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Ghost World

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  55,993 Ratings  ·  1,966 Reviews
Ghost World has become a cultural and generational touchstone, and continues to enthrall and inspire readers over a decade after its original release as a graphic novel. Originally serialized in the pages of the seminal comic book Eightball throughout the mid-1990s, this quasi-autobiographical story (the name of one of the protagonists is famously an anagram of the author' ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published April 2001 by Fantagraphics (first published March 1998)
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Liam Read this in about 5 hours, slowly and intermittently as well, while waiting for things to run on my computer. Written in a way that doesn't encourage…moreRead this in about 5 hours, slowly and intermittently as well, while waiting for things to run on my computer. Written in a way that doesn't encourage breaks either, I think it's pretty light-going, continuous dialogue which doesn't have many points you have to really mull over.(less)

Community Reviews

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Feb 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Two hours of my life that I will never get back!

This is the graphic novel edition of “Ghost World” by Fantagraphics Books, originally published as chapters, in the comic book series “Eightball” #11-18.

Creative Team:

Writer & Illustrator: Daniel Clowes


People who read my reviews know that I’m not usually negative (for not saying of giving 1-star ratings) when I am commenting about my readings, and being that negative, doesn’t cause me any joy, sadly when I do feel that
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
Three and a half stars rounded up.

My wife doesn’t usually make graphic novel reading “suggestions”, but when she does, in order to keep a harmonious household, I’ll read it.

What have I got to lose?


She was spot on (read: lucky) with (randomly) choosing Daytripper, so I gave her powers of awesome comic book prophesy another go.

Summary: Two small-town adolescent best friends share snark about dudes, their future and the very meaning of life itself.

Who knew looking into the abyss could be so m
David Schaafsma
6/27/17 Reread for my YA GN/Comics summer class, discussed with clips from the movie, which more and more seems like a light rom-com version of the much deeper and richer (and grittier, nastier) book. One dimension of this book that seems clearer to me in this reading is that one of the things they are struggling with in this summer after high school graduation is sexuality, including some Q (of the GLTQ) moments. Who are they, and who do they want to become? Enid may be going to college; Rebecc ...more
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to jo by: the intertubes
Shelves: graphic, kids
american representations of adolescents and post-adolescents in films and books have always left me cold, if not alienated. why do i have so little in common with these kids? why was my life and the lives of the italian teens i currently know and follow so vastly different? i blame american culture of violence and vice (for lack of a better world), kids' need to find themselves in drunkenness and drugs, when we had... what? what did we have? what do the italian kids i know have?

i think we had,
Sep 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Remember those angry, bitchy girls in high school, who sat around judging people and talking smack behind everyone's back? Okay, now imagine being locked in a box for an hour forced to listen to those jealous twits and you've got Ghost World in a nutshell.

I have been wanting to read Ghost World for ages. I stumbled across a copy of it at the library, so finally picked it up. I think if I had originally read this a decade ago, I might not have disliked the characters so much. Maybe I wasn't in th
In one of his interviews, the great graphic novelist Craig Thompson cites Daniel Clowes as a must-read graphic artist he admires. I admire Thompson’s work, so it makes sense I would seek out Clowes. This graphic novel was made into a movie in 2001 starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson. I haven’t seen that yet, but it may well be the first sighting of Scarlett Johansson before big stardom.

A GR friend of mine wrote a deeply insightful meditation on the development of American cities in respo
Jan 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix-novel
The worst thing that happened to “Ghost World” was that a movie was made of it, because it pawned the book effortlessly. Dan Clowes’ book was so cynical and condescending towards its subject matter that the film couldn’t help making the girls more likeable.

Case in point: when Enid and Rebecca are watching a lousy comic on television the Movie Enid says, “this guy rules, I want to totally do him”, it’s said with a dose of sarcasm and demented humor. The Book Enid says it with a jaded tone and a v
I read this so-called classic years ago, and it felt like a culture clash. To me it was obvious this wasn't written by a woman. That's not the way girls talk and think, at least not in my experience.
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a book you can finish in a day.

