her feelings of love and family and trying to understand her relationships. The beginning is clunky but as you read on it shapes a pattern that makes more sense, sort of. Personally speaking ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe, favorites, female
One of the greatest graphic novels (memoirs) ever. Matthias Wivel's review of the work, in which he selected as one of the greatest comics of the decade, is well written.
Stewart Tame
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and fragmentary.

As the back cover promises, Goblet examines the most important relationships in her life: with her daughter, her parents, and her partner, Guy Marc. Events aren't covered in a linear fashion. Goblet jumps around, crafting a series of telling vignettes that reveal character without preaching about it. The artwork is gorgeous, displaying a wide range of techniques and with a lovely handmade collage feel to it. The book doesn't end so much as evaporate like mist before th
I became interested in the graphic-memoir genre earlier this year, after Thi Bui's masterpiece The Best We Could Do emotionally slaughtered me and left me cathartically drained. I've been a devotee of NYRB's literary-fiction offerings for years, but I'd never heard of their comics imprint, or of Belgian author/artist Dominique Goblet, until I spied a friend's review of Pretending Is Lying here on Goodreads. In our world in which immaculately post-processed, computer-aided drawing seems ubiquitous, Go ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary, beautiful, and sad graphic novel... in the growing but still relatively short list of graphic novels I've read, this one felt most revolutionary and creative in terms of how it took advantage of its form, stretching the limits of how it communicated time and point-of-view and mood through shifting visual styles.
Derek Royal
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for the podcast, our Euro Comics series. I like this book quite a bit, and this was my first exposure to Goblet. I feel that I should have encountered her work before. There's a lot of potential, here, when it comes to framing and defining autobiography.
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Beautiful and strange and very nonlinear, this story moves and shifts around in ways that sometimes make it hard to determine the connection between times and people but ultimately it's well worth it.
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I may have rated this higher had Goblet chosen to focus on her relationship with her family, and left out the frankly uninteresting bit about her lover. (view spoiler) Her relationship with her father felt similar to mine with my mother - push and pull, love and anger, wanting them to understand how they hurt you but knowing that bringing it up will result in the sort of argument that rui ...more
Elizabeth A
This graphic memoir is translated from the Belgian by Sophie Yanow.

If you know me you know I have issues with memoirs in general, and yet I keep picking them up, go figure.

The author recounts events of her life pertaining to her father, lover, and daughter, and what I did like about the telling is how episodic these events seem to be. That's exactly how we remember things. Memory is not like a film that plays, but is more like tuning into a channel. Sometimes we get a clear sharp im
Wow! I read the NY Times review of this book and immediately ordered it. It is absolutely amazing, from the artwork to the story to the layout. This is a great method for telling a memoir. Like the artistic style of the book, it's a many layered story of this women's dysfunctional family. We all can relate to that, right? How many of us have sat with our mouth agape listening to a family member recount their skewed version of a shared history? There are parts of this that will make your blood bo ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It had a lot of texture, but not as much depth as I suspected. Some scenes were dropped in without enough connection to the rest. It glides without digging.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the first autobiographical graphic novel I've read. It gives a whole new dimension to storytelling about deeply personal memories. This short graphic novel goes through some key memories from the author's life while telling us her interpretation of how she felt in those moments; this gives us a peek into the person that she's become because of these experiences.

