Apr 8, 2015

Wed Review (Daniel Clowes - Ghost World)

I started reading this book a couple years ago. That same night I was chatting with a cute girl online, and she told me she hated the book and recommended another one. I dropped this book and read the other.

I've read a bunch of Clowes's books in the meantime but I've always shied away from this one due to that false-start. I finally read it the other day, and I realize the woman who didn't like it didn't like it because the characters in this novel are so similar to her - and that's not a compliment. The characters are so full of themselves. They have a strong outward hatred of everything, but the hatred is caused by a lack of self-love. They hate themselves, and they hate their situation (post-high school, shitty jobs, no college plans - no plans at all).

Clowes does an excellent job of letting us into their petty, emotional worlds. There's a few sub-plots that seem really strange, like the protagonists meets a child-molester who really has nothing to do with anything - I suppose Clowes wanted to show that these girls may be awful people but at least they don't hurt anyone(?).

I guess, in the end, I have to agree with all the praise for this book (which is another reason I never read this, I figured it was for sure overrated). It's odd to recommend a book that I didn't enjoy reading, but I think the end of the journey and my reflections on the characters made this book worthwhile.

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