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The Panorama of Hell Paperback – January 29, 1993


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Paperback, January 29, 1993
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Blast Books (January 29, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0922233004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922233007
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "thisnicknameisnottaken" on May 16, 2000
It's a tragedy that the language barrier has left most English speakers relatively unaware of the unique delights of Japanese literature, but it's heartening that the tide is starting to turn - driven by the popularity of manga, which are obviously great candidates for translation since a good deal of their appeal is visual.
_Panorama of Hell_ is one of the weirdest manga I've seen in English, taking the form of a monologue by a deeply disturbed artist who paints with his own blood. As the story progresses, his revelations (about his family life, his history, his relationship with the Bomb) swing between totally bizarre to tragically plausible; Hino's genius is that with every new revelation, our conception of the character and his insanity turns itself inside out - which, by the end of the story, has shattered all the reader's assumptions, leaving only an unidentifiable, almost primeval dread.
The work hasn't been mirrored - you turn pages and read from right to left. Some might find this a little awkward for the first few pages, but it does allow us to see the layout and artwork as Hino intended - i.e., idiosynchratic (I like it), striking, and often incredibly gory. It's horrible, but it expresses the central obsession of the narrator, the ghastly legacy of the atomic bomb, extremely effectively. Recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "themancalledsam" on September 22, 2001
In the manga collection "Comics Underground Japan" I read a short story by Hideshi Hino. It was well-written and skillfully drawn. I immediately became interested in finding more manga by the author and so purchased Panorama of Hell.
First of all it's nothing like the story I read. While that had some pretty horrific violence at the very end, this has incredibly horrific violence spread throughout the entire book. Disgusting and grotesque imagery, not to mention a fascination with blood (numerous characters are seen licking blood off of knives) are featured on almost every page. I've always thought of myself as desensitized, but this really proved me wrong.
The story is told by a pretty insane painter who uses his own blood to make his paintings. He talks about his grandfather, father, and brother. Goes over his family and what his wife does for a living. He tells his relationship with the atomic bomb. And while pretty much everyone will find themselves recoiling in disgust from the images, these stories he tells are also pretty interesting (my personal favorite was the one about his brother).
I bought this book hoping to see the darker side of manga. I have seen it, and I must say that while I found it sometimes interesting it just wasn't captivating the way some manga is. Some may find this a great book, some may be permanently scarred. I recommend you read collections of manga stories from the underground, like Comics Underground Japan and Secret Comics Japan before taking a step towards a book like this.
I give this work a conditional recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By knitting librarian on February 28, 2005
The gore is so over the top it's almost a parody. The artist lives across from a guillotine and his kids play in a river clogged with filth and corpses. His wife owns a bar where the dead eat portions of their own bodies each night.

I regretted buying this book until I got to the second half, where he talks about 3 generations of abuse in his family, and worshipping the mushroom cloud god. It was then that I realized why this work receives rave critical reviews. The gore in the first half represents the psyche of the people described in the second half, i.e. a whole generation of Japanese who grew up in the aftermath of Hiroshima.

The images linger long after the book is closed, but I didn't adore this book the way I adore, say, Akira, or Uzumaki, which is why I gave it only 3 stars.
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Verified Purchase
Greetings;

Such an odd book and with such an odd following. Seemingly long out of print and as you might notice now from the ranges in price, quite costly. To behonest, from all that I had heard of it I had come to expect something more along the lines of an art book. Not a manga. Something this big and this wide and this thick...But no, it was indeed a manga, of about the same size manga generally was back when it was first really starting to come to the united states. Not the page saving sizes that one can typicially find now...

Even if it isn't in the best of condition, there is something to be said for the book. The seller said it was 'acceptable,' I think of it as being more...Well read. Worn here and there...Everything that was ever really important there, not unlike the things that Hino and his family pull from Hell's river. What made the little rips and ripples in the spine and the pages? And such odd things one might find in such an old book. Passed around as it no doubt had been-the magazine page used as a bookmarker-did they use it in favor of the ceral ad or for maxi-pads? What plans had been made or broken while trying to read the book. Did they ever finish? Could they?

Now, would I recommend the book? Well yes indeed I would. Though to be fair, it is quite costly, not so easy to come by...I would suppose it best that you wait first...Hino did do many other books, a set of some 14 or so manga books...Hino horror, I believe, starting with the Red Snake. Might find them more reasonably priced. Better judge of wether or not you would like to see what this book has to offer first... Never-the-less, and odd treat indeed!

Thank you...
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