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Reunion Paperback – April 12, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pascal Girard was born in 1981 and lives in Quebec.He is the author of Nicolas and Bigfoot.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly; First Edition edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770460373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770460379
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,862,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Pascal Girard is invited to his high school reunion 10 years after finishing high school. But he's undecided - should he attend? He wants to but he's worried about his appearance (he's too overweight) and his job might not be glamorous enough (he's a cartoonist with, at the time, 1 published book - the delightful "Nicolas" - that barely sold) but he wants to go if only to lose the weight and then meet his high school crush for another shot, as back then he was too fat and now he wants to show her he's now thin and "cool".

I'm not sure how autobiographical the book is but Girard seems determined to make the reader see him as a pathetic idiot who makes some pretty hateful decisions. He has a lovely girlfriend but he spends most of the book plotting to somehow win the affections of a girl he hasn't seen in years who may or may not even show up, and who barely knew him back then anyway. He Facebook-stalks other former female classmates, leering at photos of them at the beach; he has a wart on his thumb; he is diagnosed with an under-bite and as he loses weight by running (also not depicted charitably) he draws his chin as more pronounced; he's constantly making a fool of himself in public and his lack of confidence and poor social skills lead to embarrassing scenes throughout - this is confessional comic-book hara-kiri.

It's a credit to Girard then that he is so entertaining and his fairly ordinary story is a compelling read from start to finish. He tells the story in panel-like layouts without the panel frames, drawing in a sketchy, almost shaky hand, so the reader gets a sense of Girard's chronic nervousness. The story is well told with the confidence of an experienced storyteller who understands how to pace a tale to keep the reader engaged.
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Format: Paperback
I may have unrealistic expectations for Pascal Girard; I read his short graphic novel Nicolas (a quiet, perfectly poised book about the death of Girard's younger brother at the age of five) two years ago, and was massively impressed. So I was thrilled to see a new graphic novel from him, and even mildly encouraged by the fact that it was another memoir.

But REUNION is no NICOLAS, and wanting it to be isn't at all helpful. NICOLAS was a quiet, small work about one horrible event, told afterward purely through the eyes of the child Girard was at the time. REUNION is a bigger, wider work, full of dialogue, about the foibles of an adult Girard -- it turns into a farcical version of a poor-me memoir towards the end, as all of Girard's illusions and fakeries and baseless hopes all catch up with him at once. (REUNION also could make a good, and mostly conventional, movie, while NICOLAS was pure comics in a way that wouldn't translate to another form.)

So Pascal Girard -- as he presents himself in REUNION -- is coming up on his tenth high-school reunion and is a raw bundle of repressed self-loathing and anxiety, worried that he's a "loser," worried about his teeth, his weight, his clothes, his glasses, his looks. He makes Woody Allen look composed and self-assured, all right? It's not a pretty sight; the Girard of REUNION is deeply unhappy about everything in his life, and his attempts to make himself better are all outward-directed: they're designed to make other people like him better, to fix his problems, because if the world thinks he's a "winner," then everything will be fine.
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Format: Paperback
Is reading the graphic novel "Reunion" by Pascal Girard worthwhile? Reading "Reunion" is similar to watching a Woody Allen film. We know the autobiographical author (and main character) is neurotic. The cover image signals to the reader the story will focus on one person rather than on a community of friends. Because Girard chooses the scenes, draws the portrayals, and is a participant in all the dialogues, we cannot help but see the world from his perspective. The protagonist in the story is Girard. Girard has made a primary character that is both a caricature and mirror of himself. He wishes to reveal himself, literally warts and all.

The story recounts Girard's 10 year high school reunion. It is based on his real life reunion, but as with many artistic re-tellings, it only tells parts of the story and takes artistic license with other parts. It is intended to be a fictional portrayal.

Girard delights in and finds the humor in self-deprecation. As readers, we're not sure if Girard is as narrowly focused as he portrays himself, because he's constantly portraying himself as being insensitive to the wants of people around him. Further, his classmates at the reunion plainly tell and convey to him he has always been that way. We're not certain whether or not this bothers Girard or whether he is content with his level of insensitivity. While Girard is willing to reveal others' criticisms of him, he is equally intent on revealing others' insensitivities toward him and his perceptions of their faults.

The book is laugh out loud funny. I read the book with another person in the room, and I literally kept laughing out loud, disturbing them while they were not reading a humorous book.
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