Dominique, the author, does a pretty good job of conveying deep insights by sketching out everyday routine household scenes fro
Peter Landau
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The drawing in Dominique Goblet’s cartoon memoir PRETENDING IS LYING look as if they were chiseled into the page. Her style changes subtly throughout the episodic story of her abusive father and uncommitted boyfriend. It’s a great read, but the artwork is what pulled me through page after page. It reminded me of reading Mark Marek’s NEW WAVE COMICS and HERCULES AMONGST THE NORTH AMERICANS when I was in art school, I couldn’t believe you could do that is comics — and this is after I’d already see ...more
Nikki Morse
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretending is Lying is raw, powerful, and disjointed. The flipping back and forth, the “sloppiness” of the writing, the haunting ghost images, help to illuminate and make more powerful the underlying themes - her complicated and estranged relationship with her narcissistic, alcoholic, neglectful father, the love and grief she feels for her partner who has ghosts of his own and punishes her for noticing them, and new ways of living in joy and safety as represented by her interactions with her you ...more
The drawings are beautiful, real, very present - almost like you can smudge the pencil lines with your fingers. The atmosphere of the book was kinda soft, just like blurred pencil shades, but there were really rought edges. I'd say the lettertype expressed this 'sharp' feeling well, combination of smooth touches of graphite with strong words written in angry, cutting lines. In 'Faire semblant c'est mentir' isn't much going on, it is about atmosphere, not action.
I hope nobody takes this the
The art is GORGEOUS! I wanted my eyes to grow tentacles and touch and absorb every single line in this book!

The story, on the other hand, I felt like I've already seen a thousand times. It's not the author's fault that I felt this way, but, you know - a quasi-autobiography, childhood trauma, tense relationship with parents, emotionally-unavailable partner...
I don't know, maybe the story is just a way to show beautiful art? Or maybe it's a personal story that felt right to tell, but
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A raw and thought-provoking look into the life and childhood of the author, told through evocative illustrations that allow you to ponder and reflect on what you're reading. It was a quick book to go through, though I did have to take pauses in between to make sense of what I had just read. This is a book that'll simmer in your mind and its themes and observations on life and memories will unfold the more you think about it.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Distinctive and alluring graphic style helps, but ultimately the strange grandfather with the big mustache and relentless boasting is just not very interesting. Not sure what we were supposed to make of grandpa's ghost-looking significant other and her outbursts. My best guess is that the narrators attempts to create a normal environment for her child in the midst of such strangeness is the point of it all.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some memorable vignettes from the author's childhood mostly centered around her dysfunctional, almost abusive, parents. A glimpse of the father in the present explains much. The emotional turmoil of her beginning love relationship with a boy haunted by a former lover is also well done. No real story line though, as the chapters jump through time and characters are not identified directly and at least one is portrayed almost symbolically.
Eszter Szép
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is an amazing, contemplative and sad comic. Not much happens in it, it is about relationships: relationships to one's alcoholic father, to one's little daughter, to one's partner who is in love with someone else. The stories are slow and the way they are drawn is amazing. I love the visual mysticism, occasional montages and the prevailing sense of a lack of finish in the drawings.
A whirlwind of a memoir. Disturbing and beautiful pencil drawings as well as some oils and color. The story of a childhood glimpsed from adulthood, of a new love haunted by old love, of many things implied, submerged, undefined, denied, ignored, neglected...

Recommended for those who like cats, car races, firefighters, and pasta with tuna.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy this book the art is very original and personal, also the history is really personal and I love the representations of the family hit me in a familiar place, this is a work of art I really enjoy and recommend this one, I'm not familiar with the other works of this autor but I will check those out.
Angela Murat
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this in English even though I would have really liked to have gotten my hands on the original.

What a raw, emotional, and painfully honest book. I hate reading through these moments of the author's life, by they are real and they are the truth. The story just broke me. Not to mention her illustrations told just as much of a story as her words. This is truly a work of art.
Jessica Rosner
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This book gets five stars for the art work, and three, or two and a half, for the writing. It's powerful in places but also confusing. It is, at times, difficult to tell who some of the people are. Parent? Ghost? Memory?
It drives home how difficult it is to illustrate a book. It's like being able to sing and dance.
But the art...just amazing and worth reading just for that.
Emilia P
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Yikes! There was some really deep dark sad family stuff here annnnd that was it. That mopey watercolory black and white and gray Frenchie vibe all over. Not terrible, a little deep, but ... just a thing. Just enough.
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