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When David Lost His Voice Hardcover – March 19, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: SelfMadeHero (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906838542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906838546
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Middle-aged David develops esophageal cancer, and the members of his family do their best to cope with their impending loss. Vanistendael’s beautifully watercolored images depict how his artist wife copes both through her imagination and by using frames from his radiograms in her art; how his younger daughter, a sweet nine-year-old, faces him and asks clearly about his pain and the ramifications of death; and how his much older daughter (by a different mother no longer on the scene) shares her energy and her own newborn with him and the rest of his family. Each chapter is offset with a stanza of poetry that sets the tone for the specific character at its center, while pages unfold in a variety of patterns, from small, tidy panels to filmlike reels across the centerfold to full-page spreads of accessible and stirring imagery. David’s last voyage upon the sea of an accepted death is both beautiful and life affirming. Neither sentimental nor cynical, this narrative holds the most delicate aspects of family life gently and openly for readers to immerse themselves. --Francisca Goldsmith

About the Author

Judith Vanistendael holds several art degrees. Her semi-autobiographical book, Dance by the Light of the Moon, was also published by SelfMadeHero and was nominated for two awards at Angoulême, including the grand prize. She lives in Brussels, Belgium.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on December 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Here is a book that elegantly shows the potential for comic book storytelling. Deep and emotionally complex, WHEN DAVID LOST HIS VOICE subtly unfolds into a gripping, lovely work.

David receives the grim news --- stage 3 cancer --- at the very onset of WHEN DAVID LOST HIS VOICE. Still, there’s hope. Chemotherapy and radiation offer a chance to beat this, despite his fear. With anxieties mounting, David struggles with how to tell his family --- which includes his wife, Paula, and their 9-year-old daughter, Tamar, as well as David’s adult daughter, Miriam, from a previous relationship --- the news. More to the point: How to discuss his deep anxieties and all the competing thoughts running through his head? Meanwhile, Miriam, pregnant from a brief, casual relationship, delivers a son, Louis.

This sets the scene for the family turmoil that comes about after David’s diagnosis. Each character deals with their fear and their sadness in different ways. Each has a different attitude toward sickness and death. Each is unique. The various perspectives are well done.

This is a special book. It doesn’t shy away from its topic, nor does it meander into sentimentality. With clarity and deliberate pacing, Vanistendael delivers a truly moving book.

- John Hogan
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By Anah on July 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover
What a difficult topic to write about! It would be impressive to find such a sincere prose story about a man’s fight with cancer, but Vanistendael’s treatment of this issue in graphic novel form takes the reader’s participation to an entirely new level. Her art is alternately breathtaking and amusingly simple. The ending moved me to tears. I read the entire work in one sitting. I found myself asking myself some very reflective questions.

This read would be a special gift for someone in just the right situation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A brilliant book.
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Format: Hardcover
I was not ready for this book--it took about an hour to read, which I admit I feel terrible about. But I just kept flipping the pages, sitting up in bed. When I was done I wish there were two more books afterwards; five books, ten books--I wanted to follow those characters throughout the rest of their lives, then their children's lives, forever. Brilliantly told story that felt precisely midway between reality and fantasy without ever being twee or saccharine.
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