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Friday, December 23, 2011

Temperance Review


by Cathy Malkasian

genre: graphic novel

I'm not sure where to even begin with this one.  In fact, I'm not even sure how I feel about it.  It's not that I didn't like it.  I did, on a certain level.  This book delves into weighty subject matter such as blind faith, mental abuse, physical abuse and traumatic memory loss.  However, none of these subjects felt particularly dealt with to completion in the story.  Toward the end of the book, the story seemed to fall apart into jagged pieces which I had a difficult time reconciling into the story-line up to that point.

At face value, the book is full of beautiful illustrations.  I appreciate the detail of the artwork and the style of drawing.  But the story itself seemed heavy on narrative which is rather odd in a graphic novel.  Additionally, there were too many fantasy elements which were left unexplained and that felt distracting to me.  In the end I thought the author pulled those into a sort of mythological explanation of opposing seasons (winter/summer, autumn/spring).  But given the deeper subjects of the story, this resolution felt far too simple and rather anti-climactic.

So, I'm on the fence with this one.  How did you feel about it?  What did you think the final message was?

1 comment:

De said...

Final, like at the end of the book? Didn't get there. I like to make my own mental pictures about disturbing narratives, and couldn't get through it, despite my interest in the message.