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Swimming in Darkness

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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  14 reviews
An NPR Best Book of the Year

Pierre is a young man at a crossroads. He drops out of architecture school and decides to travel to Vals in the Swiss Alps, home to a thermal springs complex located deep inside a mountain. The complex, designed by architect Peter Zumthor, had been the subject of Pierre's thesis. The mountain holds many mysteries; it was said to have a mouth
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Hardcover, 152 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Arsenal Pulp Press
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  92 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Sara
This very sleek looking graphic novel either lost something in the translation from the French or its too early in the year for me to handle a story involving a drop out architecture student going through an existential crisis in a thermal bath in Switzerland.

Lucas Harari has this whole cool art deco TinTin thing going on but I'll be damned if I have any idea what was happening here. There are David Lynchian doors opening in walls and people disappearing and reappearing and floating rocks and
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Jessica Haider
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A strange little tale that could be straight out of The Twilight Zone.
Ije the Devourer of Books
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good story about some swimming baths in a small Swiss town. The baths seem ordinary but they hold a mystical power and Pierre, an architecture student, wants to know more.

The swimming baths have drawn him to the small town of Vals and he wants to discover their past and find out what has happened. Unfortunately he isn't the only person interested in the mystery of the baths and he finds himself having to duck and dive, and hide from a man who is also determind to discover the secrets
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Dan Clark
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A man lost within his own life tries to find answers by traveling to and studying the Vals in the Swiss Alps. One of the best-looking books I have read all year in regards to the sheer beauty and page composition and storytelling. I was impressed by how each scene carries with it a distinct look especially with the use of color. The story itself is this self mediation on purpose but also elements of classic noir mystery and even a touch of fantasy. It is an eclectic grouping that works well in ...more
Christina
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I like the premise, and the graphics are great, but some of the pages were hard for me to follow. I think the translation or the layout (or both) tripped me up. Once it gets going, the story really picks up and presents a compelling mystery, but then the ending felt rushed and incomplete. I feel like Harari could have done a lot more with it.
Child960801
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This is a book about a young man who is obsessed with a Swedish hot spring/baths. The art work is lovely, the perspectives and use of shape wonderful. The colours are muted through out, giving this a very atmospheric feeling. There is some mystery, which is left slightly unresolved, increasing the feeling of a moody, tense story. I enjoyed this. Does not pass the Bechdel test.
Cindy C
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: readin2020
Loved the art. Found the story so-so.

Characterization was non-existent - missed opportunity to explore psychological motivations or to make more interesting connections between the architecture and our desires/mind.
Michael
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
The architecture, the location, the mystery of strange phenomenon, all of it appealed to my sense of curiosity and imagination.
Zack Quaintance
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As immersive as it is eerie, this is a captivating mystery of a story clearly grown from actual experience with a haunting corner of the world.
Lizzy  Walker
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review for Monster Librarian forthcoming.
Jen
An intriguing mix of architecture, myth and mystery. I'd never heard of Zumthor's baths in Vals, Switzerland before, but the illustrations have made me want to visit what looks like such a unique place.
Garconniere
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Page turner.
Salty Swift
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intense mystery in a graphic novel done right....
Rebecca
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Need to read the original version - I sense this translation fell short.
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Lucas Harari est né à Paris en 1990, où il vit toujours. Après un passage éclair en architecture, il entreprend des études aux arts décoratifs de Paris dans la section image imprimée, dont il sort diplômé en 2015. Sensibilisé aux techniques traditionnelles de l’imprimé, il commence par publier quelques petits fanzines dans son coin avant de travailler comme auteur de bande dessinée et illustrateur ...more