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Ghost World Paperback – April 1, 2001
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Dan Clowes described the story in Ghost World as the examination of "the lives of two recent high school graduates from the advantaged perch of a constant and (mostly) undetectable eavesdropper, with the shaky detachment of a scientist who has grown fond of the prize microbes in his petri dish." From this perch comes a revelation about adolescence that is both subtle and coolly beautiful. Critics have pointed out Clowes's cynicism and vicious social commentary, but if you concentrate on those aspects, you'll miss the exquisite whole that Clowes has captured. Each chapter ends with melancholia that builds towards the amazing, detached, ghostlike ending. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA?Eight interconnected stories about two teens. Enid and Rebecca have been friends for so long that it's difficult for either of them to let the other grow or change. Now Enid will probably leave their working-class neighborhood and go away to college and Rebecca cannot accept this change in their relationship. Enid is the more radical and dramatic of the two, the one who talks a male friend into escorting her into an X-rated "adult" store. Rebecca is not so much a follower as simply more circumspect. She's the one who reasons that Josh, a friend they're both guilty of provoking sexually, really deserves to sleep with one of them after all the teasing he's weathered. While the vocabulary here is raunchy, it is accurate for the characters. These realistic 18-year-olds don't always talk nice and don't always act nice but they do have moral fiber underneath their tough-girl exteriors. It's just that they're at a point in life and a place in society where exteriors are a lot more important than nice. This is a book with distinct appeal to urban high school students, but it's certainly not for their younger brothers and sisters. Depending on where your comics are shelved, add this one where the age-appropriate audience is most likely to find it. The artwork is evocative and tasteful and the book can serve as a bridge to more literary stories of friendships.?Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The comic book is darker and monochromatic, versus the movie's beautiful use of primary and pastel colours. That makes the book and movie equal for me, and gives one the choice of alternate "Ghost" worlds. But the book is written in episodic installments, and is therefore less unified than the movie; like many comic books, this one is an ongoing serial, and works great as a character study.
Where the movie departs from the book is the development of a plot which involves one of the book's minor characters (the bearded guy with whom Enid and Rebecca make a fake blind date as a practical joke). In the movie, the bearded guy is shorn of his facial hair and re-emerges as Seymour (played by Steve Buscemi) as the catalyst for a major tunrning point in Enid's life. I really think that by collaborating with director and screen-writer Terry Zwigoff that Clowes made a work of art a masterpiece.
Nonetheless, I found the book very compelling, but really do recommend reading it before seeing the movie. I really like Daniel Clowes' stripped-down, stylised drawings. Like the movie, you can really get lost in this book. That's a lot coming from me, because I don't get into most comic books. This one, though, speaks to me.
You don't have to "utterly loathe yourself" like protagonist Enid Coleslaw to really "get it", but I'd be lying if I said it doesn't make it all that much more poignant.
A random chapter in the life of best friends, it’s for mature audiences - not a kid’s comic.
It’s poetic in it's own way - gets you thinking about what you want in life.