Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli

First off, the title completely fooled me. At first I was expecting a detailed explaination, then upon it’s true discovery, I was a bit disappointed. This graphic was a strong love-hate relationship the whole way through. I say love, since the entire book depicted everything so uniquely in association to feeling and phrases. For example, when Asterios first meets his wife at a party and everyone is depicted in literal “foreign” shapes since everyone in the crowd is foreign to her. Also, the fact that you’re being lead by Asterios’ dead twin brother through the entire story is quite interesting, and creepy to an extent. Yet who would think to have the reader lead by the hand through the tellings of a dead man? It’s unique.

Now, I say there is a “hate” part to this book, to me. It may be that I’m not in the middle of a mid-life crisis (which I don’t plan to have anyway), and been through a divorce (out of the question), and have had my home burnt down (it’s possible). Yet the insistent topic of sexual orientation, and vulgarity in the speech and content of the novel is a real turn-off. It may be important to some human beings to have to read a book like this to feel comfortable with themselves, yet there is more to life than worrying about the last time you had sex. It’s personal tastes, yet I prefer to read about characters that change and grow within the confines of their storyline. Once again: great style and unique graphic storytelling, yet typical subject matter.


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