Bechdel’s refreshing take on the book review


From one of my favorite graphic artists, Alison Bechdel, a new take on the traditional book review. Bechdel reviews A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century, a memoir by Jane Vandenburgh for the NYTimes. Instead of the typical book review Bechdel presents us with a graphic version of her review–reminiscent of the style of her graphic novel, Fun Home. I love Bechdel’s work and found it a fun way to read a review.
Read the review here.

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3 Comments

  1. GREGORYABUTLER
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Sorry, but I preferred the written review of the book. The comic was just confusing – and it took a whole hell of a lot longer to read than the straightforward written summary on the Powells.com website!
    Then again, I really strongly dislike New York Times comix – I’m a graphic novel fan, but the NYT’s artists don’t understand the comix form, and generally are very bad at visual storytelling (I can never make heads or tails of any of the NYT’s comix!
    So, thanks but no thanks, I’ll stick with written book reviews – Bechdel’s comix review was far from “refreshing” for me (it left me needing a couple of 500mg Extra Strength Tylenols!)

  2. Posted April 1, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Huh? maybe it’s a right-brain/left-brain, primary vs secondary process kind of thing, but it seems to me that Alison Bechdel covers an AMAZING amount of ground in her review. It’s actually one of the most wholeheartedly encompassing and positive reviews of POCKET HISTORY, which I have actually followed with complete avidity since I’m the person who wrote the book.
    What Bechdel does — or so it seems to me — is get to the heart of the heart of the book, the hot spots, say, where love lies. Bechdel actually paints the psychological distances, like having the girl Jane looking down on the aunt and uncle from the shake roof of the garage, and the back-and-forth of the two older kids, which was one of the factors that rendered me into adulthood sane. She also SO TOTALLY gets the absolute essence of MY DOG!

  3. Ningyou
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I’ve met Allison Bechdel, and my impression was that she actually looked a good bit like the characters she drew. (Specifically, Moe from DTWOF.) It was kind of neat, and I was pleased that I actually got to speak with her for a bit.
    (And I think her review kicked ass. I’d read something she’d written even without the pictures, her prose is that good — but the illustrations make it unique and somehow a lot more clear. Pretty cool.)

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