3.5 stars

I needed a literary palette cleanser because I'm not totally feeling anything right now. I just watched this movie last week and thought maybe I needed to revisit this book. I need to start out by saying that the Terry Zwigoff film based on this graphic novel is absolute perfection to me. It is one of my top five favorite movies and reminds me of high school when it came out, all the good things about teen angst, self-loathing and counter-culture, fin
Stacey (prettybooks)
Ghost World is the story of Enid and Becky, two best friends growing up and growing apart. It's hailed as "a must for any self-respecting comics fan's library". Perhaps it's because I wasn't a teen in 90s USA, or perhaps I because I just wasn't like these particular teens, but I found them too pretentious and unpleasant to appreciate what happened to them. Although I enjoyed the occasional panel, the story and artwork didn't work for me. I welcome graphic novels about what it's like to be a teen ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Το Ghost World δεν είναι κόμικς, είναι γκράφικ νόβελ: τα καρέ του δεν μπλέκονται το ένα μέσα στο άλλο, έχουν σαφή ρυμοτομία. Τα σχέδια είναι επιμελώς απλοϊκά, η υπόθεση περιστρέφεται γύρω από ανθρώπινους προβληματισμούς άνευ δράσεως. Γκράφικ νόβελ τα λένε. Εγώ τα λέω κόμικς κι αυτά.

Έχει κάτι από ανεξάρτητο κινηματογράφο η διήγηση. Οι χαρακτήρες είναι ελαφρώς δυσλειτουργικοί, δύο κοπέλες που περιφέρονται στην ζωή τους, χλευάζουν, θάβουν κάθε συμβατικό και μη άνθρωπο που συναντούν. Τις απασχολούν
Nov 02, 2007 rated it liked it
I had heard great things about this and was on board until I found out it was a graphic novel. Okay, don't hate me, but something abou graphic novels turns me off. Right from the get-go. It's completely shallow. I wish I could tell you why. Maybe it has to do with the fact that when I was 16 my best friend was into them. And when I say 'into them' what I really mean is that she found a boy she liked who liked comics so she had to know absolutely everything there was to know about the genre and i ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a GREAT companion piece to the motion picture. Sure, this one started it all but it is interesting to see where the screenwriter's words maintained such a close fidelity to Clowes's vision; keeping the same spirit of the book in the movie is a wonder to behold. While the film seems incredibly depressing at times, the comic manages to make you feel that there is no sadness in the Ghost World world, only wackiness and teenage girl banter, um "Daria meets Pulp Fiction." There was one partic ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say except...WOW! And, why has Daniel Clowes been hiding from me? (I suspect it's actually me failing to look hard enough!)

Ghost World (GW) is the first graphic novel by Clowes that I have had the pleasure of reading, and all I can say is that it is a delight from cover to cover. I loved the colour scheme, which is something I haven't come across before (an eerie/nostalgic blend of green and black and white), the dialogue which perfectly captured the teenage angst which prevailed thro
Apr 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Don't hate me, Jayme! I liked it but didn't love it.

Two best friends since childhood fight but are inseparable sometime after high school but before college/work/life. They have no plans for the future, so they wallow in their silly lives, pushing around everyone around them. Really, they are flailing in that teenage angsty way.

Clowes captures the Essence of Hipster Friendship*. Everybody sucks, everything is lame - but if it's extremely lame, then it becomes cool again. It's up to each hipster
I could easily see myself depicted in a panel in this lovely graphic novel, with its snarky young teen heroine Enid reading my review of it and saying something like: "I mean, what kind of loser dork has the time to write a *review* of a 20-year-old graphic novel. Probably some middle-age loser living in his mom's basement."

Actually, I have written Goodreads reviews in my mom's basement. So, touche' Enid.

But I am writing this one in my own home, the double-mortgaged one. So, sweet Enid, allow on
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I re-read this on a whim and I'm certain I did not enjoy it this much 4 years ago. It's beautifully drawn and such an accurate description of a co-dependent adolescent best friendship. The ending made me so sad...
May 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I just stopped hating Daniel Clowes' graphic novel "Ghost World" like 7 minutes ago. Literally. I've had a long history of hating the listless bitches Enid and Rebecca and their ironic diner hopping, misfit hounding and personality contriving. But it just went away. Like a decade-old hate fever that finally broke.

Fact: My boyfriend and I rarely fight. So rarely that I can remember that we did have a fight in 2007 while watching the movie "Ghost World" about how much I hated the movie "Ghost Worl
Jenny Gonzalez- Blitz
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels, teen
A male friend of mine once commented that the main characters of Ghost World didn't seem authentic because "their interests didn't seem to ring true for teenage girls". Actually,it's more that their interests didn't follow the spoon fed formula that most media TELLS us are the interests of most teenage girls. This is not a book about dating, makeovers, and popularity. It is the story of two sort of quirky girls who are above average intelligence(though not quite brilliant or anything)in a town t ...more
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a big fan of the movie adaptation I've always been curious but slightly hesitant to read the comic book. Especially after hearing some people weren't too fond of it.

