Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Three Paradoxes Hardcover – September 15, 2006
|New from||Used from|
In Twenty Years: A Novel
When five college roommates gather after twenty years, can the rifts between them be repaired? Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
So, the underlying question of Hornschemeier's graphic novel asks us: was Zeno, in fact, right? Even when we reach our destination, have we really reached our destination? We are here given five linked (some more firmly than others) stories: the main story details a visit from our protagonist (Paul, natch) to his parents. The one most firmly linked is a memory Paul has while walking through town with his father of a childhood memory; a second involves a comic the adult Paul is trying to draw that focuses on what we must surmise is an idealized form of his childhood self- radically different from the child we get to see; a third involves a car accident, which may or may not have happened to Paul (I couldn't tell, and no other review of the book I've read trying to figure it out touches on this); the fourth is a comic-book retelling of Zeno presenting his paradoxes (and being rebuffed by Socrates).
I didn't have nearly as much of a problem with the caesura motif as a lot of reviewers seem to have; it picks up on the paradox of the arrow in flight, and the traversing of each half-distance, never reaching the target. Every time Paul wants to say something, it has to travel half the distance from brain to mouth, then half that distance, then etc., which usually ends up with him blurting out something that bears little, if any, resemblance to what he's actually thinking. I can buy that. But then, on the same level, the thing I did have the most problem with here works in exactly the same way, and it still bugged me (the conclusion to the main storyline is absent-- because, of course, if Zeno was right, we can never reach our destination, see?). A paradox in itself, I guess. What we do get, on the other hand, is very well done, and deeply felt; I just wanted more of it. That, however, would have derailed the entire novel. What's the answer? There isn't one. Another paradox! ***
I found his latest collection of work to be profoundly gripping and fluid in a way that I don't think I've ever read Ware. Ware's a master of detail, complexity and meta/self-reference. Hornshemeier has those at times, as Ware can also maintain a quicker pace, but it's rare that I don't get caught up in ware's details and miniature geometry. And here is where Hornshemeier really shines. While his space is usually limited to flat color, his writing and character development sometimes really float you through. The flashbacks in Three Paradoxes are like that for me in this book, and quite a nice countermeasure to the other elements of the book that read a bit slower.
And he's just a beautiful illustrator in general. His faces, and the times he does take liberties with abstraction are always successful.
The book would be dull without the changing styles as it's not really a story, but then I think the book is more of an artistic experiment rather than a fully formed book. With the title and the inclusion of Zeno explaining his paradoxes theory (a failed idea where he posits that essentially nothing changes because nothing can change), Hornschemeier seems to be saying that despite the three stories (one about wanting to change, one about someone who was changed, and one about immediate change), he is still feels unchanged, still the same person. I think that's what he's trying to say with the stories and I'll give him credit for taking an original and interesting approach to the book.
Overall though it feels slight, as if its less than the sum of its parts. I like Paul Hornschemeier, I think he's clearly a talented artist, but as a storyteller he needs more development. "The Three Paradoxes" is an interesting novella (comivella?) but the art overwhelms the story, leaving pretty pictures in place of anything more substantial. Hornschemeier looks like he'll produce something brilliant one day but "Paradoxes" is not that.