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I Never Liked You: A Comic Book Paperback – November 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly Pubns (November 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0969670168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0969670162
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,634,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you ever doubted that a comic book could wrench your heart, I urge you to read I Never Liked You. Chester Brown looks back on his adolescent attempts at relationships--with his friends, his mother, the girl who always loved him--with such maturity and understatement that the result is an unspoken testament to the reality of life. The feeling you're left with after reading this comic is due in part to the skilled, reserved hand of Brown the artist: his comics flow so smoothly through time that once begun, this book is almost impossible to put down. The panels--often a tiny single frame on a page of pure black--convey such a sense of loneliness that in any other medium this story wouldn't be half as good.

From Publishers Weekly

Brown's latest autobiographical work is a study in adolescent socialization and the peculiar combination of budding sexuality, self-obsessed dreaminess and downright mean-spiritedness that epitomize the teenage years. Like The Playboy, his previous book, I Never Liked You chronicles the Harvey Award-winner's suburban, Canadian childhood and his affectless relations with his family, the idiosyncrasies of his mother and his strained encounters with both admiring and hostile schoolmates. But unlike the previous book (which focused on his onanistic obsession with Playboy magazine), this one captures Brown's weirdly detached relations with almost everyone and his awkward, almost pathological passivity and inability to "fit in." But girls do like him, which can be both a dream come true and his worst nightmare. Chester isn't sure (actually hasn't got a clue) what to do after he tells a friend he loves her. Brown is a wan, but intensely focused, episodic storyteller who can transform the usual memories of teenage yearning into distinctive passages of muted comedy or adolescent emotional desperation. He scatters his panels asymetrically across black pages, isolating their beauty and carefully pacing the narrative forward. His drawing is exceptional both for its economy and for the attenuated sensuality of his lines and figures. A strange and engrossing teen memoir by one of the most talented artists working in alternative comics today.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover Comic
In this age of post-modern, ironic, dconstructionist storytelling, it's refreshing to see someone such as Canadian writer\artist Chester Brown honestly recount his early life. 'I Never Liked You', graphic novel, is an excellent and enticing introduction to both Brown and the comics medium. The story and art mesh together effortlesly and all the sentimental cliches are carefully avoided. It's a quick read, which may dissapoint you at first, but, as you find yourself needing to reread it, you'll realize that it's a virtue. 'I Never Liked You' is poetic- flowing and graceful, yet meaty enough for you to dissect any line or image and learn more about what has shaped Chester Brown to make him the great artist he is today. Highly Recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on April 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is probably the best comic book I've ever read. In I Never Liked You, Chester Brown recounts his own adolescence. He doesn't rely on quirks, self-pity, overanalysis, or an edgy drawing style. His work is simple and understated, one incident flowing into another in an apparent anecdotal fashion which, by the end, reveals a large picture of Brown's seemingly hidden feelings. It is his relationship with his mentally unstable mother that fuels this book; Brown thoughtlessly antagonizes her (as teenagers do) and struggles with his inability to say "I love you"--at least to the right people at the right time. In his youth, Brown was best able to express himself through symbolic drawings which he infused with meanings he would later claim weren't there ("I never use symbolism.") This grown-up effort seems an extension of that, as a bittersweet memoir and perhaps explanation/closure for his emotional distance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chiang Hai Tat on July 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
Chester Brown's seemingly simple graphic novel is actually a brilliantly written and drawn tale about adolesence that touches deep into your heart. Brown's ability to go deep into his past and dig up the things that haunt him most is simply incredible - it all seems so subtle, yet it's so personal and powerful. Like the recurring biscuit-eating scenes which might not mean anything but provoke so much feelings, of melancholy, loneliness, simple joy, etc.
Brown's art is as much a joy to look at as his writing. The freely (yet skillfully) drawn brush work, together with the loosely (yet cleverly) laid-out pages complement the story almost to perfection.
I have read and re-read the book a number of times on different occasions and personally I feel it's best when you read it in a quiet afternoon when you're all alone.
Together with 'It's A Good Life, If You Don't Weaken' by Seth, 'I Never Liked You' is one of those rare graphic novel that will let you feel as if you k! now the author personally after reading it.
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Format: Paperback
Chester Brown, I Never Liked You (Drawn and Quarterly, 1994)

Run! Teen angst!

Well, okay, maybe... don't run. I Never Liked You is, in fact, a stew of teen angst, it's true, and even more, an autobiographical stew of teen angst. The words "recipe for disaster" are all over this project like flies on October zucchini. And yet it manages to avoid devolving into either cheesy goth poetry or smarmy nostalgia.

This is, of course, a huge mark in I Never Liked You's favor. What Brown is doing here, he's doing well-- easily as good as artist du jour Craig Thompson or the king of this particular hill, Harvey Pekar. If you're a fan of either, I have little doubt you're going to enjoy this book a great deal.

The biggest problem with it, on the other side of the same coin, is that no matter how well it's done, it's been done, and it's been done in a charming, sensitive, mature way, and as much as the personal nature of the work might make you want to get all fluffy-bunny-and-cuddly-puppy, the reason you're identifying with Chester Brown's shy, awkward teenaged self is that we all went through the same stuff, sunshine.

Many writers have trod this road. Some have done it better, or as well. Others have done it considerably worse, and there are many of them. This is in no way a bad book, and if you enjoy memoir-style writing and illustrating, it'll be right up your alley. ***
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Format: Paperback
Why is Chester Brown so good? I just don't
understand... first Ed the Happy Clown, then the
Playboy, and then I Never Liked You...all masterpieces. No other cartoonist has maintained such quality over this many long works. He's working on Underwater right now, an incomprehensible but fascinating (don't ask me) story from a baby's point of view. My guess is when it's complete we'll all be gaping with awe at it, like I am (and you should be) over the rest of his books now
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