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Swallow Me Whole by [Nate Powell]

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Swallow Me Whole Kindle & comiXology

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 ratings

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Swallow Me Whole
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Indy comic artist Powell, an Eisner-nominee, works full time with adults with developmental disabilities, which may have been an inspiration for Swallow Me Whole, a stand-alone graphic novel about two teenage stepsiblings with psychological problems. Ruth suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and thinks she can hear insects speak, making it difficult for her to walk across grassy lawns but landing her a sweet internship in the natural history museum. Perry sometimes sees a tiny wizard who speaks to him about his destiny, which would be cute if this were a fantasy comic; instead, it's sadly tragic since Perry recognizes the wizard as nothing more than a troublesome hallucination. It should be obvious from the start that things will not end well. Dark inks and elongated whispering word balloons carry us into Ruth's world of voices and missing time, while experimental paneling masterfully conveys the characters' inner worlds and altered states. Powell's ultimate message remains unclear: is this a cautionary tale reminding ill teens to take their medication(s)? Or should we take a hopeful message away from Ruth's tragic story, knowing that one need not give in completely to one's delusions? (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—Powell has created a complex tale of two adolescent step-siblings struggling through the usual angst and discovery that occur during the teenage years. However, for Ruth and Perry, mental illness makes this time even more difficult. Ruth, who is at the center of the story, suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and patterns of schizophrenia. Infatuated with insects, she keeps collections of them in jars in her room and is constantly arranging and rearranging them. She hallucinates that masses of insects surround her and fears stepping on any living thing. For Ruth, the simplest tasks present huge challenges. Perry fights his own demon as he tries to rid himself of a small wizard who persistently appears and makes him draw. The author's treatment of mental illness is realistic and sensitive. Readers are brought into the experiences of the characters and empathize with them. The relationships Ruth and Perry have with each other and with other family members are honest and lovingly portrayed. Every word in this graphic novel is carefully chosen, dialogue is realistic, and background "noise" masterfully done. Powell's detailed pen-and-ink drawings are well executed with lettering and images so brilliantly intertwined that they are one and the same. While the complexity and subject matter of Swallow Me Whole will not appeal to everyone, those teens who pick it up will discover a poignant story.—Lara McAllister, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B009Z1NIU4
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Top Shelf Productions (November 19, 2008)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 19, 2008
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 160220 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Not enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 214 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 49 ratings

About the author

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Nate Powell (b. 1978, Little Rock, Arkansas) is the first cartoonist ever to win the National Book Award. His work includes the new graphic memoir/essay SAVE IT FOR LATER, Ozark horror tale COME AGAIN, civil rights icon John Lewis' MARCH trilogy and its follow-up RUN, TWO DEAD, ANY EMPIRE, SWALLOW ME WHOLE, THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDS, and Rick Riordan’s THE LOST HERO.

Powell’s work has also received a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, four Eisner Awards, two Ignatz Awards, multiple ALA and YALSA awards and distinctions, and two Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist selections.

Powell has discussed his work at the United Nations, as well as on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, CNN, PBS, and Free Speech TV.

He lives in Bloomington, Indiana and is currently making his next solo graphic novel, Fall Through (2023), as well as a graphic adaptation of James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me (2024).

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
49 global ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale of growing up, being different and finding some meaning in it all
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