By David Mazzucchelli
This graphic novel is, for lack of a better way to say it, a visual feast. I’ve read a couple of graphic novels before and this is by far the most unique in terms of style and story (I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels though, so I may be going too far with saying this).
Oddly enough, I found myself quite attracted to the mysterious and confused character of Asterios Polyp. He’s an all-knowing, close-minded, insensitive man who’s much too clever for his own good. Those are some of the qualities that I avoid when it comes to guys (except for the clever part). But Asterios somehow makes it seem attractive, at least, in the beginning. Later on, as expected, we see the very same qualities break and abandon him. He speaks so much and yet you could never quite get a grasp of his true self - what’s beneath all that sarcastic and heartless exterior.
I enjoyed this mainly for the beautiful artwork. The story is secondary, for me. The drawings are so beautifully rendered and the words so nicely written that it’s overwhelming at times. Overall, it’s a wonderful graphic novel - very unique, very engaging, and very mysterious. It tells so beautifully of a man’s life full of love, loss, and regret. And somehow, despite his being who he is, we still end up hoping for the very best for him.