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Shortcomings Hardcover – October 2, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
His work has always focused on loneliness, and yet again the main character is a socially awkward semi-hipster who tends to alienate people. Ben Tanaka is a 30-year-old manager of an art house cinema in Berkeley (presumably the UC Theater, which like the one Ben manages, was forced to close to due seismic retrofitting regulations), living with his beautiful Japanese-American girlfriend Miko. The story follows Ben's dying relationship with Miko and subsequent rebound attempts with various cute Anglo girls. But Ben is so plagued by insecurity and bitter snobbishness, and is so grumpy and cynical that it becomes increasingly hard as the book progresses to understand what any woman would see in him.
The one new theme Tomine introduces to his work is the struggle to define identity and identity politics among Asian-Americans. Ben, Miko, and even Ben's moxie-laden Korean-American lesbian pal Alice (who tend to steal any scene she's in), all grapple with various stereotypes and self-imposed expectations.Read more ›
One of my favorite realist graphic novels -- the entire thing just feels drawn from life.
The problem is that graphic novels have a lot of work that go into them, and a lot of them are awesome but they have that problem. And then you come across one that is funny and you laugh out loud and it's only 108 pages long. It's a nibble for a main course that never comes. You want more -- but maybe not. The style is nice, the pictures are clean, the observations about the various cultures are fresh and new -- but the main character is .... something else. He seems unhappy with himself, and his life, but stuck in a world that exists only to make him bitter. He has a girl, and a job, but a wandering eye -- across cultures and races. He consummates his desires, but is left no happier. In the end, he's still the same unhappy guy, with the same shortcomings.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book was in good condition ! The story was quite interesting!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The artwork is tight and well thought out. Although, I can't help but notice the similarities in style to the Hernandez brothers and the like. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a straight-forward book that follows an anti-hero; the protagonist doesn't really care for his girlfriend, who tries to get their relationship to work. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Niklas Pivic
I love it!!!! I received the version with the green cover. Tomine did a really good job.Published 16 months ago by Lauren C.
An engrossing story of an Asian man’s failing relationship. Ben Tenaka is not a very likable character, and yet you’re drawn to his life, his friend, and his girlfriend. Read morePublished 17 months ago by P. M. Bradshaw
Required for my College English class, turned out to be an enjoyable comic.Published 19 months ago by Dylan