Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ghost World - Daniel Clowes

 Here is a snippet from my reading life.  I'm reading EW and there is a review for a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes.  Oooh!  Cool!  New stuff!   Darnit, the library doesn't have it.  But the article says that the author is known for his famous book and motion picture "Ghost World".  The library had that, so I ordered it.  When it finally shows up on my doorstep and I start reading it, I question my motivations for getting it in the first place.

It had to happen eventually.  After a year of being blown away by graphic novels, I've finally found one I didn't like.

Synopsis:  Please meet Enid and Rebecca, two friends recently graduated from high school, both angsty, conflicted, perched between childhood and adulthood.  We follow them around in their daily lives as they frequent various diners, observe others, make fun of others, complain about their love lives, and just generally have bitch fests and hurl insults at each other.

As the girls contemplate the next step in their lives, they deal with issues of jealousy, fear of the future, and nostalgia for their innocent youth...will Enid leave for college and abandon Rebecca?  Who is more interesting?  Why do neither of them have boyfriends?  Are they gay? Will they have success in their lives?  Will they always be friends?

   


My thoughts:  I'm scratching my head on this one.  It was hailed a cult classic, popular with young adults for its cutting edge portrayal of "real kids".  I don't know.  Maybe.  I'm not a kid anymore, but I remember being one.  Did I act like this?  Hell, I hope not. 

I can curse with the most colorful of sailors, but I guess when you are reading it in print, and the f-bomb is used repeated times on each page, I cease to find it amusing.  Seriously, I went looking for examples of the artwork, and found only the one above that didn't have foul language.

There was very little plot, which is OK.  I get it that the message is more about the worries and obsessions of this generation.  I am curious that this was made into a movie, however, with so little to go on.  Perhaps a plot was invented.  Has anyone seen this movie? 

Bottom line, the book didn't do much for me.  After reading GNs that make my brain hum, or make me cry, or make me laugh, this one just left me cold and apathetic.  If it weren't just 80 pages, I most likely would have DNF'd it.

I'm curious if any of you have read this book.  I'd love to get your input.

2 out of 5 stars
       

13 comments:

Nymeth said...

Sorry to hear this one didn't work for you, Sandy! I enjoyed it a lot, but it's been so long that I'd have to reread it before being able to have a conversation about it. I did see the movie and loved it, but yes, it does have a more structured narrative than the book while remaining faithful to its tone and mood.

Jessica said...

The best thing about the movie was the great clothes they put the characters in TBH it was ok

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This sounds awful to me. The English language has so much more to offer than that one word!

christina said...

I haven't read the graphic yet because I'm afraid I won't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the film. Similar to Ana, I cannot really defend the film though because it's been SO long since I watched it. I think it came out in my college years? Or at least that's when I watched it. My roommates and I adored it and there were a handful of relatable moments (from what I recall).

And also, don't you just LOVE that our library DELIVERS.

C.B. James said...

I have not read the novel but I did enjoy the movie. I can't say why I liked it, I just liked the characters. They both struck me as people I would have hung out with back then. We did curse a lot in those days.

Zibilee said...

You know, I have heard a lot about this GN and movie, but for some reason, it has never appealed to me at all. I guess the descriptions of all the angst just drew me away. Sorry to hear that it didn't work for you. I think I will skip it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I saw the movie version years ago (before I knew about GNs) and wasn't impressed. I'm glad to know the book version isn't something to run out and get.

bermudaonion said...

Go stand in the hall of a high school and listen to the kids - your ears will burn. Kids are trying to use that word for its shock value, but it's been so overused that the shock value is gone.

farmlanebooks said...

I haven't found a graphic novel that I haven't liked yet (but I haven't read that many) It doesn't sound as though this one is for me so hopefully I'll avoid reading a disappointing GN for a while longer.

Jenners said...

I didn't read the book but I think I may have seen the movie, which I didn't really like.

Carrie K. said...

I tried this one, too - and didn't finish it. Ugh.

caite said...

like the movie..but never read it and doubt I ever will having read your opinion.

Darlene said...

Sorry this one didn't work out for you so well Sandy. It's not something I would pick up. As for the swearing- I too can have potty mouth probably too much - but if a book has a lot of it, it actually bothers me.