by David Mazzucchelli
Asterios is an architect who escapes from his life one day when his apartment burns down. We watch his life fall apart in flashbacks. He falls in love and then slowly alienates his wife Hana. We watch him become an auto mechanic and learn about his stillborn twin brother.
This graphic novel didn’t have the same emotional depth as others I’ve read, but it’s one of the most cerebral GNs I’ve found. It discusses the duplicity of a person’s character and highlights the ways we can see the people we love every day and yet not really see them. It’s beautifully told with unique fonts for each characters’ voice.
BOTTOM LINE: Wonderfully drawn and intellectually stimulating.
A couple quotes I loved from the book...
Berlin: Part 1
by Jason Lutes
Set in Berlin from September 1928 - May Day 1929, this graphic novel charts the rise of the Third Reich. At times it was hard to follow because there are lots of characters that are drawn in a very similar way. The story deals with the communists in Berlin at that time, the growing Nazi party, and prejudice against Jews. Two of the main characters are a journalist named Kurt Severing and artist, Marthe Muller, who meet by chance on a train.
BOTTOM LINE: I will definitely read the next segment “Part 2” as the book ends on a cliffhanger. I enjoyed it, especially the historical side, but didn’t love it.
“One thing I love about this city is the way all of our different worlds rub shoulders every day.”
Images from Asterios Polyp and Berlin