83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Haunting little masterpiece
, June 14, 2001
This review is from: Ghost World (Paperback)
Dan Clowes' graphic novel, "Ghost World" tells the story of Enid Coleslaw and her best friend Rebecca during the months between their high school graduation and the following October. The girls curse a lot, obsess over freaks and strange events in their lives and eventually come to realize their childhood friendship may not survive their transition into adulthood.
Clowes has an amazing ability to zero in on life's smallest moments and find in them a fragile poetry. He's also not afraid to make his characters fallible, and sometimes, in the manner of callous youth, even cruel. Enid and Rebecca dub a waiter "Weird Al" because of his curly hair, and play a rude prank on a poor boob whose only crime was to gain their notice by placing a pathetic personal ad. And yet you won't hate the characters. They're vulnerable and honest in a very believable way, and their emotional journey through their final months together accurately depicts longing and unease, their nostalgia for things the way they were, and their need for different lives. For Rebecca, it's to hold onto things as they are, and for Enid, it's to go someplace else not to find herself, but to become someone different.
The story's also full of humor and mystery. Enid and Rebecca inhabit a world of strange grafitti, of diners and run-down apartments where things tend to happen just outside the frame, or within windows. And Clowes' two-toned, semi-realistic, sometimes cartoony depiction of the various geeks, pervos and schmoes who inhabit "Ghost World" is dead on... the dopey expressions, the sudden crises, the need to feel something and the fear that accompanies that desire... it's all there in his characters' faces.
Reminiscent of Will Eisner's work (and just a touch of Charles Burns'), and with a hip, modern feel, "Ghost World" provides a truly amazing and unique reading experience.
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