Well, I kinda loved it! It's was a bit weird (the non-linear narrative, the use of only two colors, the bleak ending), but also hilarious, cynical and angsty but without taking itself too seriously (at least imo).
Can't say I personally relate to either Enid or Rebecca, but I felt like I know those girls, I've seen bits and piece
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I haven't read very many comics or graphic novels, but I thought I'd explore them more this year starting with this book which kept popping up on "best of" lists in its category.

My first surprise when I opened the book was seeing that every skillfully drawn picture was in black and white and green--a ghostly green--so I guess this made sense considering the book's title and how it and the colors echoed the feeling of limbo and separateness that the main characters had from a more substantial and
Rebecca McNutt
Ghost World isn't a bad graphic novel, but I found it really overrated and rather vulgar at times in an unnecessary way, similar to films like Mary Jane Isn't a Virgin Anymore... it got to the point where it was just crude and immature. On the bright side the art inside, the drawings of scenery and people, was amazing and worth it just to see it all.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
There was just something about this that made me feel icky the entire time I was reading it.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tuve la suerte de poder acercarme a Ghost World con escasos 17 años y, os garantizo, nunca me he sentido tan comprendido ni en una unión empática tan completa como cuando plegué su última página. Aquí hallamos la veracidad, la disonancia cognitiva, la fase liminar en su máxima expresión, el desconcierto, la incompresión y el descubrimiento en carne viva que, eso y no otra cosa, es el río sin retorno de la adolescencia. Tal vez podríamos ubicarlo en las próximidades de 'Tierra fecunda' de Raymond ...more
Bryce Wilson
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have a great affection for Ghost World in both book and movie form, and not just because half of the movie was shot like three blocks from my apartment (The movie theater Enid works at for awhile really is THAT pathetic).

It speaks truth to (lack of) power. Most films about Geeks and Geek Culture tend to give us the upper hand, even when they proclaim themselves observations. A book like High Fidelity gently questions are assumptions and styles. Ghost World slaps you upside the head, making no
James DeSantis
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This was pretty enjoyable. I was debating between a 3 or a 4. It has some really awesome dialog. It's also really interesting art design. The story is about two best friends basically just chilling and going around their city in the 90's trying to figure out life. Cursing, sex, and other wonderful subjects are thrown into the mix and it makes for a real chilled, laid back, fun little graphic novel.

What I liked: The characters play off each other great. Their best friends and the way they intera
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this over a decade ago so I thought it was high time to return to what is widely regarded as Daniel Clowes’ masterpiece and one of the finest comics to crossover to mainsteam literature. I thought on re-reading it with my teen years behind me that the book would seem silly but I was pleasantly surprised to find the book still remains funny, clever, heart-wrenching, and compulsively vibrant throughout.

The story follows two teenage girls, Edie and Becca, as they contemplate the void follow
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Well crafted, but excruciating to read, as the characters are both unlikeable, but in desperate need of the reader's sympathy as they're so pathetic. Kelly and I talked about how much less likeable the characters are in the book than they are in the movie (and they aren't exactly loveable in that incarnation, either).

In fact, Clowes' entire world is rather pathetic. Not only are almost all of the people in it pathetic, the physical world is pathetic, too (strip malls,
Sep 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
I can see how this comic would have massive cult appeal to the 'disenfranchised youth' of the 90's. However, this book is the bastard child of Strangers in Paradise and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac with a dash of Clerks. It has all the negativity of both books (Plus Daria and Roseanne) but none of the wit, charm or cleverness.

Don't get me wrong, I love negativity. Negativity is awesome if delivered with some class. This book has no class.

Like mommy Strangers in Paradise it features two young woma
Sharm Alagaratnam
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comic-books
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes has been the only comic book so far from the library that I haven't enjoyed completely. It was a pretty strong reaction as well, as while reading the book I felt an almost physical urge to put it down. I had to think about why this was so for quite a while before realizing that far from the book being bad, it was instead too good.

I'll explain. The book follows the lives of two teenage girls in smalltown America somewhere. Its anonymity is key to the atmosphere as the
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Daniel Gillespie Clowes is an Academy Award-nominated American author, screenwriter and cartoonist of alternative comic books. Most of Clowes' work appears first in his anthology Eightball (1989-2004), a collection of self-contained narratives and serialized graphic novels. Several of these narratives have been collected published separately as graphic novels, most notably Ghost World. With filmma ...more
More about Daniel Clowes

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“He always accuses me of trying to look'cool', I was like, 'everybody tries to look cool, I just happen to be successful.” 992 likes
“The trouble is the kind of guy I want to go out with doesn't even exist... Like a rugged, chain-smoking, intellectual, adventurer guy who's really serious, but also really funny and mean...” 39 likes
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