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One Hundred Demons Paperback – August 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books; Reprint edition (August 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570614598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570614590
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As anyone who's read her comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek or novel Cruddy knows, Barry has a pitch-perfect sense of the way kids talk and think. Childhood's cruelties and pleasures, remembered in luminous, unsparing detail, have become the central topic of her work. The semi-autobiographical vignettes of this new work, originally serialized in Salon, follow the same basic format as the strip: blocks of enthusiastic first-person commentary at the top of each panel, squiggly, childlike-but stylized-drawings and dizzy word-balloon dialogue between the characters. Here, though, Barry gets a chance to stretch out, drawing out her memories and impressions into long, lively, sometimes sweet and sometimes painful narrative sequences on a seemingly endless list of curiously compelling topics: the scents of people's houses (one is "a combination of mint, tangerines, and library books"), dropping acid at 16 with a grocery bagger, the colors of head lice and the art of domesticating abused shelter dogs. The structure of the book is a drawing exercise that allows a hundred demons to flow out of the artist's pen onto paper. Barry's demons are the personal objects and effects that remind her of the in-between emotional states from her early life. The result is simultaneously poignant and hilarious-never one at the expense of the other-and so are her loopy, sure-lined drawings, which make both the kids and the adults look as awkward and scrunched-up as they feel.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Barry uses an Asian painting exercise called "One Hundred Demons" to organize and connect 17 "autobifictionalographic" stories in which she meditates on a variety of demons that include pretentious boyfriends, lost childhood friends, family relationships, and even the 2000 presidential election. The author's keen observation and honesty draw readers to these sometimes painful, often poignant moments. In "Dancing," she explains that almost everyone in her family danced with great pleasure. Then a casually cruel comment from an admired neighbor made her self-conscious enough to stop. "Resilience" explores the mistaken belief of some adults that young children who have experienced a trauma will somehow forget and move past it. Here Barry allows speech balloons to fill in the gaps to which she alludes in her main text, with heart-wrenching effect. A more lighthearted story deals with the unique smells that permeate homes. Most of each story is told in text blocks at the top of the panel, while speech balloons convey specific details and characterizations. Barry's artwork is almost childlike, and the awkwardness of her drawings works well with the emotional tone her tales evoke. In the last few pages, she demonstrates the technique used for the original exercise and encourages readers to draw from their own experiences. This is an amazing collection, and those who connect with it will come away with a deep appreciation for Barry.
Jody Sharp, Harford County Public Library, MD
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook's Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor's Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook's Comeek, Barry's next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010's Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

Born in Wisconsin in 1956, Lynda studied at Evergreen State College.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
Lynda Barry's art and storytelling combination are unique and incredible.
J. Day Mattson
She manages to weave seemingly unrelated thoughts and threads together (like lice and love!)
Isabel
I just finished reading this book, and I know it will forever be a favorite of mine.
P. Nestor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By QTeacher on August 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This "autobifictionalography" collects Barry's brilliant salon.com sketches of the demons we all face in our lives. It is exactly that universality that makes for magical reading. The intense specificity of childhood's horrors made me feel like I was reading my own life, not Barry's. Barry's artistry is in telling and illustrating these stories with incredible humor as well as unlimited heart. Particularly haunting of the eighteen stories are the lost friendship in "Magic" and "Resilience" which gives the lie to adult fantsies of childhood innocence. It's increasingly clear that Lynda Barry is our finest writer of the emotional lives of damaged children. She gives voice to kids that few people ever listened to. Having been one of those kids, it's an amazing feeling to realize that you are understood and you were not alone.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on July 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lynda Barry's "One! Hundred! Demons!" is just another astonishingly wonderful book in a long line of astonishingly wonderful books. Using Japanese inks and brushes, she categorizes the demons of her childhood. We see everything from resilience to hate to common scents, from magic to "girlness" to dogs to cicadas.
Among the many pleasures of the book--Barry's extremely simple yet enormously evocative illustrations, the awesome ear she has for the way children speak to each other, the cheerful colors belying much of the sadness inherent in her work--is the section entitled "Magic." This regards Barry's rejection, at age thirteen, of her two-years-younger best friend. It's easy to tell that even more than thirty years later, Barry feels shame over this episode. She so deftly sketches the psyche of her thirteen-year old self that we are left alternating between complete understanding of her actions and rueful sorrow that she couldn't ignore the age difference.
This is a funky, trippy book that's simultaneously a quick read and something you want to linger over the second (and third, and fourth) time you read it. Long may Lynda Barry rule!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I stayed up late into the night to read this book, frequently crying. Lynda Barry has clearly made an effort to be as honest as possible, and as a result, these stories just really ring true. This book is a rare combination of funny and sad and smart. She handles some pretty lofty themes--memory, abuse of power, family--with an insistence on staying in reality. It's a provocative book, and a pleasure to read. I'm buying copies for several of my friends.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It's Lynda Barry's first all-color book and it's beautiful, collecting the fantastic water-colored 100 Demons stories that originally appeared on ... but that's not all!
The book also contains awesome collages by Lynda between the strips as well as a foreword explaining the origin of the 100 Demons idea and an afterword describing some of the materials and methods Lynda used in creating the strips.
The strips (as you would expect in a work by Ms. Barry) evoke a wide range of emotions, and cover a lot of territory. Who could read "Common Scents" and NOT remember the smells of their grandmother's house or shuffle uncomfortably at the memory of failed attempts to disguise the smell of cat pee with incense?
OK, maybe you never owned a cat, but you still need the book to read about the Aswang! It could save your life!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Allen97 on September 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Lynda Barry is so amazing with her honesty. Every story resonated with me: she didn't try to paint herself in a great light, but showed the truth -- which blew me away.

Thank you, Lynda, for being so honest. I cried, cried, cried cuz I saw myself in your stories. So many regrets I have after years and years, myself. So many people who I was cruel to; so many things I screwed up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on December 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Lynda Barry for years and was thrilled to get her One Hundred Deamons as a gift this Christmas. Her humour reminds me of watching Steel Magnolias. You have never laughed so hard while reading something so touching. This book makes me think I understand her character a bit more - and the fact that I am drawn into wanting to understand a cartoon character says something in and of itself. I still think of some of her comics from previous books and laugh out loud, and this book has given me more memories that put a smile on my face and an embarassing outburst of laughter when it is not especially convenient....
I have been reading Lynda's books since I was 15 and now 30 something....I enjoy them as much now as I did then!
Lynda - your the greatest!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Spears on January 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought "One Hundred Demons" as kind of a shot-in-the-dark gift for my wife. She ended up reading it all in one sitting and gave me her opinion. "This book is, like, one of the best books I've read in years! You have to read it! She even, like, gives you instructions in the back on how to paint your own demons!" Buying a good gift without being given specific instructions is something I do once every 10 years maybe. I did it TWICE this year (I also did good by buying her some thermal "dog" pajamas from Target on a whim).

I ended up reading it myself -- and I thought it was an awesome book. I couldn't (and still can't) put it down either! There are a lot of nuances that are very funny. Lynda Barry does a great job conveying personality and humanism. Very colorful and fun to read. Will likely buy more of her books -- I (we) need more than just one fix.
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