Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $6.73 shipping
The Underwater Welder Paperback – August 7, 2012
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Though his and Susan’s first baby is due within the month, Jack Joseph opts for another two weeks away at his welding job on the oil rig offshore from his Nova Scotia hometown. He feels compelled to be “down there”—his salvager father’s term for being in deep water—especially now, on Halloween, the day his dad disappeared more than 20 years earlier. On the first dive of his shift, however, Jack sees something and loses consciousness. After being hauled out and dry-docked, he insists on going back, surreptitiously. This time, he gets unstuck in time before, during, and, most portentously, after the dive. In an introductory note, TV producer Damon Lindelof (LOST) enthuses that The Underwater Welder is like a terrific Twilight Zone episode, but that’s just the half of it. Lemire combines his characteristic sketchy line work, deftly deployed small areas of pure black, plenty of moody watercolor shading (particularly when underwater), and a predominance of wider-than-high panels to realize a visually stunning analogue of the subtle, old-fashioned, black-and-white-movie creep show. --Ray Olson
"The most spectacular episode of The Twilight Zone that was never produced. I really, really care about the people in this story... And I can pretty much guarantee you will too." — From the introduction by Damon Lindelof (LOST, Star Trek, Prometheus, The Leftovers)
"With The Underwater Welder, Jeff Lemire has created a moving, brilliant, and fiercely original work about loss, longing, and love. Full of piercing moments that will stay with you for long after you've finished reading, The Underwater Welder is a testament to the basic truth that down in the depths or up on land, there's nothing more haunting and wondrous than the human heart. A masterpiece of visual storytelling." — Scott Snyder (Batman, Wytches, American Vampire)
"Lemire’s stylized art and inventive panel structure is the perfect vehicle for his well-told story, and the tale’s poignant moments make the moments of desolation even more heart-wrenching... A beautiful, moving, wholly satisfying story about fatherhood and growing up." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[Lemire] has not lost his ability to pack an emotional wallop." — George Gustines, The New York Times
"A striking evocation of the Canadian Maritimes, and a moving meditation on what haunts us and how we struggle to keep those specters at bay. And the use of ink wash has rarely been put to more apt use." — Dana Jennings, The New York Times
"The Underwater Welder... is all kinds of wonderful. Buy it. You will wet yourself with tears, your brain will spin from masterful storytelling, and you will love it." — Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly
"Haunting... Underwater Welder is just the right blend of action and abstraction, and greatly enhanced by Lemire's ability to signal movement, time and distance through clever arrangement of his panels on the page." — Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The novel has many of Lemire's themes and characters archetypes also present in other of his works: the role of memory in your present life, the thin line separating past and present in people's memories and emotions, lonely alienated characters who want to connect emotionally but are progressive frustrated by their lack of success at doing so, the line the separates reality from non reality.
The novel also shows again Lemire's drawing mastery and graphic versatility to convey into images stories and situations that are far from easy or straight forward to depict. Also common to Lemire are his wonderful landscape composition, and the framing and composition of his vignettes.
The novel reads easily and with gusto, and is very intriguing. However, it has a predictable ending that you can sense from half way the novel. Perhaps the tempo of the novel should have been different and some of the information provided at the beginning omitted so the reader would have had less clues to unveil the mystery. Having said so, the story is intriguing enough and odd enough to keep you interested. The characters are well sketched psychologically, especially Jack, although sometimes the reader, or at least me, wanted to know more about Susie.
The undersea images are great, specially having into account that they are drawn in black and white. Also great is the graphic depiction of the progressive mental alienation of Jack and his almost oneiric and trippy living in his deserted town.
A very enjoyable reading overall.
The story does not have the broad scope or multiple perspectives of the exceptional "Essex County" series, but it does have some of the best art in a Lemire work. It's well worth the read.
To understand Jack is to understand his father: a man named Pete who made his living by diving for odds and ends he sold at a pawn shop. A man who drove his wife away by drinking too much. Like a lot of alcoholics who find themselves embedded in families, Pete Joseph is desperately sad, desperately out of control, and makes a lot of promises to his son which he can't keep. He goes diving one Halloween night when Jack is a kid and disappears; the town presumes him dead but Jack can't shake the feeling his father is still out there somewhere.
Jack Joseph is thirty-three, the same age his father was when his father disappeared. Jack makes his way as an underwater welder on an offshore oil rig, diving just like his father used to, and he's married to a woman named Susan. They are expecting their first child any day. Jack can handle the immense pressures and darkness of the ocean floor, but he can't handle the looming pressure of his impending fatherhood or the dark shadow of his own father's disappearance. One day while diving he sees something that can't possibly be there. He fights with Susan and winds up diving again only to end up in a space that seems ripped out of time, a sort of purgatory-like holding tank of his own memories.
This book hit me very hard. I grew up with negligent, promise-breaking alcoholic parents. The imminent birth of my own kid sent me head-first into a maelstrom of Unresolved Childhood Issues, too. Like Jack, I had to make the choice between wallowing in the past and embracing the future. I, too, was haunted by the specter of turning into my parents. I didn't go into the book blind--the back copy talks about parenthood and the ghost of a father, etc--but I didn't expect Jack's story to mirror my own so closely. I wonder how much of this is drawn from Jeff Lemire's personal experiences. The book explores these feelings and themes so deftly, with such pitch-perfect resonance, that I wonder if it's possible for someone who hasn't lived through it to capture it so well. I can already see I will fpoist this book on people who are having difficulty navigating the tricky waters of becoming a parent. I can already see it's a book I'll return to over and over. I give it five stars out of five stars, but if you are not a parent who has grappled with the demons of your own unreliable parents your mileage may vary.
Still, a powerful story that flows well and keeps you engaged until the very end. Recommended.