Shortcomings

Shortcomings

Graphic Novel - 2007
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StephanieOne Jan 02, 2019

The story-lines and relationships seemed so true to life. And the artwork was beautiful. I just have never hated a protagonist before in the same way I hated Ben. About 1/4 of the way through, I just wanted to reach through the pages and slap him. Everyone else around him is able to grow and find ways to be true to themselves, even if they're not in the most honest ways. And the whole time I felt like Ben was just sitting there saying "but what about ME! Why isn't this all centered on ME! You should be basing all of your life choices around ME!" Every time he seemed to make a tiny baby-step forward in his development, he would take 37 giant steps back.
That being said, I absolutely loved Alice. I would read a hundred volume series about Alice. She stole every scene she was in, and seemed to be the one character whose development you got to actually watch. Everyone else was more come-and-go.

NorthPlains_BriannaS Oct 25, 2018

This one is a bit uncomfortable to read as the characters' relationship slowly falls apart, with their mid-20s selfishness and ugliness front and center. Do you have to find the characters likable to enjoy a book? If so, this one may not be for you. I prefer Tomine's other works but the full length story was a fun contrast to his shorts.

r
romatomatoes
Aug 23, 2018

I totally dated this guy! Mr. Negativity!!! Mr. Double-Standard "I can date other people but you can't"! Thank Goodness she leaves him. Loved the characters. Wish there were translations for the Korean and Japanese.

c
Cobin
Mar 04, 2018

It was so good, I couldn't put it down! A quick read! It's very relatable for adults; talks about life and all kinds of relationships (casual, same-sex, long-term, friendships), East vs West coast, race... I wish there was a follow-up book :)

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 11, 2015

The latest from Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve, Summer Blonde), one of the most gifted artists/writers working, is a bittersweet (well, mostly bitter), short illustrated novel about relationships. With his usual acute sense of character, Tomine gives us a protagonist who is self-absorbed & cynical, yet still sympathetic. He breaks up with his Japanese girlfriend, pursues other women (who are white), and flies across the country to spy on his ex-girlfriend. Tomine's drawings are subtle and incisive, his dialogue well-observed (think an indie film that doesn't suck), and he tackles thorny issues like race, sex, gender, sexuality, jealousy, and, um, penis size. The hardcover edition features a handy ruler on the cover.

m
mclarjh
Aug 26, 2015

A very unlikeable protagonist (presumably modelled after the author), and an immature love story. For young adults.

t
tegan
Nov 27, 2013

A dissolving relationship and an unresolved ending made this book a bit on the depressing side. If it weren't for Alice, the main character's best friend, I probably wouldn't have bothered finishing this book.

a
azbier
Jun 29, 2012

I really feel that it is disrespectful of the Windsor Public Library (central) to place works like this in the Young Adult section of the library. It should be shelved in the Fiction section. Just because something looks like a "Comic" should not devalue its artistic and literary value. Any counter arguments to this could be used to argue that all of the items in the regular fiction section should also be classified as "Young Adult". I can only conclude that this and many other "Graphic Novels" or "Sequential Art" are classified based on limited information and bias.

j
JustinRay
Jun 30, 2011

As realistic as any prose fiction. A sad story that raises more questions than it answers and requires reflection to appreciate.

i
itstartswithano
Jan 24, 2011

LOVED this! Clever observation of modern life and relationships. I only wish the story kept going...

j
J_Duncan_Cook
Apr 24, 2010

Simply written and neatly drawn, this volume displays Adrian Tomine's obvious experience and skill with the comic medium. There are no superheros or villains here, all the drama comes from real modern day people. You may not like all of the characters, but you certainly know one or two.
Fans of California's East Bay will appreciate direct references to Mills College, University Theater and Interstate 880 (p 34). There are also some veiled nods to College Avenue's Crepevine and Pegasus Books (p 13 & 17), Mama's Royale Cafe on Broadway (p 44), The Smokehouse on Telegraph (p 57) Juan's Place on Carleton (p 59),and a really subtle appearance of the legendary but now defunct Cody's at Telegraph and Haste (p 60).

f
fblichert
Mar 04, 2010

A very funny book. Adrian Tomine cleverly illustrates the difficulty of finding one's place in the world, while posing interesting questions about relationships, race, and gender.


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