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In the Shadow of No Towers (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Board book – September 7, 2004
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The central image in the sequence of original broadsides, which returns as a leitmotif in each strip, is Spiegelman's Impressionistic "vision of disintegration," of the North Tower, its "glowing bones...just before it vaporized." (As downtown New Yorkers, Spiegelman and his family experienced the event firsthand.) But the images and styles in the book are as fragmentary and ever-shifting as Spiegelman's reflections and reactions. The author's closing comment that "The towers have come to loom far larger than life...but they seem to get smaller every day" reflects a larger and more chilling irony that permeates In the Shadow of No Towers. Despite the ephemeral nature of the comic strip form, the old comics at the back of the book have outlasted the seemingly indestructible towers. In the same way, Spiegelman's heartfelt impressions have immortalized the towers that, imponderably, have now vanished. --Silvana Tropea
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
There's some pretty good stuff here. It's after all, Spiegelman. He plays around with the various conventions of the comic strip, mixing Maus with Little Nemo, redrawing himself into various classic comics ("Bringing Up Father" becomes "Marital Blitz" and describes Spiegelman's household spats) the pages are printed on thick card (it feels like the pages of a pre-school book) and it's all in gorgeous colour.
NOW... the problem is that the book is pretty short, really. Spiegelman accepts this fact and is rather apologetic. He explains that comics take a long time to draw and that expected to die in a future terrorist attack so he didn't get a lot done. His anti bush tone and his questioning of the choreographed patriotism that followed 9/11 meant that his market was very much restricted and so he did not think to draw very much at all. He attempts to finish the book on an upbeat "the way we were" note and reprinting comic pages from the 1900s.
Nothing wrong with that, of course. And his reasoning about the shortness of the book makes perfect sense.
But if I feel like reading Little Nemo or Bringing Up Father, I can buy the appropriate book and don't really need Spiegelman for this. I feel vaguely ripped off. Not because the book is not good, but simply because there's so little of it. Four stars only.
Mr. Spiegelman is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Maus," where he used the medium of comic strips to portray the Holocaust, his parents' experience as survivors of Auschwitz, and his own experience as a child of Holocaust victims. Ironically, his parents taught him at an early age to "always keep my bags packed." He writes in the book's Introduction, an extraordinary essay, "I tend to be easily unhinged. Minor mishaps - a clogged drain, running late for an appointment - send me into a sky-is-falling tizzy. It's a trait that leaves one ill-equipped for coping when the sky actually falls." And the sky literally fell on the author and his family that day. They lived in the towers' shadow, in TriBeca, and their daughter was in school that morning - a school located at Ground Zero - a tizzy producing experience if there ever was one!!Read more ›
IN THE SHADOW OF NO TOWERS has moments of literary and creative genius, but there are regretably so few of them, they could have easily been published in one edition of the New Yorker magazine where the author's wife works and where he has done cover art. The material Mr. Speigelman has compiled does not warrant a $20 book - it lacks the necessary coherence and depth for such a momentous event. A quick perusal at the book store will enable you to experience the best of what the author has to offer; skip the history lesson on comic books.
It is interesting to note as an aside that the nine reviews already posted on this book run six with three stars or less and three with four or five stars, and that the corresponding tallies of helpful ratings on them runs far, far higher on the four and five star reviews than on the lower ones. Seems to provide support for the notion that reviews with honest negative opinions are not treated as seriously, even when well-reasoned and well-written. Are people just looking for justifications to buy the book?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an oversized board, graphic memoir of Art Spiegelman's experiences just before and during the 09/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nancy A
I treasure both the original and the following Spiegelman's book. They are sheer genius, and my family also enjoyed the style and the content. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mom in IN
Great narrative from a great author. I have Maus 1 and 2 multiple times (came across them during a college English class as required reading) and found that he had written this as... Read morePublished 10 months ago by TechGeek
I found this book profoundly moving. One reviewer said that it seemed 'self indulgent'. I think that is the point - the panels reflect the feelings and recollections of someone who... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Rachael A. Takei
Really wasn't sure what to expect with this. It's basically a scathing commentary on the Bush administration's handling of the 9/11 bombing. Read morePublished on July 3, 2014 by the libertarian
I have been searching for this book for years, as I live in Argentina and it is not available there. Happy to have found it. It is travelling back home right now. Read morePublished on June 22, 2014 by Dolores Pujol
If you've ever read and at least appreciated Maus, you need to read this! It's Spiegelman's personality and a lot of Maus makes a lot more sense after reading this. Read morePublished on May 22, 2014 by R. Feins
Spiegelman has created another GN that is nearly as good as Maus I and II. I would highly recommend this read. His illustrations are wonderful. His insight, amazing. Read morePublished on December 23, 2013 by scout1968