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City of Glass

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  6,965 ratings  ·  447 reviews
A graphic novel classic with a new introduction by Art Spiegelman

Quinn writes mysteries. The Washington Post has described him as a “post-existentialist private eye.” An unknown voice on the telephone is now begging for his help, drawing him into a world and a mystery far stranger than any he ever created in print.

Adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, with graphi
Paperback, 138 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Picador (first published 1994)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,965 ratings  ·  447 reviews

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Kevin Kelsey
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Such a great adaptation of the Paul Auster novel. In the original City of Glass, the labyrinthine feel of the story was created through Auster's prose. In this adaptation, it's illustrated through beautifully creative visuals. It made me want to read Auster's book again, just to experience it through a new interpretive lens. ...more
Scott Mccloud
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not only a fantastic, engrossing read, but also the most teachable comic I know. My students in a recent 9 week class took a deep dive into the book and found layers of depth even I was unaware of.

It's also an adaptation that's true to the original, but does much more than merely illustrate the text. It uses every tool in the comics toolbox.
May 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
the original City of Glass, by paul auster, was a book that i enjoyed greatly when i first read it. i thought it was really unique, a thoughtful, stylish blend of raymond chandler, kafka, and borges. i still like it, but it hasn't aged that well for me. a lot of what i thought was playfulness now seems precious, facile. the prose is polished, but by the same token oddly eroded, flat, sanded down. often it feels like auster doesn't actually inhabit the english language--he reads like he's always ...more
This graphic novel was based on a novella by the same author and Comic Journals voted this in the top 100 for the 20th century. It's about a writer who takes on the role of his detective character to investigate a mystery but this choice sends him down a path of obsessive madness.

It blurs the line between reality and fantasy and even identity as the author of this tale finds himself changing roles, stories and overall identities. The voices coming out of objects and gradual changes and pullback
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Despite the fact I remembered original novel (including ending, etc.) by Paul Auster, I enjoyed having one day with this comic and think that it is worth reading. Brilliant from the very beginning to the very last page. The ideas of climbing inside an imaginary skin of someone you don’t know, chasing the ghostly footsteps of unknown man, vanishing into the heart of megalopolis seem still catchy for me. While reading I remembered the first time I read novel ”City of Glass” and I loved the nostalg ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
[magyarul lentebb]

On my journey of discovering graphic novels... just kidding, I have no intention of doing that. But I really liked this one. With a foreword by Maus's Art Spiegelman, City of Glass has a great story written amazingly (that should not come as a surprise, it's Auster after all), so it had a strong skeleton. But the graphics were not just illustrations either, they helped the story transform into something new. I found an original idea on every page, in the creative use of the gri
Casey McLaughlin
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Pure masturbation. Lots of build up with no closure. Lazy. Reminded me of the show "Lost", the endless questions keep you going until you realize they have given you no answers. Perfect bookshelf filler for the pseudo-intellectual. ...more
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I haven't read the original book, but the story seems so unbelievable that I doubt I would enjoy it as a novel.
The visuals of this graphic novel told the most interesting story, despite the loosely held together strings that are the existential plot. I didn't see the deconstruction of language in the story at all.
I would describe the adaption of City of Glass (and possibly the novel itself) as Film Noir for 13 year-olds.
Mattia Ravasi
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Video review

How do you move into a different medium a story that's written to remain stubbornly anchored to its native one?
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nonsensical, pretentious and pointless.
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Interesting comics adaptation of Auster's novel is very strong on graphic design. Karasik and Mazzucchelli do some remarkable work with layout and panel design, with mixing representational and symbolic art. It's a pleasure to look at. Narratively, though, this is a highly self-conscious and post-modern take on noir. It includes the expected elements--first-person narrative, femme fatale, long-hidden secrets, etc.--but it's not really interested in telling a story so much as exploring subjectivi ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most moving, weird, horrifying, heart-stopping graphic novels I've ever read, and there aren't many friends I'll be recommending it to- but I loved it.

I kept singing the Fionn Regan song that says, "For the loneliness you foster/ I suggest Paul Auster," as the book deals with the themes of language, names, identity, and how we use all those things to both reveal and conceal.

"Things have broken apart, and our words have not adapted. If we can't name a common object, how can we
Ill D
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Fucking stupid.

