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Sandcastle Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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By a tidal pool near a small beach on France’s Mediterranean coast, a North African–looking man glimpses a young woman stripping to swim. Later, but still early in the morning, three families intent on sunbathing and picnicking encounter the man, then find the girl’s corpse in the pool. One paterfamilias, a racist, xenophobic physician, angrily accuses the North African of murder and calls the cops. While awaiting the police, the doctor’s mother dies. The young children of two of the families start growing, the little ones right out of their swimsuits and the preteens into puberty. The adults are changing, too. Attempts to leave the area prove futile, and further calls don’t go through. At the rate they’re aging, they’ll all be dead by tomorrow morning. Peeters’ accomplished European realist comics style and Lévy’s utterly natural dialogue suit to a tee this maximally eerie, unsettlingly plein air exercise that Kafkaesquely defies all explanation. --Ray Olson
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If you're tired of superheroes, cowboys, and anything else other graphic novels have to offer, try this. Definitely mature.
Very emotional. Very powerful piece. I highly suggest you check this book out.
But this utopia hides a dark secret.
First there is the dead body of a woman found floating in the crystal-clear water.
Then there is the odd fact that all the children are aging rapidly. Soon everybody is growing older--every half hour--and there doesn't seem to be any way out of the cove."
I liked the story. What if I was getting significantly older every half hour? That thought sends chills down my spine. Like many people on this planet, I'd feel unhappy because there was still so much I wanted to do. For me this book is a reminder to stop procrastinating and start living life as fully as I can.
The actual story is bleak and for adult-oriented. There aren't any heroes or villains. This is just as another reviewer said; it is like an episode of the Twilight Zone. The short length is my biggest gripe about the book (only 99 pages of story). Although the pacing works well, I felt the story is too condensed and too many things happen "off-screen" that should have been shown more clearly. If the story was longer then characters could have been fleshed out more; situations shown in more detail; had the characters try harder to escape; and had the character interactions much more interesting.
However, I understand what the author was trying to say: human beings are too complacent; we accept a seemingly hopeless situation too easily; we allow precious moments to pass us by; and we do not make the most out of our lives even when we are dying. If it was a novel, I would have given the story 3 out of 5 stars. Like I said, the story should have been longer and the characters and their interactions shown in greater detail. The artwork is what made me give this 4 out of 5 stars. The artist is good at using black shading to convey a depressing atmosphere. His sense of spacing between characters is well done. By using mostly small and medium panels, the sense of isolation is heightened.
Here's the biggest reason why I took of one star: the publisher tries to rip off the customer by selling this 112 pg. book for $19.95 by only making the hardcover available. That's unfair to those of us with limited budgets and a preference for softcovers.
To sum up: it is a bleak, nihilistic, and adult comic book that is also quite short. It could be easily devoured within an hour. I'm not sure if the average customer would be willing to pay $19.95 for less than an hour's worth of reading. In fact, I doubt it. For those of you who want something more off-the-beaten path than the usual comic book I recommend Sandcastle.
"Sandcastle" is a fascinating and strange sci-fi/Twilight Zone-type story with plenty of mystery that'll keep you reading until the end, never guessing where it's going. This is Pierre Oscar Levy's first comic book and he writes it very well with the surprises coming thick and fast with interesting characters making up this small band of doomed people. There are elements in the story that aren't explained, added to the overall mystery of what the beach was/is. Some kind of government experiment gone wrong? A dream? Is the beach a portal to a parallel dimension? Are the people somehow metaphors for sandcastles, that appear on the beach and disappear over the span of a day? Small events in the book point to different explanations but ultimately it's up to the reader to decide what it means to them.
Frederik Peeter's art is of the same high standard as his last book, the excellent "Blue Pills" which I highly recommend. He does a brilliant job of showing each of the characters age rapidly, panel by panel.
"Sandcastle" is a weird and interesting comic book that's definitely good fun to read and has a thought provoking, well written story at its heart. One to pick up if you see it.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm going to start by saying I absolutely *hated* the ending which has brought my rating down to a four.Read more