21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Once You Were Tagged, You Were "IT" Forever,
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This review is from: Black Hole (Hardcover)
"I don't think I've ever read anything that better captures the details, feelings, anxieties, smells, and cringing horror of my own teenage years better than Black Hole. By the book's end, one ends up feeling so deeply for the main character it's all one can do not to turn the book over and start reading again."
I had heard about this book, but I really didn't know what it was about. Me, the adult, who loves to read, and Amazon sent me this book I ordered. Why, it is a comic book! I started to read, and I was captivated. This was meant for the teenager in all of us. The teenage years, we can't quite forget. For some of us, the best years of our life, for others, the alienating, lonely, isolating years of our teenage existence.
Charles Burns started writing a comic book ten years ago that became a large three hundred and eighty plus paged book of teenage life. Done in back and white drawings with a story in first person, it tells us of "The Bug", a strange plague transmitted by sexual contact that affects and infects teenagers in Seattle in the 1970's. The teenagers are affected in different ways, for some it is a rash; for others it is the grotesque body parts that grow upon their bodies. But, for all, it is an isolating, alienating experience. No one who has "The Bug" will ever be accepted by society or ever be the same again. The anxiety of our high school years, the torment, the torture of words, by our peers. How can we forget? Well, we can't and "The Back Hole' brings this world home to us.
Keith has a crush on Chris. He and Chris have sex with other people, and they both develop the plague, "The Bug". There is no education about this new "thing", there is no publicity to help make everyone aware of this new "thing". It just is, and those who have it are isolated. They either live in the woods or come out at night, or they live in a tent like Chris. Chris and Keith find each other and find a little solace in their loves. There are no adults in this book; there are no adults in the teenager's lives. Because after all, what would they say "I told you so?" This is a world of a black hole, isolating, alienating, and miserable. An existence that many of us have seen. And, then the murders begin.
Charles Black is a genius. He must be. How else someone could write a book for teenagers, but meant for everyone to read. But at the same time, meant only for teenagers, for them to know, for us to realize, we are not alone, this existence is real but there are people who care. Highly Recommended. prisrob