It's nothing short of a cute and novel expiriment that doesn't really go anywhere. My disapointment with this graphic novel was sorely exacerbated once I found out Spiegelman was the creative overseer and he did nothing to focus the narrative which is presented way too piecemeal and cut up for a normal reader to understand littleone enjoy.
Titus Bird
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1990s, avon
I generally have very little interest in comics that adapt prose novels, but I made an exception for this one because David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp is one of my favourite comics, and a lot people seem to think his work on City of Glass is in the same league (and in any case, it’s one of the few other things he’s published outside of superheroes).

To be perfectly honest, my misgivings about adaptations haven’t been fully assuaged. I’ve never read the original novel (or any Auster), but I ca
Samidha; समिधा
I am aware that’s its an adaptation from the original 1972 novel of the same name. Holy hell, did I enjoy this. It was very intriguing to read. On top of that there is so much meta textuality, as Paul Auster (the author) is placed within the text as a secondary character, who also is a writer.

There were so many beautiful panels, my favourite being the finger print and the language ones. I really enjoyed this so much.
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Edit/Update: After discussing the book in book club, im more than willing to give it another chance after some time has passed.
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
So you think you know why people are the way they are, huh, do ya, bigshot? Well why don’t you try to imagine a language uninformed by experience? Why don’t you try to be someone you aren’t, tough guy. Can ya even do it? Are ya too soft?
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a pretty amazing graphic novel, and I definitely plan on reading the original City of Glass next. Concepts of identity, the role of the author in creating meaning, and the blurred line between fiction and reality are all present here, and explored in quite an intriguing way. I don't know how I felt about the ending, though. Maybe I just haven't thought about it enough, but it seemed too open-ended to me. In a way it makes sense, since this story is not a traditional narrative. ...more
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university

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A mystery about a mystery which experiments with irony, identity and reality for an altogether unique reading experience.

Paul Auster cleverly combines contemporary detective fiction with nouveau roman and American ‘postmodernism’ –for a supremely singular story of philosophical premise and impaction. As the main protagonist descends into madness, being able to see clarity amidst the congested cityscape is imperative if one is to find themselves ‘on their feet’ when reaching the end.

Jeff Jackson
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
The rare adaptation that exceeds its source material. A doubly impressive feat since it's based on Paul Auster's best novel. With its deft ink strokes and airtight plot, this brilliant graphic perfectly captures and distills the original existential detective story. One of the great graphic novels and a perfect introduction to the fictional world of Paul Auster, too. ...more
Jake Nap
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf
Paul Auster: City it Glass is an adaptation of the Paul Auster novel city of glass. The adaptation done by Karasik and Mazzucchelli is a fantastic story. Now I haven’t read the original, but I can’t imagine how it would be because the way this ones told could only be done as a comic book. Karasik tells Auster’s story of self identity crisis perfectly and Mazzuchelli makes it something that could only be done in comics.

The story follows Daniel Quinn, crime fiction writer who gets mistaken for pri
Jun 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it more than I expected, maybe because I'm biased against adaptations of any kind but probably because David Mazzuchelli is just a brilliant comic book artist.

The story is a post-modern take on the noir genre. The reader follows crime author Daniel Quinn as he tries to unravel the mystery behind a father and a son and the meaning of words. It gets metaphorical and abstract with every turn, something I feel like very few artists can represent as well as Mazzuchelli did here. Personally,
Joana Veríssimo
This book surprised me!! The story wasn't my favorite thing - if I had read the novel that inspired this graphic novel, the rating probably wouldn't be this high... but the story was done so well in graphic novel format
The way art was used to tell a story, to (I suspect) show the rhythm of the writing, the visual and metaphors that probably existed in the novel... I just can't express how well art was used in this - it was done in a way I had never seen before, it was more than just telling you
Vilmos Kondor
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a truly wonderful adaptation an also wonderful novel which I'm not sure I "get" but I enjoyed it again in this form immensely. Mesmerizing artwork, evocative, precise, poetic, mysterious - as the novel itself. ...more
Kat Stromquist
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eerie and compelling.
Maria Maciel
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Alex Estevam
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Paul Auster is one of my favourite authors and this adaptation was fun to read.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story reminds me of a spiraling pop art piece that if you stare at it long enough you can see another picture rise out, but as long as I stared I could never find the picture that everyone said was there. The book was still interesting, The ending is what confused me, which I think was the point. This was a good read.
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Paul Karasik is an American cartoonist, editor, and teacher, notable for his contributions to such works as City of Glass: The Graphic Novel, The Ride Together: A Memoir of Autism in the Family, and Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All!. He is the coauthor, with Mark Newgarden, of How to Read Nancy, 2018 winner of the Eisner Award for "Best Comics-Related Book". He is also an occasional car ...more

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