Summer Book Club Week 9: Asterios Polyp

This week’s Book Club post is a quick one, as I am recovering from minor surgery and would rather be reading than writing.

Asterios-polyp-bookcoverLast week, commenter Kathleen recommended the graphic novel Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli; I immediately grabbed it from the shelf of my local library and read it in an afternoon.  I have a feeling it will be following me around for the rest of my life.  It is much, much smarter than me, so I feel ill qualified to comment on it.  It’s the story of a “paper architect” (none of his buildings have ever been constructed) whose life has slowly come apart and who is trying to put it back together by leaving everything behind and starting again as a pseudo-car-mechanic in the middle of nowhere.  The book floats between past and present, dream and reality, narrative and abstract philosophical musing.  Loved it.  If you like graphic novels, I think you will love it too.

I hope have more books to tell you about, and more energy to write about them, next week.  In the meantime, what are you reading?


8 thoughts on “Summer Book Club Week 9: Asterios Polyp

  1. I finally got a hold of The Other Typist and I enjoyed it, but also thought it reminded me a lot of Fight Club.


      1. I thought that the ending was a bit ambiguous. Maybe Odalie killed Teddy and framed Rose, maybe Rose did it, maybe Rose IS Odalie. I tend to think that Rose was set up, but it was fun to play with in my head after I was done.


  2. I love that you said, “I have a feeling it will be following me around for the rest of my life. It is much, much smarter than me…” That is exactly how I felt about it. What a gift to enter into its world for a brief moment and learn to love characters that no one could love at first sight. It is so meaty and multi-layered like a good lasagna. It is even better a few days later when you have time to really LOOK at what Mazzucchelli did with image, color, and graphics. So glad you enjoyed it.


    1. Kathleen: yes, I look forward to going back to it again at a later date, and to sharing it w/ friends. I think you mentioned in an earlier comment that you’d like to teach it – I can’t imagine how I would make it accessible to any but the most brilliant/curious of my students. Do you have some ideas?


  3. I’m recommending Colin McAdam’s A Beautiful Truth. Lyrical, yet unadorned writing that speaks to our relationships with primates, ourselves and our planet. The ideas in this novel have changed the way I look at human social and anti-social behaviour.


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