January 29, 2013 § 8 Comments
Arti will understand. I began reading ANNA KARENINA weeks and weeks ago, at the beginning of Arti’s book challenge. I don’t regret a moment of it, tho’I’ve lagged and lost in terms of meeting any deadlines. I still have 250 pages of that magnificent novel to go. And not allowing myself ‘to see the movie ’til I finish the book. Yes, people like to say to me, “But you know how it ends, don’t you?” Sure I do, but it’s the getting there that’s so entrancing, so full of detail and delight in the million little things that Tolstoy does. Still when reading such a tome, one is allowed to have a break, to cheat on the book, to take in another book, as it were.
And so I picked up a picture book the other day at the library. That is, it’s made to look like one. Actually, it’s a graphic novel by Audrey Niffenegger. She’s quite the talent, she is. Those who have read THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE and HER FEARFUL SYMETRY have an idea what she can do. I had no idea she could draw as well and come to find out, she’s done two other graphic novels, too. But this one, the one I just finished titled THE NIGHT BOOKMOBILE has the look of a child’s picture book and none of the angst-y edge-y appearance that many graphic novels of our time posess.
I read it, wondering how it would go, with some of the enchantment of a child, wondering, anticipating how it could unravel, what could happen, not sure what would happen.
Seems this story of hers was a winner in ZOETROPE, Coppola’s story magazine (which has since grown into writing workshops in his Central America rancho location as well). So I read it, delighted, somewhat disappointed as I neared the end, due to the turn it takes. I should have guessed it. Had I paid more attention rather than getting somewhat lost in it, I might have realized what Niffenegger was going to do.
Still it was a lovely break from ANNA, tho’in retrospect, yikes, they share a certain alikeness. But I read it with a certain delight based on its shape and presentation, it’s faux return-to-childhood based on its looks. At one point I was turning the book on its side to see what novels and stories were pictured on the shelves drawn on the pages. (part of the fun!)
Now that I’ve had my little dalliance, I can return to the land of Anna and the inner turnings of the 19th century Russian mind which is, I suspect, somewhat different from that vast country’s thinking presently.
Oh, all that cold and those grand layers of fine clothes and people stashed in huge country houses trying to live a high life, and hearts breaking and unbreaking.
But for her part, Niffenberger wasn’t humorous, either; her picture book is, in fact, a little modern-lonely, but worth the break from the usual read to see what one can do with “story.” (Note: the 3 images used herein are from Google images.) (Another note, hours later: I just corrected spelling of the author’s name; apologies.)